Are you a young African with a desire to collaborate with others who share your passion for creating positive change starting from the local level? If you are a student, professional, community activist, change-maker, or simply someone interested in making a difference on the continent and in the world, the SDG Innovation Challenge is the place to be!
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. Since 2020, this challenge has called upon participants to employ creativity, collaboration, and complex thinking to tackle problems measurably and systematically.
Innovation is a force that sets the engine of sustainable development running, uncovering initiatives that build resilience, contribute to more equitable resource distribution, further inclusion, alleviate environmental stress, and so on! Moreover, we emphasize collaboration and partnerships, in alignment with SDG 17 (Partnerships For The Goals), as a central axis around which our efforts are oriented!
With this background, we present the SDG Innovation Challenge 2023, which builds upon its precedents to create a bigger space for expanded outreach and broader horizons! Coinciding with the Global Goals Week (15 -23 September) the SDG Innovation Challenge 2023 supports the annual week of action, awareness, and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals, promising to join hands with over 150 global partners to mobilize, demanding urgency to turn it around for the global goals and supercharge solutions for people and the planet.
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:
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:
Once again, don’t forget to join the Pre-Event Connector Space here!
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:
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.
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.
Register today and join a unique pan-African ideation space for young people to come together in developing and connecting practical solution ideas to grassroots challenges while pushing the needle at a global scale.
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!
Registration for the challenge happens on a group basis. Please see the “How to Participate” section for more.
Candidates must be in interdisciplinary teams of 4-7 when registering. To further cross-sector collaboration and facilitate initial team formation, we encourage motivated young people to connect with peers from across the continent and find their teammates in order to register participation
All registrations will be screened and undergo a pre-selection. Selected participants will be confirmed by 11 September 2023
The ideation marathon will happen virtually and spans over 48 hours. Teams be guided through our a seven-step process to develop sustainable development ideas, which they must submit by the end of the event.
Innovation teams who have successfully completed the SDG innovation Challenge will have the opportunity to get their idea into the open to garner support in their networks AND make a point about the importance of sustainable development and the SDGs.
A panel of esteemed judges selects the winning innovation teams based on a multi-fold approach including diversity, impact potential, and more.
During the Award Ceremony, winning teams present their project idea to a global audience and receive the Award-Winning package.
The SDG Innovation Challenge is where motivated young Africans come together to co-develop practical innovations that further sustainable development of their local communities.
We are thrilled to introduce you to the passionate and dedicated team behind the 2023 edition of the SDG Innovation Challenge. The organizers have come together to drive positive change and inspire innovative solutions across Africa, that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Meet African Youth SDGs Summit
Meet TECHFARM Hub
Meet Youth Advocates Ghana
Meet Innovent labs Africa
Meet GrassRoots Hub
Meet Melton Foundation
Meet Global Goals Week
The African Youth SDGs Summit is Africa’s largest youth forum on the Sustainable Development Goals. Launched in 2017, the Summit has evolved to bring together a multi-sector coalition of youth, development experts, government and UN entities, NGOs, and the private sector to work together on creating the Africa we want.
In 2023, the continent’s largest youth summit in sustainable development will convene for the 5th time! For more information and to register, click here.
TECHFARM Hub is an Innovation and Business Development Hub promoting disruptive knowledge, mindset, skills, technologies, and resources to upscale young Innovators, Entrepreneurs, Agripreneurs, and Startups who solve pertinent challenges and become productive and profitable.
Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) is a Ghana-based NPO dedicated to restoring hope, educating and improving the well-being of vulnerable children, young people, and their communities. Among different projects and initiatives, YAG has been spearheading the organization of the African Youth SDGs Summit, an Africa-wide advocacy platform to further SDG awareness and attainment.
Innovent Labs Africa is an advisory firm offering customised solutions and services across the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem including start-ups, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Academic and Research Institutions and Governments across Africa.
GrassRoots Hub is an eco-entrepreneurship and SDGs Innovation Lab with a global community of grassrooters sharing and generating insights and ideas to ensure impact from local communities to a global level. GrassRoots Hub educates, innovates, and incubates start-ups and connects accelerators to leading companies, research institutions, foundations, non-profits, and investors.
An international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Melton Foundation promotes and enables global citizenship as a way for individuals and organizations to work together across boundaries of place and identity to solve challenges in an interconnected world. Through a global fellowship and collaborative programs in and beyond six global citizenship hubs, the Melton Foundation contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by converging individuals and organizations from diverse cultures, regions, and backgrounds to shape fresh narratives of and shared value through deep collaborations and powerful actions.
The Global Goals Week coalition unites over 150 partners worldwide to raise SDG ambition during the UN General Assembly High-level Week and beyond.