Social Shifters Global Innovation Challenge

Supercharging the next generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to tackle the social or environmental issues that matter to them most.

gic team

Grant funding awards of up to $10,000 for the best ideas, 1-2-1 coaching for all finalists PLUS free access to our digital incubator for all applicants globally!

Play Icon

Accelerating Next Gen Leaders, Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Social Shifters are next generation leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs with fresh solutions to today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

We’re looking for creative ideas, projects, and business solutions to the problems that matter most to you and your community. We welcome ideas at any stage and from anywhere in the world.

SOUND GOOD TO YOU?

WHY YOU SHOULD
TAKE PART

Unlock Our Potential

UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL

Develop your skills, confidence and future prospects with help from skilled mentors and as part of a supportive global community.

Accelerate Your Idea

ACCELERATE YOUR IDEA

Get FREE access to a world-leading Digital Incubator program to help develop your project or business idea.

Make an impact

MAKE AN IMPACT

Compete for awards of up to $10,000 to deliver activities that improve lives, help communities, and protect the planet.

The Sustainable
Development Goals

To enter the Social Shifters Global Innovation Challenge your idea must contribute towards at least one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. You can submit your idea into one (or more) SDG categories, plus one of our special challenge awards!

development goals

SPECIAL CHALLENGE
AWARDS 2023

refugee challenge

REFUGEE CHALLENGE

Ideas to help refugees & enable them to live settled lives.

Supported by

amazon logo

climate change

CLIMATE CHALLENGE

Ideas to accelerate the shift to net zero.

Supported by

rathbones logo

educational challenge

EDUCATION CHALLENGE

Ideas to deliver universal access to free and high quality education.

Supported by

fitch group logo

water challenge

WATER CHALLENGE

Ideas to help provide safe and affordable drinking water for all.

Supported by

cemex logo

MEET OUR
PREVIOUS WINNERS.

slider-bg

“GROWING UP IN A COMMUNITY WITH NO ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY WAS A CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE FOR ME. THESE EXPERIENCES, COMBINED WITH MY PASSION FOR BUILDING TECH PROJECTS, LED ME TO BECOME A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR. THE KEY TRIGGER FOR ME WAS MY DESIRE TO ENSURE THAT NO OTHER CHILD HAD TO GO THROUGH WHAT I DID.”

Stanley Anignogu | 23 | Nigeria

LightEd is a social enterprise that repurposes electronic and plastic waste to build sustainable energy solutions - bringing power and light into refugee communities.
reduced inequalities Stanley
slider-bg

“I WANT BIOMEC TO BECOME THE WORLD’S REFERENCE POINT FOR PRACTICAL,HIGH QUALITY AND ECOLOGICAL PROSTHETICS, ENABLING PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCELIFE WITHOUT LIMITATIONS.”

Marta Vânia Uetela , 27, Mozambique

Marta is a Co Founder of social enterprise ‘BIOMEC’ that collects abandoned fishing nets and plastic waste from the ocean and transforms these harmful plastics into affordable 3-D printed prosthetic limbs for people with disabilities.
life below water icon climate action icon Marta good health icon
slider-bg

“I DECIDED TO START CONEDUCACIÓN BECAUSE EDUCATION CHANGED MY LIFE. AS A FIRST-GENERATION STUDENT BORN IN A LOW-INCOME NEIGHBOURHOOD IN MEDELLÍN, IT WAS EDUCATION THAT OPENED THE DOORS TO A FUTURE I WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE NOT DREAMT OF.”

Yuliana Palacio, 24, Colombia

The ConEducación Foundation is a non-profit entity that aims to close gaps in academic performance and promote access to high-quality education for less advantaged students in Colombia. Anchored in the values ​​of social responsibility , equity , community , support and empathy.
reduced inequalities Yuliana quality education
slider-bg

“I BELIEVE BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE THAT ENABLES PEOPLE TO GET ACCESS TO ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH EITHER JOBS OR BUSINESSES IS THE SUREST WAY OF IGNITING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN COMMUNITIES LIKE MINE.”

