About the Competition
Each year, six young people – one from each 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.
The winner is expected to implement his big idea and keep UNEP updated on his progress by producing videos and blogs that will be shared on the Young Champions website.
- Young Champions of the Earth aims to nurture the next generation of environmental leaders. Through networks and partnerships, they aim to connect Young Champions with business leaders, scientific innovators, national-level policymakers, and United Nations experts, among many other communities.
- Six Young Champions winners will receive intensive, tailored training designed to help them kick-start their environmental ambitions. This will involve a week-long entrepreneurship “bootcamp” in Europe in the first quarter of 2018. The week will include an insiders’ tour of Covestro’s innovation labs and visits to other hotspots of European innovation.
- Winners will be introduced to high-level policymakers and UN experts at the Champions of the Earth Gala Dinner in Nairobi in December 2017. The winners’ visit to Nairobi will include meetings with noteworthy environmental changemakers and tours of groundbreaking environmental startups. They also aim to connect Young Champions winners with high-profile mentors who are eager to support them in their journeys.
How to Apply
- To apply, complete Section 1 of the application form, providing a valid email address of your sponsor. You can find the application form here.
- Your sponsor will then receive an email inviting him or her to complete Section 2 by 18 June 2017.
- A sponsor is an individual who, by completing Section 2 of the application form, vouches for the viability of your big idea and your ability to successfully implement it. He or she may sponsor only one application per year and assumes no responsibility (financial or otherwise) for you or your proposals in the context of this competition. Your sponsor must fall into one of the following categories:
- Senior staff person at a registered and reputable environmental or youth-focused organization;
- University professor; or
- Senior staff person at a business that has received third party recognition for its sustainability efforts (e.g. through prizes, media coverage, affiliation with initiatives like the UN Global Compact, or membership of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).
The selection process has three stages: preliminary, public, and final.
- The preliminary application period will run from 22 April to 18 June 2017. Each applicant will be required to submit responses to a series of questions and obtain a sponsor’s recommendation. A total of 30 Regional Finalists—five per world region—will be selected and notified by mid-July.
- Regional Finalists will be asked to respond to individually tailored questions and submit short videos pitching their big ideas. In August, members of the public will be able to view, critique, and rate the Regional Finalists’ big ideas. This will inform the selection of 12 World Finalists by early September.
- In the final stage of the selection process, a Global Jury will review the World Finalists’ big ideas and choose six Young Champions (one per world region). The winners will be notified by the end of September and invited to attend the Champions of the Earth Gala Dinner in Nairobi on 5 December 2017. At this point, their names will be formally announced to the public and global media.
In the first stage of the selection process, all applications will be judged by Regional Juries according to the following criteria:
- The 3 Ps – The positive impact your big idea could have on the environment (planet) and society (people), and its financial viability (prosperity).
- Demonstrated commitment – Bonus points may be awarded if you have already attempted to implement your big idea and can report on any trial runs, prototypes, or preliminary research results.
- The 3 Cs – Evidence that you are a curious, courageous, and colourful individual.
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – The potential contribution of your big idea to the attainment of the environment-related UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Sponsor – The strength of your sponsor’s recommendation.
Six Young Champions of the Earth are selected every year, one from each global region (Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, and West Asia). Each winner receives the following:
- US $15,000 in seed funding;
- Attendance at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, December 2017, and the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 2018 (all expenses paid);
- An introduction to over 100 environment ministers at the Champions of the Earth Gala Dinner;
- Publicity and recognition through online and global media;
- Access to high-profile mentors and customized training in communications, project planning, financial management, etc.
- Participation in an intensive, one-week entrepreneurship course in Europe in the first quarter of 2018 (all expenses paid).
The Young Champions will be required to contribute one blog post and one video per month between December 2017 and September 2018, so that the public can follow their implementation journeys on the Young Champions website.
To contact, visit email@example.com.
For more information about the competition, click here.