The Educators' Challenge has closed for submissions. Winners will be announced in November 2018.

Today, people are more than just citizens of one nation: they form part of a global community. The behaviour and decisions of people in one nation-state will often impact the vital interests of those in other countries. Global warming may be the most obvious example: greenhouse gas emissions from any country have an impact on global climate change.

The global community is facing a number of major challenges which have to be jointly managed by all countries through increased co-operation and greater understanding of our interconnectedness. In addition to climate change, these challenges include other large-scale environmental damage, extreme poverty, and politically-motivated violence (such as war, civil war, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction).

The global population has quadrupled over the last 100 years, and is expected to increase by another 50 percent in this century. Population growth is not just one of the main causes of today’s problems; in the future, it will exacerbate all the other problems. In spite of this, and despite the knowledge that there are not nearly enough resources on the planet for everyone to enjoy the current Western standard of living, this issue is not on the political agenda.

To manage these challenges, we need effective ways of making long-term, collective and binding decisions that take into account the interests of all parties, including future generations. Our current system for managing these issues – mainly the UN and the organisations linked to the UN – is not fully up to the task. Today’s problems are mostly managed using the tools of yesterday, i.e. multilateral negotiations, which are heavily influenced by national interests. As a result, the necessary action is not taken, or is not taken fast enough, while the problems and risks keep growing.

Our will and ability to find a new shape for effective and equitable global cooperation will be of key importance to the future of humankind. To stimulate and accelerate this process, the Global Challenges Foundation launched a prize competition in November 2016– “The Global Challenges Prize 2017 – A New Shape”, in which participants were asked to propose models for new, more effective forms of governance that can manage the major, urgent problems facing humanity. The competition has garnered great interest around the world. More than 14,000 participants registered, and at the time of the competition’s close by the 30 September 2017 deadline, 2,702 completed entries from 122 countries were received.

The Global Challenges Foundation’s “New Shape Prize” has also created many opportunities for discussing global catastrophic risks and spurring innovative thought about how to manage these urgent challenges through better global governance models. The Global Challenges Foundation has hosted and sponsored events in all parts of the world in collaboration with established partners such as Brookings Institution in Washington DC, Chatham House in London, TERI in New Delhi, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, and SAIIA in Johannesburg. The more voices join the conversation, the greater the awareness about the crucial need to update our governing institutions.

The assessment of entries began in early October 2017, and the winners will be selected and announced at the New Shape Forum in Stockholm in May 2018.

The Competition

However, even the best ideas risk falling flat if the need for improved global governance is not widely understood. The Global Challenges Foundation is therefore launching an additional competition – “The Educators’ Challenge”, with the aim of to encouraging participants to develop innovative approaches to engage students and broader audiences in discussions on how to better shape global cooperation. These new approaches should provide a basis for continued ideation and discussion on how we can better address the greatest challenges of our time.

The Educators’ Challenge competition starts on 1 November 2017. Deadline for submissions is 30 June 2018, and the results will be publicised in November 2018.

Educators of all kinds – teachers in schools and universities, journalists, content creators, PR professionals, game developers, professionals in arts and culture, and other influencers – all have a vital role to play in steering the conversation, increasing knowledge and encouraging necessary action. We call on all of you who identify with one or more of these groups to be part of this growing movement, and to demonstrate your unique way of making a difference.

Ten prizes of US$5000 will be awarded to the most creative and effective proposals progressing pedagogy and audience engagement around the pressing issues that require improved global cooperation. However, it is our strong belief that the true motivation of participants will be the resolve to create a basis for better global cooperation, thereby contributing to the creation of a safer world for future generations.

The task

Developing an innovative and effective way of creating interest in global governance, as well as engaging pupils/students and/or wider audiences in a conversation about how global governance should be updated in order to handle the challenges of the 21st century.


The proposal should include 2 parts. 

Method: Show us your innovative approach to create engagement.. This could be through a video clip of an inspirational talk you delivered, a case study you discussed, a hackathon you organized, the roleplay you put together, the board game you developed, the web-comic you created or the social media campaign you ran. 

Results: Send us documentation about your results. This could be a short video showing the discussion you spurred, testimonials from your audience, students or other faculty members, or even a link to an ongoing conversation or forum. 

In exceptional cases, an entry containing an excellent idea may be accepted in the competition even if, due to special circumstances, it has not been possible to test the idea in practice.