Ideas for Action, a joint program of the World Bank and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, is a youth competition centered around financing sustainable development. Every year, students and young professionals from around the world participate to design ideas for financing and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Winners of the competition present their ideas during the IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings, receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young leaders as well as some of the most senior decision-makers in international development, academia, and the private sector.
Today’s youth will be responsible for implementing the newly adopted 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the UN in September 2015. The SDGs are an ambitious and transformative set of goals, covering a broad range of interconnected issues, from sustainable economic growth, to social issues, to global public goods. To realize this vision, a just-as-ambitious plan for financing and implementation is needed.
In July, UN member states endorsed a financing for development action agenda, which outlines a wide range of different action areas and commitments for the international community. Youth engagement and innovation will be critical for success. The Ideas for Action competition engages young people from around the world to encourage them to develop and share their ideas for financing solutions to deliver the SDGs.
The competition is intended to help catalyze a global conversation among young people all around the world. Conversations happen virtually, over social media networks, and in person, and we hope that you will engage with others who share your passion for international development.
Registration and Submission
Eligibility: Students and young professionals between the ages of 14-18 years and 18-35 years from around the world are invited participate.
Team Registration: Teams must consist of two to six members and may be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, countries, nationalities, etc. We recommend all teams to register for our listserv above to receive updates on I4A programs and events leading up to the competition deadline.
Submission: Proposals must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format using the SurveyMonkey link below.
The finalists and winners will be selected by a panel of academics and experienced development professionals from public and private sector institutions. Winners of the competition get the opportunity to:
- Present their ideas at an event during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group,
- Receive support from a project incubator at the Wharton School, and
- Benefit from unique networking opportunities with experts from international development, academia, and the private sector.
Your proposal should include the following:
- Title and team name
- Short abstract
- Explanation of the problem and context: Briefly describe the problem that your proposal is addressing.
- Your solution: Succinctly describe your idea (including design, target population, stakeholders, incentives, and implementation)
- Expected impact: Why is it relevant?
- Are there similar examples? If so, where and how?
- Challenges: What are challenges you might face and how can they be addressed?
- Deadline for proposal submissions: February 28, 2018 at 11:59PM (PST)
- Announcement of submissions selected for the final round*: Early April 2018
- Announcement of winners: May 31, 2018
* Teams may be asked to amend their proposals for the final round if recommended by the jury.