UN Environment Young Champions of the Earth Competition 2018 (US$15,000 in seed funding & all expenses paid trip to high-level UN meeting)

Become a Young Champion of the Earth

Application Deadline: 2nd April 2018

You want to change the world. Young Champions of the Earth aims to celebrate and support individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact.

In 2018, seven young people – selected from every global region – will be named Young Champions of the Earth. These winners receive seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentorship to help them bring their big environmental ideas to life.

Whose big idea will change the world? Following an open call for applications, UN experts will short-list 35 Regional Finalists who will be subjected to an online public vote, informing the selection of 14 World Finalists. A Global Jury will then select the seven 2018 winners.

Each winner will be expected to implement their big idea and keep us updated on their progress by producing videos and blogs that we will share on our website.

In parallel, up to 50 of the most promising applicants will be granted privileged access to an expert community of Covestro mentors offering insights on topics ranging from communications and business development to project planning and financial management.


In 2018, seven Young Champions of the Earth will be selected from each global region: one from each of Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and West Asia; and two from Asia and the Pacific. Each winner will receive the following:

  • US$15,000 in seed funding;
  • Attendance at a high-level UN meeting (all expenses paid);
  • An introduction to dignitaries at the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony;
  • Publicity and recognition through online and global media;
  • Access to a community of Covestro experts offering insights and mentoring; and
  • Participation in an entrepreneurial training program provided by The DO School.

The 2018 Young Champions will be required to share their implementation journeys through blogs and vlogs posted on this website for a period of up to one year.


  • More than just an honorary title, Young Champions of the Earth aims to nurture the next generation of environmental leaders.
  • Up to 50 applicants who clearly articulate their skills requirements and demonstrate a strong willingness to learn will be granted privileged access to an online mentoring programme.
  • They will be able to seek technical guidance and professional advice from a broad community of experts drawn from Covestro’s 16,000 global staff members. These mentors will share their experience through webinars, thematic online roundtables and individual support. Topics of strategic relevance such as communications, project planning and financial management, will be explored in depth with the aim of strengthening the viability and impact of mentees’ ventures.

Selection criteria

In the first stage of the selection process, all applications will be judged by United Nations experts according to the following criteria:

  1. The 3 Ps – The positive impact your big idea could have on the environment (planet) and society (people), and its financial viability (prosperity).
  2. The 3 Cs – Evidence that you are a curious, courageous, and colourful individual.
  3. Demonstrated commitment – It is important that you have already attempted to implement your big idea for at least 6 months and can outline achievements and/or developments to date.
  4. Endorsement – The strength of your referee’s recommendation.



  • Application Period 27 February to 2 April
    The application portal will be accessible through the Young Champions website.
  • Regional Review Period 3 April to 1 May
    UN Experts will review all applications and shortlist 35 regional finalists.
  • Submission of video pitches 7 to 21 May
    The regional finalists will prepare and submit short videos pitching their big ideas.
  • Online public vote 11 to 25 June
    The public will vote for their favorite regional finalists and their projects.
  • Global Review Period 2 to 6 July
    Informed by public sentiment, a global jury will select seven Young Champions.
  • Award ceremony Late 2018
    The seven Young Champions will be recognised at the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony.


How to Apply:

The 2018 application portal will open on 27 February and close on 2 April 2018. The selection process has three rounds.

  1. The open call for applications will run from 27 February to 2 April 2018. Each applicant will be required to submit responses to a series of questions and upload a referee’s letter of endorsement.
  2. A total of 35 Regional Finalists—drawn from every world region—will be short-listed by UN experts and requested to submit short videos pitching their big ideas. In mid-June, they will be subjected to an online public vote informing the selection of 14 World Finalists.
  3. In the final stage, a Global Jury will review the World Finalists’ big ideas and choose seven Young Champions of the Earth. The winners will be invited to attend the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony in September 2018, at which point, their names will be publicly announced.

The winners will be expected to implement their big ideas and provide progress updates in the form of videos and blogs that will be shared on this website.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Young Champions of the Earth



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