The World Bank Group Youth Summit 2019 competition for young Changemakers (Fully Funded to World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington DC. USA)

Application Deadline:October 1, 2019 (11:59PM ET)

The 2019 World Bank Group Youth Summit Competition challenges young social entrepreneurs to submit innovative proposals for scalable enterprises that leverage smart technology to build sustainable and inclusive cities that will serve the needs of 1 million people by 2030.

The World Bank Group wants to hear from young changemakers across the globe on how we can leverage the growth of cities for more sustainable and inclusive communities.

By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, with the majority of growth in developing countries. Cities are unprecedented hubs of opportunity, but also present some of the most complex and pressing challenges of our time. Everyone has a role to play to address these challenges – governments, international organizations, non-profits, local communities, and individuals – but no one is better placed than young people to innovate and overcome the obstacles faced in an era of fast-paced, technology-driven change.

The 2019 Youth Summit Competition challenges young people to harness smart technology to:

  1. Address the rising impacts of climate change and pollution in urban cities; and/or 
  2. Promote inclusive economic growth.

The competition provides a forum for young people to identify problems in their communities and craft innovative solutions for smarter and more resilient cities. It aims to stimulate entrepreneurial problem solving and create dialogue on innovative ways to unlock obstacles that have traditionally hindered investment in smart cities.

Why Participate?

Do you have an idea that has the capacity to leverage technology to build sustainable and inclusive cities to positively impact your community, your country, and/or society at large? The 2019 Youth Summit Competition provides the opportunity to share your idea, connect with peers and high-level experts, and explore how to bring your idea to the next level


The competition is open to individuals or teams of up to 4 people aged 18 to 35, from all over the world. Prior entrepreneurial experience or business background is not required – all youth with the drive to innovate are encouraged to participate, including professionals, students and academics, NGO leaders, government officials and start-up founders.


Finalists will join the 2019 Youth Summit at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. Travel expenses will be covered including lodging for up to three nights for one representative from each finalist team.

How to Enter

Applicants should propose an innovative and action-oriented idea leveraging data technology to address pollution and climate change, or facilitate the inclusion of the urban poor in cities.

The proposed solution (i) can be aimed at business or service (e.g. product, service, program, initiative, etc.), (ii) should solve a specific problem statement or challenge, (iii) explains the proposal’s proof-of-concept and impact to date; and (iv) addresses at least one of the smart and resilient cities subthemes in the two pillars below.

Pillar 1: Tackle Pollution and Climate ChangePillar 2: Inclusive Economic Growth
·         Climate change prevention and mitigation·         Climate resilience and adaptation, including disaster risk management in urban and informal settlements·         Reduction or management of urban pollution, including air pollution, water contamination and waste management·         Urban transportation and congestion·         Green cities and green urban spaces·         Leverage the informal economy for job creation and livelihood development·         Labor market resilience of the urban poor working in industries undergoing automation·         Inclusion of women, minorities and the disabled in social and financial services·         Peer-to-peer sharing technologies·         Political, social and economic empowerment of the urban poor

Process & Deadlines 

Stage 1 – Submit your Proposal (Deadline: October  1, 2019)

Participants must submit their proposal by October 1, 2019. Proposals will be evaluated by an expert committee. Shortlisted individuals/teams will be announced by early November and will proceed to the next stage.

Stage 2 – Refine your Idea & Prepare your Pitch (November 2019)

Individuals/teams shortlisted in Stage 1 will receive feedback on their proposals and may be asked to submit further information, refine their proposals and/or submit short pitching videos. The expert committee will select finalists who will proceed to Stage 3.

Stage 3 – Pitch your Idea at the 2019 Youth Summit (2-3 December 2019)

Finalists will join the 2019 Youth Summit at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. Travel expenses will be covered including lodging for up to three nights for one representative from each finalist team. Finalists will showcase their proposals on the second day of the Summit, pitching their proposal in front of a judging panel, attending delegates, and a live-streamed online audience. One winner will be selected by the judging panel, and another winner will be voted for by the audience.

How to Apply:

Follow the following steps to enter the 2019 Youth Summit Competition:

1. Ensure you meet the Eligibility Requirements:

–        The Competition is open to individuals or teams of 1-4 people, aged 18 to 35 as of 11:59 pm ET on October 1, 2019.

–        Teams and individuals are limited to one submission each.

–        Active World Bank Group staff including consultants and interns are not eligible to participate in the Competition (active staff at the time of the submission up until the closing of the 2019 Youth Summit).

2. Prepare a proposal outlining your idea, complying with the following submission rules:

–        Proposals must be created and owned by the participants.

–        Proposals must be submitted in English.

–        Proposals shall provide an innovative and action-oriented business or policy idea that leverages technology to build sustainable and inclusive cities.

–       The problem and the proposed solution outlined by proposals must:

  1. Relate to at least one of the subthemes outlined above.
  2. Apply to a least one client country of the World Bank Group

–        Proposals must:

  1. Provide a short 2-5 sentence summary of the idea;
  2. Describe the specific problem/need that the proposed solution seeks to address; and 
  3. Describe the innovation or solution proposed to address this specific problem/need (e.g. a product, service, program, policy, course, initiative, etc.).

–        Proposals will be assessed on the following judging criteria:

  1. Clarity, scope and relevance of the problem and of the proposed solution; 
  2. Innovation and originality; 
  3. Feasibility of implementation and sustainability over time; 
  4. Potential for impact; and 
  5. Compliance with competition criteria. 

Please refer to the Competition Terms and Conditions for further information about the judging criteria.

–        Proposals must be between 1,000- 2,500 words in length (including all bodies of text, titles, headings, tables, textboxes, footnotes, endnotes, references, appendices, etc.) and must not exceed 4 pages in total.

–        The following information must be provided at the top of the first page of proposals:

  1. The names and respective countries of citizenship of the participant(s) – for teams, all team members’ names and respective countries of citizenship shall be listed; 
  2. The final word count (all-inclusive).

3. Read and ensure you accept the Competition Terms and Conditions.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2019 competition



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