Geneva Challenge
22 December 2020

The Geneva Challenge 2021: An Opportunity to Address the Challenges of Crisis Management

The Geneva Challenge brings together graduate students from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives to provide innovate and pragmatic solutions to some of the world’s complex challenges. This year, we welcome master students to address the challenges of crisis management.

The Geneva Challenge is a project funded by Swiss Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and supported by the late Kofi Annan, who was the contest’s high-patron. This international competition for master students aims to stimulate interdisciplinary problem solving and analysis. Open to teams of three to five students from all academic programmes and from anywhere in the world, the theme for the 2021 contest is “The Challenges of Crisis Management”.

Currently, as the world faces unparalleled levels of challenges, there seems to be no end to the many crises that permeate borders, such as, world hunger, poverty, conflict, climate shocks, migration, unemployment and more recently the pandemic, we are currently facing. Recovering from the pandemic and the myriad of interconnected crises should involve addressing them in ways that call for a transformative change, reduce risks from future crises, attempt to close the inequalities gap and reinvigorate the implementation efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Overall, crisis management concerns a multitude of groups and has a strategic impact on human development, productivity, economic growth and long-run development of countries and regions around the world. Therefore, a call for innovative and crosscutting proposals accounting for the context and the multitude of potential actors involved is critical.

“This is a very timely and exciting topic”, said Marie-Laure Salles, Director of the Graduate Institute. “Responding to crises requires both a global response and sustainable efforts at the local and international levels. It is crucial to tailor strategies and response mechanisms that resolve current crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and avert future ones. Due to its complex nature, the process of managing crises requires an interdisciplinary response to effectively navigate threats and risks. We look forward to receiving the student teams’ project proposals.”

For the Geneva Challenge 2020, 366 teams composed of 1,368 graduate students from 102 different countries registered to take part. Building on this success, we invite students and their teams from around the world to register before 22 March 2021.

Five finalist teams, one per continent, will be invited (complying with COVID-19 restrictions; travel and accommodation expenses covered) to give an oral presentation of their projects before a panel of high-level experts at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. The winning project will be awarded CHF 10,000, the two teams in second place will receive CHF 5,000 and the two teams in third place, CHF 2,500.

Further information on The Geneva Challenge 2021.

2021 Geneva Challenge | The Challenges of Crisis Management