2019 Global Social Innovation Challenge

Published: 1 year ago | 0 comments

2019 Global Social Innovation Challenge

A social venture competition for students focused on sustainable change

The GSIC is a social venture competition that recognizes, resources, and rewards student-led social ventures focused on sustainable change. Students who enter the challenge get to choose an issue to address but are asked to align their efforts to one (or more) of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forward by the UN. Instead of jumping straight to a solution, in Round 1, students must first deeply study and analyze the problem.

Participants will:

  • Develop a nuanced understanding of a social or environmental issue, and identify gaps in the approaches currently deployed to solve this issue.
  • Create a viable business plan based on a new potential solution that can address these gaps.
  • Have the opportunity to pitch their venture to a panel of judges for up to $50,000 in funding and other resources.
  • Gain invaluable entrepreneurial experience, mentoring, and network connections to propel their changemaking journey to the next level.


February 27, 2019
Student Round 1 Submissions (“The Problem”) are due

April 25, 2019 (day after LDOC)
Student Round 2 Submissions (“The Solution”) are due

May 1, 2019
Duke finalist teams will be selected and pitch feedback sessions will be made available.

June 7, 2019
Round 3 Pitch Decks are due a week before the pitching date

June 14-16, 2019
Selected Duke finalist students pitch their proposed innovative solutions (in-person or virtually) at the Global Social Innovation Challenge Final in San Diego, California, USA.

Application Information:

Be sure to read the FAQs for students to answer any of your questions! If something is not clear, please

The application link on the Global Social Innovation website will not go live until February, so in the meantime,  students should prep all their documents based on the requirements and simply upload them when the platform goes live on Students can fill out this Qualtrics form to express interest, stay up to date, and receive a notification when the platform goes live!

*Any current student (as of December 2018) of a participating institution can participate in the GSIC individually or as part of a team (with a maximum of five members per team). At least one team member must be a current undergraduate / postgraduate/ doctoral student as of at any of the participating institutions. The rest of the team members can be from any walk of life (i.e. belong to the same institute OR another participating institute or another non-participating institute, or not be a student at all)!


See video recap of last year’s challenge here.

Stay Connected. Join our Mailing List for Duke I&E Updates.

Sign Up Now