Universitas 21 Global Ingenuity Challenge

University of British Columbia, Canada

About the program

The 2018 U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge (GIC) is an online competition that challenges teams of undergraduate students to come up with creative solutions to real-life issues. A broad theme is selected each year intended for an interdisciplinary approach to solutions and analysis using the “ingenuity” process for creative problem-solving and solution generation. This year’s theme is on Global Issues: Student Responses’. Through this theme, student teams are invited to select one of the 17 UN Sustainable Goals to devise a strategy and identify resources to engage a wide cross-section of the student body in developing an appropriate response to the goal.

UBC is a proud member of the Universitas 21 Consortium, a community of research-intensive universities which collaborate in areas of common interest to foster global citizenship and institutional innovation. The Global Ingenuity Challenge is just one of the many initiatives sponsored by the consortium to promote collaboration and innovation.


Using the interactive web-based platform ingenuityonline, participants are expected to put in a minimum ten hours’ engagement over a two-week period between April to May 2018.

Teams will complete the challenge within the two-week period. At the start, the facilitator will share further specifics on the overall theme with selected teams. During the two-week project incubation, the teams will have an opportunity to invite comments from trusted advisors. At the end of the period, each team will prepare a three-minute video presentation or pitch, which forms the basis of the entry into the competition.

For information as well as links to video entries for past GIC competitions, please visit the GIC information page on the U21 website. 


UBC can sponsor up to 4 teams of 3-5 students each. Students from any discipline are invited to particpate but are encouraged to form multi-disciplinary teams in order to capture diverse approaches to and ideas for the challenge. All students must satisfy the following criteria:

  • full-time student status as defined by your faculty
  • enrolled in an undergraduate program at UBC


Each student in the winning team will be awarded a prize of $500 USD. A grant of $1,800 USD in funding will be available to the winning team should they wish to develop their submission into a tangible project (for example, the first-prize winning teams in 2017 are in the process of developing web apps based on their winning submissions). The team will need to submit a business case with a clearly defined deliverable to receive the grant.

Apart from this competitive element, our expectation is that every team will produce a high-quality concept that can be taken forward as a practical project or initiative.

There are additional prizes for the Peers’ Choice Award ($100 USD voucher for iTunes for each winning team member).


Interested UBC students/teams can contact Alexandra Wai at go.global@ubc.ca by March 23, 2018.


Entry fees for selected teams will be covered by UBC Go Global.