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World’s Challenge Challenge seeks students passionate about aiding global issues

By Enobong Ukpong, January 10 2022—

Do you have an idea that could solve global poverty or climate change? The World’s Challenge Challenge is a contest that asks students to pitch their ideas to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the world today. 

The Gauntlet had the opportunity to talk with Jamie Charlebois, manager of International Development at the University of Calgary International, to discuss the contest.

“The World’s Challenge Challenge is an opportunity for University of Calgary students to create their own solutions to complex global problems,” said Charlebois.

Charlebois explained that students are encouraged to form a group of two to four, pick a global issue they’re passionate or knowledgeable about, and come up with an innovative solution to that problem. 

“We encourage students to work with students from other disciplines and faculties so that their pitches can be interdisciplinary, but it’s not a requirement,” said Charlebois. “We find that students from different disciplines or faculties can have different skills or different strengths that complement each other.”

Students are then asked to pitch their presentations to a panel of judges. The winners of the University of Calgary finals will be invited to a week-long conference and global competition, hosted by Western University, for the chance to win $30,000.

“It’s a good opportunity to meet other students,” said Charlebois. “Students have the opportunity to develop their critical thinking, global mindset, leadership, research and presentation skills — and those are skills that students will use throughout their academic career, and after university as well.”

Students are also provided mentors and workshops to help refine their ideas.

Charlebois’ advice for students interested but still on the fence about submitting an application? Just go for it.

“It’s a fun event to be part of. I would say just go for it. You have nothing to lose, and who knows? You might win, you’ll probably learn something, and you’ll make great friends along the way,” said Charlebois.

The deadline to apply for the World’s Challenge Challenge is Jan. 21, 2022. An information session on the World’s Challenge Challenge will be held on Jan. 13, 2022. More information can be found online.

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