THE GENEVA CHALLENGE 2020 – “The Challenges of Social Inclusion”

Deadline:  23 March 2020
Open to: enrolled master students, worldwide
Benefits: travel cost and accommodation in Geneva, prizes for the 5 winning teams


The 2020 Advancing Development Goals (ADG) International Contest for Graduate Students aims to present innovative and pragmatic solutions to address “The challenges of social inclusion”.

“Leave no one behind” is the central and transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The inclusion of this principle intends to “ensure that the 2030 goals are achieved by all segments of society and that those furthest behind will be reached first”. In order to achieve social inclusion, and to empower poor and marginalized people, it is timely to have a call for innovative and cross-cutting proposals for mechanisms such as socially inclusive growth and development, education, creation of decent jobs, community driven resilience development, access to technology and democratization.

Below are some pressing issues and challenges related to social inclusion:

  • Employment
  • Education and Training
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Social and Political Inclusion
  • Gender Equality
  • Community Driven Resilience Development
  • Inclusive Health Systems and the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
  • Infrastructures, New Technologies and Digital Inclusion

There is a pivotal need for an interdisciplinary approach in confronting this global issue.  Solutions to this pressing challenge should come from a broad scope of participation in various areas.

Hence we welcome students from diverse academic backgrounds to present their ideas and proposals to tackle the issue of social inclusion.


Participants of the ADG contest 2020 must be enrolled as graduate students at the time of their registration for the contest.
Participants must gather in teams of 3  to 5 graduate students, participation on an individual basis will not be admitted.
The category in which the team will be placed for the contest will be based on the continent of the universities predominantly represented within the team.
All team members must provide proof of enrollment as a graduate student before the registration of the team can be confirmed and validated.
Exceptionally, we might accept the registration of students who are transitioning into graduate studies, as long as they have already been accepted in a graduate student program at the time of the registration.


Five prizes will be distributed; one in each of the following categories (based on the UN Statistics list):
• Universities located in Africa
• Universities located in Asia
• Universities located in Europe
• Universities located in North America and Oceania
• Universities located in South America
The winning project will receive a cash prize of EUR 9,250. The two teams in second place will receive EUR 4,620 each. The two teams in third place, EUR 2,310 each.
The five finalist teams will be invited (traveling and accommodation expenses covered) 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 on the challenges of climate change.

How to Apply?

Phase 1 – Registration

The groups should register using the online registration form by 23 March 2020 before midnight (CET).
Each group must choose a team leader who will be the main (but note sole) focus point for communication with the organization of the contest.
Before the registration deadline, the proof of enrollment for all the team members must be sent online or to:

 Phase 2 – Project submission 

Submissions must be sent by email to: by 13 July 2020 before midnight (CET).

Entries must include an abstract and a project.

  • The abstract should be one page long and should include short biographies of each team member, a brief description of the problem addressed by the project and the solution, specifying in which way the proposed solution will make a difference.
  • Projects will have a maximum length of 8000 words excluding all notes, graphics and references and must be written in English or French.
  • The submissions will combine theoretical analyses, creativity, critical thinking on technical assistance, capacity building and on the agency of development.

For more information please visit their official web site.