The Geneva Graduate Institute Challenge 2024

The Geneva Challenge are Eager to stimulate reflection and innovation on development from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives and with the generous support of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin, the Graduate Institute has launched in 2014 the Advancing Development Goals Contest, an annual international competition for Master students.

Every year, the participants are invited provide contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a specific relevant international development problem stemming from an interdisciplinary collaboration between three to five enrolled master students from anywhere in the world.

Today, there are 1.8 billion youth, the largest generation of young people in history.  As the late Kofi Annan, former High Patron of the Geneva Challenge, noted, “Any society that does not succeed in tapping into the energy and creativity of its youth will be left behind.”

Young people, however, face many barriers to their empowerment. For instance, more than 333 million children live in extreme poverty and 1 billion lack access to safe drinking water and nutritious food. Two hundred fifty million children were out of school in 2023 and 600 million lacked basic literacy and numeracy. Unequal access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities in access to education – and youth unemployment continues to climb.

 Furthermore, climate change is expected to impact today’s youth and future generations particularly.

We hope that graduate students from around the world will embrace the opportunity to devise innovative solutions for these many challenges, taking an interdisciplinary approach to tackle the pressing issues of youth empowerment.

Deadline For Geneva Graduate Institute Challenge

Registration deadline:  April 22, 2024 at 23:59 CET.

Submission deadline: July 14, 2024 at 23:59 CET.

Five prizes will be distributed; one in each of the following categories :

  • Universities located in Africa
  • Universities located in Asia
  • Universities located in Europe
  • Universities located in North America and Oceania
  • Universities located in Latin America

Selection Process

Submissions are evaluated by an interdisciplinary academic steering committee that will select three submissions per category to be published on the competition’s website and then reviewed by an independent jury of experts with academic, governmental and private sector backgrounds.

Five finalist teams, one team per continent, will be invited to an oral presentation in Geneva, where they will defend their ideas and answer questions from the jury and the public. The finalists will also be invited to an awards ceremony where the contest results will be announced, preceded by a high-level keynote speech. 


The ADG contest distributes 25,000 CHF in monetary prizes. The winning project will be awarded CHF 10,000; the two teams in second place will receive CHF 5,000 each and the two teams in third place, CHF 2,500 each.

Applicants Who Are Ready Should APPLY NOW