Geneva Challenge
17 November 2023

The Geneva Challenge Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

In 2014, the Geneva Graduate Institute launched the Advancing Development Goals Contest, known as the Geneva Challenge, thanks to the vision and generosity of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and the patronage of the late Kofi Annan.

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. It aims to stimulate interdisciplinary problem solving and analysis on development, and encourages master students from around the world to bridge the gap between their studies and real development policy.

In a world riven by geopolitical tensions, and with our common future hanging in the balance, it is undeniable that we need to aim for systemic and long-term sustainability.

What does systemic sustainability imply? First, it means an integrative perspective on contemporary challenges. This in turn calls for the courage to embrace complexity and decide under uncertainty. Second, it comes with a long-term projection and strong orientation to solutions. But what we need are solutions that break with the past and are in a deep sense (re)-generative. This again calls for courage — the courage to think critically and to combine critical with constructive thinking. Finally, systemic sustainability is impossible without the vital desire for hope and a powerful form of pragmatic utopianism. We have to believe in the future and construct it together — and here the role of younger generations is key!

Marie Laure Salles, Director, Geneva Graduate Institute

As a globally connected academic institution, the Geneva Graduate Institute strives to create spaces for present and future citizens of the world to exercise agency in pondering and innovatively resolving challenges of the future. It is therefore proud to be hosting an international contest such as the Geneva Challenge.

The impressive number of young students from around the world who, every year, submit collaborative proposals for solutions to a range of substantial challenges in the realm of sustainable development, is a clear testimony of the ability of the Challenge to act as a catalyst for integrated approaches. Their ability to collaborate, across countries, universities and thematic interests has been impressive and a wonderful provider of hope for the future.”

Michael Møller, Chair of the Geneva Challenge Jury

The Geneva Graduate Institute is looking forward to welcome the five finalist teams of the 2023 Geneva Challenge next week. The Award Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 21 November at 18:30 at the Maison de la paix. We will have the honour of beginning the ceremony with an online keynote address by the eminent Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was awarded, together with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.


The Geneva Challenge

10th Anniversary Report

Learn more about the achievements of the international competition.
Award Ceremony of the 2023 Geneva Challenge


21 November 2023 , 18:30 - 20:00 Auditorium A1B, Maison de la Paix, Geneva