Home News & Stories Save the date: SDG Innovation Challenge – 2021

Save the date: SDG Innovation Challenge – 2021

As inheritors of this planet, young people are in the pilot's seat to spearhead the sustainable development agenda and foster a new system of development grounded in knowledge sharing, cooperation, and inclusion. It is with fervent hope for a more equitable tomorrow that we raise the platform for young changemakers to collaborate on forging solutions to complex issues. Welcome to the SDG Innovation Challenge!

It is time society recognizes the potential that can be harnessed from the younger generations as agents of sustainable development at the local, national, and global levels. In order for young people to assume their roles as leaders of sustainable development, they must first recognize the importance of their actions in furthering sustainable development themselves.

Roadmap for Action: Amplifying capacity, driving change

To create an apt platform and opportunity for youth activism, advocacy for sustainable development, and policymaking aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDG Innovation Challenge was created as a pan-African ideation space for young people to come together in developing and connecting practical solution ideas for challenges faced by their local communities at the grassroots level. By converging talent from diverse sectors and backgrounds, the challenge triggers fresh thinking and builds collaboration capacity as participants learn about the SDGs and work together on developing novel, practical approaches to further sustainable development and improve livelihoods.

Designed as an online ideation marathon, the SDG Innovation Challenge leverages Design Thinking, Social Innovation, and Global Citizenship as a guiding framework for interaction. The connection to the African Youth SDGs Summit allows successful participants to pivot and elevate their solution idea at Africa’s leading platform for SDG advocacy and youth engagement!

Re-launching the SDG Innovation Challenge in 2021

Following a successful maiden event in 2020, the organizers of the SDG Innovation Challenge have announced the re-launch of the initiative this October with double the capacity.

Under the theme Youth resilience in Covid-19 era: Pathways to accelerate actions towards achieving SDGs, the organizers will host two consecutive virtual events in mid-October with a capacity of up to 100 participants per event. Once selected, small teams consisting of 4-7 participants will engage over the course of 48 hours to unpack challenges faced by their local communities and design practical solution ideas to strike at the roots of problems and tackle them bottom-up!

The solution ideas they present will then be assessed by an independent panel of judges, and the ideas with the highest evaluation will have the opportunity to pitch their proposal at the 4th African Youth SDGs Summit.

In addition, the top teams receive continued support in form of digital literacy tools for startup upscale, support for business modeling and registration, recommendations to investment match-making opportunities, access to business incubation, pro-bono mentorship, and more. To crown it all, an SDG Innovation Fund will soon launch to crowdsource financial support for leading project ideas!

Get to the heart of the SDG Innovation Challenge by revisiting the maiden event 2020 here!

Important dates and deadlines for the SDG Innovation Challenge 2021

  • 6 Sep: Registrations open & Engagement Platform launches
    (Candidates must be in interdisciplinary teams of 4-7 when registering. To further cross-sector collaboration and facilitate initial team formation, motivated young people can connect with peers from across the continent via a designated engagement platform early and find their teammates in order to register participation.)
  • 4 Oct: Registrations close
    (All registrations will be screened and undergo a pre-selection. Selected participants will be confirmed by 13 October.)
  • 18-20 Oct:  SDG Innovation Challenge I
  • 21-23 Oct:  SDG Innovation Challenge II
    (Both events will happen virtually and follow the same process. Teams will be assigned to Challenge 1 or 2 based on availability and team preference. At the end of each event, teams submit their solution idea, which will be assessed by a judging panel after concluding both challenges)
  • 2-4 Nov: Award Ceremony at the 4th African Youth SDGs Summit
    (Winning teams can present their project idea at the prestigious summit, where they will also be awarded the Award-Winning package.)

Save the date and get on board!

Initiated by Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG), GrassRoots Hub Ghana, the African Youth SDGs Summit, TECHFARM Hub, and the Melton Foundation, the SDG Innovation Challenge beckons ample participation and collaboration of motivated young people, organizations, institutions, and governments at the local, regional and global levels to make this Challenge a pivotal opportunity for sustainable development and youth empowerment in Africa!

Relive all the major impressions, takeaways, and highlights of the maiden SDG Innovation Challenge 2020 here!

We welcome organizational supporters, collaborators, and partners to engage in any capacity. If you care to join the effort, please get in touch!