World's Challenge Challenge

World's Challenge Challenge at UAlberta

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.

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.

untitled-design.jpg"The experience at World's Challenge Challenge helped to refine and develop our aims of addressing Sustainable Development Goals 12.5 and 13.3, through biodegradable seed embedded wrapping paper. We are grateful for the support and feedback of the local entrepreneurs and community judges, and hope that this project will plant a seed for more sustainable practices." - UAlberta WCC 2022 team



"The World's Challenge Challenge Competition gave us a jumpstart to pursue our mission of eliminating the use of non-biodegradable materials in the Cosmetics industry.  Through the feedback and multiple stages, we have gained the knowledge and confidence to put our idea into action. Our experience at the WCC Competition also makes us feel fortunate to be part of a cohort that prioritizes positive change!" - UAlberta WCC 2021 team

WCC 2020 UAlberta Winners, Simran Dhillon, Adarsh Badesha and Ajaypartap Gill

"Through our experience with WCC, we have been able to work collaboratively to create a life-saving solution for drug testing on the street level. This opportunity has strengthened our ability to make necessary impacts within our community on a local, national, and international scale in regards to SDG 3 Quality Health and Well-being. Together we hope to continue working towards equal access to life-saving resources for all individuals." - UAlberta WCC 2020 team

Congratulations to the WCC 2020 team for winning the global finals at Western University! 

UAlberta"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

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.


UAlberta Competition Prizes

  • 1st Place: $10,000
  • 2nd Place and 3rd Place: Education Abroad Individual Award for each team member to be used towards an international learning experience


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 January. 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.

Where do I start?

  • Research a global problem that you are passionate about.
  • Consider: why does this problem exist? What are its root causes? What are others doing about it? Where are the gaps? What can you (and your team) uniquely offer?
  • Secure a team of three UAlberta students. Though it is not a requirement, we recommend your team be made up of students from different Faculties/Departments to ensure a diverse knowledge-base.
  • Make use of campus and community resources to help define your problem and refine your solution.
  • Who, on-campus or in the community, is already studying or working on this problem? Connect with them to learn more about their work.
  • Attend WCC workshops! We encourage teams to attend the information session and the workshop put on specifically for WCC participants. The workshop is offered free of charge and will guide your group through a design-thinking process that will ultimately enhance your proposal and presentation. A schedule for the orientation, workshop and other events can be found below.
  • Review the scoring rubric to see what participating teams will be judged on
  • Draft and submit a statement of interest

What happens if my team is selected?

If you are selected to participate in the semi-finals, you will be asked to give a 5-minute presentation to an expert panel of judges. A 3-5 minute question and answer period will follow. Teams will have an opportunity to practice their presentations in front of WCC organizers before the semi-final round.