Fully Funded SDG Innovation Challenge

Fully Funded SDG Innovation Challenge

Mobilizing African Youth for Sustainable Impact
Designed as a virtual, pan-African collaboration space, the SDG Innovation Challenge is a powerhouse for young Africans (18-35 years) to develop cross-boundary, sustainable solutions to grassroots challenges in order to further the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the grassroots level up.

Under the theme Mobilizing the African Youth for Sustainable Impact, the SDG Innovation Challenge 2023 converges young talent with three primary goals:

  • To trigger fresh thinking by connecting innovators from diverse backgrounds and sectors.

  • To develop practical, impact-oriented solution ideas through cross-boundary collaboration.

  • To ignite transformative action towards sustainable development and improved livelihoods of communities across Africa.

  • Do you want to work across domains and gain insights into the brightest minds tackling sustainable development from the grassroots level up?

    Why Participate?

    The SDG Innovation Challenge is where motivated young people from across the African continent come together to co-develop practical innovations that further sustainable development of their local communities.

    There are numerous reasons to participate; here are a few of them:

  • Access to an unorthodox, dynamic, and diverse platform of youth activists, organizations, and legislators – Tap into a conducive online space to converge around practical SDG solutions!

  • A much-needed opportunity to visualize and implement the SDGs at the grassroots level – Participate in the making of our future and jumpstart your involvement in the sustainable development agenda as an active, passionate global citizen.

  • Immense networking potential – Build connections, and be part of a community of practice around eco-systemic, collaborative solutions.

  • A space to exercise your global citizenship muscle – Sharpen and hone skills in leadership, innovation, cross-sector collaboration, analytic thinking, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, and allied areas.

  • Sourcing diversity of thought, background, and sector – Collaborate with people from many different domains, including engineering, design, civic policy, social justice reform, project management, finance, education, and many others.

    How to Participate

    To participate virtually on 21-23 September, you must register by 31 August, 2023 before 11:59 PM GMT.

    Before registering, here are some rules to keep in mind:

  • Only groups of 4 to 7 people can register! Read on because the important stuff is yet to come:

  • Diversity is one of the core values of the SDG Innovation Challenge, and we encourage anyone interested in participating in the SDG Innovation Challenge 2023 to join our pre-event connector space on Facebook to connect in diversity early. Because when people from diverse realities and backgrounds connect around a shared cause, real innovations shape up.

  • Whether you’re an individual who’s looking for a group of like-minded people to register or whether you already have a (small) group in mind but could use some more diversity of thought and talent:

    Once again, don’t forget to join the Pre-Event Connector Space here!

  • Any idea entering the challenge must be at a nascent (early) stage at the most: This is an ideation space, not an accelerator program. If you have a fairly refined idea already or if you have your mind set on something specific and are not open to re-think or bringing different perspectives on board, which would probably change how the solution idea is shaping up eventually: do not register it.

  • Be committed to further developing ideas that emerge from the challenge: All ideas that are successfully submitted at the end of the 48-hour ideathon will be provided with mentoring and incubation opportunities and support. Each participant must be committed to being present throughout the entire challenge, contribute to the success of their ideation team, attend virtual sessions during the mentoring and incubation and work diligently together with team members to improve the original idea and make an effort to implement it in the near future.

  • Register your group by 31
    August 2023 11:59 PM Greenwich Mean Time … and take a chance at creating Africa’s next Winning Sustainable Solution idea!

    The registration follows a two-step process:

  • First, you must register your group – this can be done by any one person in that group. Important is that you have the names and email addresses of the young innovators you’ll be working with at hand.

  • After completing the group registration, the registrant will receive an email with instructions for the second step, the personal registry, where each group member must provide additional personal information that is required to make the event a full success. Both steps are equally important and only groups who have completed both steps will be considered for participation in the SDG Innovation Challenge 2023.

    All registrations will be screened and undergo a pre-selection.

    Selected participants will be confirmed by 11 September. Once selected, groups of 4-7 participants will engage over the course of 48 hours from 21-23 September to build a team and unpack challenges faced by their local communities and relating to the Challenge theme. Together, they design practical solution ideas to strike at the roots of problems and tackle them bottom-up!

    An independent panel of judges will then assess the solution ideas submitted during the event.

    The best-evaluated teams will then compete for the prestigious Award Winning Package, which includes access to top-nudge incubation and mentoring support to further their project. Plus, there is the opportunity for the most transformative initiatives to showcase their initiative at the next African Youth SDGs Summit, Africa’s biggest Sustainable Development Youth congregation.

    In addition, the top teams receive continued support in the form of digital literacy tools for startup upscale, support for business modeling and business registration, recommendations to investment match-making opportunities, access to business incubation, pro-bono mentorship, and more.

    What We Seek

    The SDG Innovation Challenge is open to participation from young people across Africa. Do you want to work across domains and gain insights into the brightest minds tackling sustainable development from the grassroots level up? Here is an opportunity for young, pan-African social innovators and entrepreneurs to change the world, one idea at a time!

  • All project ideas should:

  • Have a connection to the overarching theme: Mobilizing African Youth for Sustainable Impact

  • Be able to connect to one or more key themes

  • Contribute to change of mindset and behavior in their community

  • Contribute to a more inclusive society

  • Must demonstrate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Changing Mindsets & Behaviour, Employment, Digital Transformation, Partnerships and Collaborations

    Key Themes/Focus Areas

  • Energy & Carbon Reduction

  • Health & Wellbeing

  • Food & Nutrition (Agriculture)

  • Education

  • Water & Sanitation

    Applicants must:

  • Share a passion, drive, and commitment to improving livelihoods in your community and beyond

  • Have a genuine interest in sustainable development and a desire to contribute to advancing the SDGs in your community and beyond

  • Possess the motivation to engage pro-actively throughout the event

  • Be able to work in an interdisciplinary team from different domains and geographies

  • Have the motivation to extensively ideate throughout the SDG Innovation Challenge and work in an agile hackathon-like environment

  • Be committed to taking the idea to completion and remain engaged with the cause after the SDG Innovation Challenge

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Fully Funded SDG Innovation Challenge

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