Global Education

World's Challenge Challenge

It starts with one idea, one discussion. Who knows where your ideas may lead?

The World's Challenge Challenge invites student teams to propose an innovative solution to a major global issue. Thanks to the Lee Global Education Awards, the team with the best proposal will win $10,000 to make their solution a reality and will represent UAlberta at the Global Finals at Western University, with a chance of winning an additional $30,000.

The World's Challenge Challenge is an exciting way to engage in discussions about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the complex global problems that they seek to overcome. It challenges the university community to be a source of new ideas and inspiration and brings together active global citizens who seek to make a positive and tangible impact on the world.

The Right Honorable David Johnston, former Governor-General of Canada

“It is perhaps the defining question of our time: How to tackle the complex, interrelated challenges of the 21st century in a coherent and effective way? The answer, I am convinced, lies in what I call the diplomacy of knowledge, defined as our ability and willingness to work together and share our learning across disciplines and borders. When people achieve the right mixture of creativity, communication, and co-operation, remarkable things can happen.” – The Right Honorable David Johnston, Former Governor General of Canada, 2012. 

UAlberta Team: Syeda, Raeha and Ronja, at World

"Meeting World’s Challenge Challenge participants from around the globe and learning of their innovative solutions to important world issues were incredibly inspiring and strengthened our desire to aid diabetic refugees with our project." - UAlberta WCC 2018 team.



"Our experience with World's Challenge Challenge has been an amazing catalyst for our aim of creating environmentally-friendly feminine hygiene products. With a focus on UN Sustainable Development goals 5 (Gender Equality) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), we hope to make a global impact."
                                   - UAlberta WCC 2019 team, Hempact.

UAlberta Competition Prizes

  • 1st Place: $10,000 and a trip to Western University (including airfare, hotel, and meals) to participate in the Global Finals.
  • 2nd Place and 3rd Place: Education Abroad Individual Award (valued at up to $3,750) for each team member to be used towards an international learning experience

International Competition Prizes

  • 1st Place: $30,000 CDN
  • 2nd Place: $15,000 CDN
  • 3rd Place: $7,500 CDN

Who can participate?

This competition is open to all University of Alberta students: undergraduate and graduate, from any faculty, full and part-time. We encourage your team to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds or areas of study. Teams of two to four members are accepted, ideally from different disciplines.

How does it work?

Each team must submit a statement of interest, briefly outlining the problem and their proposed solution. Teams will receive feedback on their statement of interest and have time to further refine their idea before submitting a more detailed proposal in early December. A maximum of 21 teams will be selected to present their proposals during a semifinals competition in February. From there, a maximum of 9 teams will move on to the final UAlberta competition in March. The winning UAlberta team will present their idea at the Global Finals in London, Ontario, in June. 

Information Session, October 22, 2019: View the presentation. 

Check back this fall for the 2021 competition timeline. 

Need more information? 

Contact University of Alberta International at 

Need inspiration?

Additional resources

Congratulations Team UAlberta!

UAlbertaCongratulations to Nicole Sanchez, Anka Chan and Mariam Humayun, winners of the University of Alberta’s local competition in 2018-19.  

Their project, Hempact, is a student-led, social entrepreneurship project through Enactus University of Alberta. Hempact aims to create a more sustainable future by repurposing hemp fiber, often seen as a waste material by Alberta farmers, into biodegradable and comfortable feminine hygiene products. They also plan to raise awareness and educate youth about feminine hygiene.

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