SFU is participating in the Skoll Global Challenge along with other top schools from around the world. This is a unique competition focused on understanding social problems before trying to solve them and we’re looking for SFU students to participate around issues they are passionate about!

  • Who can apply? Individuals or teams of up to three people. You must have at least ONE SFU student (undergraduate, graduate or doctoral) or recent alumni (within 1 yr), and may include community members.
  • What’s the deadline? December 20th to complete the short registration form, and Feb 6th for your full submission to the SFU local competition round.
  • Do I need a solution idea for my problem? No, you just need a thorough understanding of the problem and current gaps or opportunities.
  • How do I apply? All the info you need is here – note the registration deadline is Dec 20th – this is just a 20 minute process.
  • What problem should my team work on? Anything you are passionate about – all the better if you have already been  working on something. We are particularly interested in learning more about:refugee and immigrant integration, informal economies, circular economy (and particularly clothing industry sustainability/recycling), sustainable food systems (including food waste and food security), precarious work, first nations economic development, and community health topics (inc. health, ageing, active transportation)
  • What do we submit? Pretty simple –  1) A visual map or representation of the issue, 2) a document or slide deck (max 2000 words), 3) bibliography of sources.
  • What can we win? Prize money, trips to Oxford and the Skoll World Forum, access to further funds and support, fame and glory.  SFU will provide at least $1,000 for the top SFU individual or team, and $500 for two runners up. There is a special $1000 local prize for the top team working on refugee settlement issues, and more funding at the national and international levels.
  • What support is there at SFU? We’re hosting a workshop in January and we’ll do our best to advise any teams looking for input on their work before the submission deadline in an informal manner. There are also lots of great resources posted by the Skoll Centre already.

More on the competition from the global host, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford:

The Global Challenge is a chance for students and recent graduates to learn more about the issues they care about and present their findings to the world.

Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context, rather than jumping straight into a business plan or an idea for a quick fix. Participants are asked to demonstrate a deep understanding of a pressing social or environmental issue by mapping out the landscape of the current solutions and identifying missing opportunities for positive change.

Winners will be invited to attend the Skoll World Forum and all finalists will have an opportunity to apply for further funding to directly ‘apprentice with a problem’ in a global location relating to their chosen topic.

More questions? Check out their FAQ, then register!
Feel free to contact Shawn with any questions you can’t find answers for on the website – ssmith@radiussfu.com.
The Global Challenge at SFU is offered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The University of Oxford, RECODE at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and the Trico Charitable Foundation.

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