Geneva Challenge
30 November 2023

Celebrating a Decade of Impact with the Geneva Challenge 2023 Winners

Last week, the Geneva Graduate Institute welcomed the five finalist teams for the Award Ceremony of the 10th edition of the Geneva Challenge. This international competition for master students was launched in 2014 thanks to the vision and generosity of  Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and the patronage of the late Kofi Annan.

The year 2023 was a special edition of the Geneva Challenge as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. For the last ten years, the Geneva Challenge has aimed to empower students worldwide to engage in thinking, daring, dreaming and imagining sustainable futures and solutions. We take pride in having brought together over 10,000 graduate students over the past decade, divided into more than 2100 teams, from more than 200 universities and representing more than 100 nationalities from all regions of the world. 

“The Geneva Challenge is a collective drive, hence a collaboration across the world on some of the most urgent issues of our world. Seeing how engaged and committed the young generation is gives me hope and revives my conviction that however dire our straits, we just have to keep aiming for peace, justice and sustainability together and that it is precisely together that we can make significant progress in that direction.”

Marie Laure Salles, Director, Geneva Graduate Institute    

For the 2023 edition, teams of graduate students submitted creative and innovative projects to address the complex and multifaceted challenges of loneliness. As underlined by Michael Møller, Chair of the Geneva Challenge Jury and former Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, loneliness is an under-appreciated global public health threat that needs urgent and sustained attention. In his keynote address during the award ceremony, Professor Abhijit Banerjee, co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, stressed that the experience of loneliness is prevalent in all societies around the world, among people from all socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and genders, affecting every facet of health, wellbeing and development.

The first prize was awarded to Team Latin America for their groundbreaking project entitled "Historias Con Punche", a meticulously crafted initiative aimed at reducing loneliness through participatory arts among Peruvian elderly people in Villa El Salvador. The project sheds light on ways of improving emotional and mental well-being, promoting lifelong learning, preserving cultural heritage, and creating friendly communities that are both strong and inclusive, employing artistic methods that are easily transferable and sustainable. 

Team Africa with their project “Grand-Guru Enclave”, and Team Europe with their project “GenerAzioni”, won the second prizes. Third places went to Team Asia with their project “Tanda-Nan”, and Team North America with the project “Nyaya”. 

In his concluding words, Michael Møller announced the theme for the 2024 edition of the Geneva Challenge, which will be on the Challenges of Youth Empowerment. In the light of the rising global youth population and its vital role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the landscape of youth engagement and empowerment is complex, grappling with numerous and multifaceted challenges in the forms of disparities, inaccessibility, and exclusion worldwide. Nevertheless, Michael Møller stressed that it is imperative that we all understand that only integrated, collaborative, networked and preventive approaches will allow us to ensure a sustainable and healthy environment for the generations to come. Through this new edition, which will be formally launched at the beginning of 2024, the Geneva Challenge encourages the youth to seek meaningful partnerships in their collective pursuit of impactful and lasting solutions. 

2023 Geneva Challenge Award Ceremony - The Challenges of Loneliness
The Geneva Challenge

10th Anniversary Report

Learn more about the achievements of the international competition.
The Geneva Challenge

2023 Finalists – The Challenges of Loneliness

Five out of 216 teams were amongst the finalists of the 10th anniversary edition of the Geneva Challenge, due to their innovative projects.