Deadline: 22nd March 2020 | Age 18-35 |

Giving Young Leaders a Voice in the Global Development Conversation

Here’s your chance to present your ideas at the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group, and receive support from a project incubator.

Ideas for Action is a youth competition centered around financing sustainable development and sponsored by the World Bank Group and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research

Today’s youth will be responsible for implementing the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the UN in September 2015. The SDGs are an ambitious and transformative set of goals, covering a broad range of interconnected issues, from sustainable economic growth, to social issues, to global public goods. To realise this vision, an ambitious plan for financing and implementation is needed.

The Ideas for Action competition engages young people from around the world to encourage them to develop and share their ideas for financing solutions to deliver the SDGs.

The competition is intended to help catalyze a global conversation among young people all around the world. Conversations happen virtually, over social media networks, and in person, and we hope that you will engage with others who share your passion for international development.

We want you to join this conversation. We want you to change the world.

Eligibility: Youth between the ages 18 and 35 from around the world are invited to join.

Team Composition: This is a team competition. Teams must consist of 2 to 6 members and may  be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, countries, nationalities, etc.

Registration: Please register your teams on our website at prior to submitting your proposal. You will then receive access to resources and research materials that will help you develop your idea. In addition, you will receive all relevant updates and information on the competition and upcoming events.

Submission: Proposals must be submitted through the official Google Form application portal. For residents of China or any other country where Google is not available, there is a Survey Monkey portal where you can submit your application. Proposals from countries where Google is available which are submitted to the Survey Monkey portal will be automatically disqualified.

Estimated Timeline:

  • Deadline for proposal submissions: February 28, 2020 at 11:59PM (PST)
  • Announcement of submissions selected for the final round: Early April 2020
  • Announcement of winners: May 31, 2020

Evaluation Criteria
The first round of submissions will be evaluated according to how well teams demonstrate the following 4 attributes:

Significance: teams should be specific enough that they can go into some level of depth, but significant enough that it impacts a large number of people and/or businesses and nations.

Originality and creativity: teams should present a solution that is original and creative; submissions should present ideas that are either undeveloped or severely underdeveloped in international development research and literature.

Feasibility: teams should include a brief ‘roadmap to adoption’ that argues for the feasibility of the solution and addresses any obvious roadblocks; all submissions should be actionable and measurable; they should also be based in practicality rather than just theory. Teams are encouraged to tie their submissions to a particular country or region of the world.

Clarity: teams should present their idea in a clear and concise manner. Awards

The finalists and winners will be selected by a panel of academics and experienced development professionals from public and private sector institutions. Winners of the competition get the opportunity to:

  • Present their ideas at an event during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group,
  • Receive support from a project incubator at the Wharton School, and
  • Benefit from unique networking opportunities with experts from international development, academia, and the private sector.

Submission Requirements:
The application portal will ask for the following:

  1. Title and team name
    2. Short abstract (1000 characters)
    3. Explanation of problem and context (2000 characters) 4. Explanation of your solution (5000 characters)

Why is it relevant?
What is new about it?
By whom, what, how, and when would it be implemented?
What is the expected impact?

  1. Are there similar examples? If so, where and how? Please elaborate. (1000 characters) 6. What are challenges you might face and how can they be addressed? (1000 characters)
  2. Each team will be allowed to submit charts/graphs/pictures via a link to a Google Data Studio or Tableau Public page. This is, however, NOT a requirement for the application.

Formatting guidelines:
All appropriate information must be cited.
The submission should be sent in one of five accepted languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, or Arabic. All submissions completed in a language not listed above will be disqualified.

To see further details and begin your application, click the official link below:


Apply before 22nd March, 2020