Charles Oyamo | 29 | Kenya

ReThread Africa is a project developed in Kenya that enables smallholder farmers to turn their agricultural waste into a new revenue stream that could subsidise smallholder agriculture and be the missing link to elevate farmers from the poverty bracket.
climate action icon Charles
slider-bg

“MY WORK IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW IT CAN IMPROVE PEOPLE’S LIVES. IF I CAN INSPIRE CHILDREN AND ADULTS TO DISCOVER THE WONDERS OF NATURE, TO GO OUT MORE, TO LEARN TO COOK AND EAT HEALTHY OR TO DISCOVER A HOBBY THAT WILL GIVE THEM COMFORT ON A STRESSFUL DAY – THEN I WILL TRY TO DO THAT. IF I CAN GET JUST ONE CHILD TO MAKE A HAPPY MEMORY, IT’S ALL WORTH THE EFFORT.”

Elena Höge, 30, Germany

Yaldi Games enrich their players' lives by offering engaging gameplay that enhances their skills and wellbeing. Their debut title is called Out and About, a foraging life simulator that connects you to nature with real plants and recipes!
quality education good health icon Ayikoru
slider-bg

7 IN 10 BABIES DIE ARE PREMATURE BABIES DUE TO THE INSUFFICIENT FACILITIES ON GROUND [...] MOST MOTHERS THEN OPT FOR KANGAROO SKIN TO SKIN CARE BUT MOST OF THE MOTHERS USE UNSTERILE AND LIGHT CLOTHING TO DO THIS EVEN PREDISPOSING THESE BABIES TO MORE INFECTIONS LEADING TO DEATH. IT IS WITH THIS BACKGROUND THAT I AND MY COLLEAGUES DECIDED TO COME UP WITH A SIMPLER AND MORE AFFORDABLE SOLUTION.

Comfort Peace Ayikoru | 26 | Uganda

KangaCare is a low-cost, locally made, alternative to neonatal incubators used to support the life of premature babies. A knitted double-layered carrier that embraces the Kangaroo-inspired ‘skin-to-skin’ mother care technique and is fitted with vital reading sensors, and microprocessors for infant vital sign monitoring.
reduced inequalities good health icon Elena

GIC 2023 Timeline

timeline one

TODAY

Register Now For Early Access To Support

timeline two

JUNE 26TH

Submissions Open

timeline three

AUGUST 7TH

Submission Support Starts

timeline four

AUGUST 20TH

Submissions Close

timeline five

SEPTEMBER 6TH

Digital Incubator Starts

timeline six

SEPTEMBER 22TH

Judging Begins

timeline seven

OCTOBER 9TH

Judging Ends

timeline eight

NOVEMBER 1ST

Finalists Coaching Begins

timeline nine

NOVEMBER 27TH

Finalist Pitching Begins

timeline ten

DECEMBER 8TH

Winning Projects Announced

IS THIS FOR ME?

Social Shifters Global Innovation Challenge is designed to support young people (18-30) from anywhere in the world, who want to take action on social and environmental issues that impact them and their community.

The programme is designed to provide support to young people who are at an early ‘idea stage’ as well as people and projects in the early stages of start up i.e. already delivering some services, products or activities.

Through participation in our Global Innovation Challenge you will be supported to develop your world changing idea with elearning material, live networking and skills sessions and have access to multiple grant funding opportunities. So, what are you waiting for…

group photo

Our incredible
Partners

Social Shifters couldn’t exist without the support of our incredible partnership network. Massive thanks to all of the organizations that help us to accelerate the work of young changemakers.

ABOUT SOCIAL SHIFTERS

We exist to help the next generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to make a difference in the world.

We operate on a non-profit basis, providing engaging learning experiences, practical mentoring, and a global community of support to move you, and your ideas, forward.

We’re here to help you to get your idea, project or venture off the ground, and to connect you with Shifters in every corner of the planet!

volunteer photo