Geneva Challenge
04 October 2019

Team from Weizmann Institute of Science Wins 2019 Geneva Challenge on Global Health

The Geneva Challenge, an international competition for graduate students, was launched in 2014 under the patronage of the late Kofi Annan and with the generous support of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin. This contest aims to present innovative and pragmatic solutions to address the main challenges of today’s world. 

The 2019 edition aimed to address challenges facing global health. Out of 100 project entries submitted by 410 students from teams hailing from all over the world, 16 teams were chosen as semi-finalists. The jury then selected five finalist teams, one per continent (based on the location of the university), who were invited to defend their project at the Institute.

This year’s winner is the team from the Weizmann Institute of Science with their project, Re Medic – An Integrative Solution Turning Medicines’ Excess into Access. "The typical medicine cabinet in countries enjoying good healthcare systems is full of unused, valid medications. For me, it is truly devastating to know that this excess exists when thousands of people who cannot otherwise afford medications, could benefit from them”, said team spokesperson, Fadi Sheban. “I see Re Medic as the first holistic reuse approach to this problem, tackling different aspects of medication excess”. 

Other winners included the teams from Europe (Sciences Po, Paris and Columbia University) and North America/Oceania (Yale University, Harvard University, McGill University, and University of Toronto), which were each awarded second prize ex aequo, and the teams from South America (University of Los Andes and Konrad Lorenz University Foundation) and Africa (Pan African University), which were each awarded third prize ex aequo. 

A keynote speech was delivered by Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), followed by a conversation with Ilona Kickbusch, former Director of the Graduate Institute’s Global Health Centre

A special prize was also attributed in partnership with Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth (SDSN Youth) to a team from Seoul National University, Peking University and University College London for its project, “Renewable Energy as the Game Changer in Rural Health Crisis”. 

In his congratulatory speech, Ambassador Staehelin, announced the theme for the seventh edition of the Geneva Challenge, which will be "Social Inclusion". “All around the world, various obstacles are in the way of unemployed, aging populations, indigenous people, illegal immigrants and other minorities that prevent them from fully participating in their nation’s political, economic and social life”, he said. “Leaving no one behind by addressing social exclusion is the central and transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. 

Watch interviews with and see projects from this year's Geneva Challenge finalist teams.


Watch: interview with the winning team

2019 Geneva Challenge Winner | ReMedic

Watch the 2019 Geneva Challenge award ceremony

Geneva Challenge Award Ceremony