Students & Campus
25 January 2022

The Geneva Challenge 2022: Innovative Solutions to the Challenges of Poverty Reduction

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

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 9th edition is “The Challenges of Poverty Reduction”.

"We are excited that this year’s contest addresses the challenges of poverty reduction,” says Prof. Martina Viarengo, Chair of the Academic Steering Committee of the Geneva Challenge. “Today, more than 700 million people around the world still live in extreme poverty. And now COVID has reversed what were at least positive trends and is making things worse.  Both poverty rates and inequalities are once again rising.  How to combat this trend is at the core of current academic, political, and policy debates. The complexity of this global challenge calls for an interdisciplinary response. We look forward to receiving the project proposals from the student teams.”

Ninety-seven million people fell into extreme poverty in 2020. New research suggests that by 2030, two-thirds of the extreme poor in the world will be living in countries with economies so fragile that rapid and intensified action will be necessary if global poverty goals are to be met. In other countries, meanwhile, the poor face widening income inequality, as well as hunger and malnutrition; limited access to education, health and other services; and social exclusion.  In light of all this, the Advancing Development Goals Contest calls upon graduate students from around the world to develop innovative interdisciplinary solutions that address the global challenges of poverty reduction.

For the Geneva Challenge 2021, 290 teams composed of 1,176 graduate students from 115 countries registered to take part. Building on this success, we invite students from around the world to register before April 20th 2022 for this year’s edition.

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.

Discover more information on The Geneva Challenge 2022.