Global Shapers Innovation Prize Last updated: March 2024

In collaboration with Accenture and the Global Alliance for Youth, we are proud to launch an Innovation Prize.

Our Innovation Prize will empower young changemakers worldwide to accelerate positive and lasting change through collective action. The prize will reward inspiring, uplifting, impactful hub projects with grant funding and valuable training, mentorship and coaching.


  1. What is the Innovation Prize?
  2. Who should apply?
  3. How can I apply?
  4. What are the scoring criteria?
  5. What will prize winners receive?
  6. When will winners be announced?
  7. Frequently asked questions

Innovation Prize

Our Innovation Prize represents a significant step forward in our global efforts to support youth-led projects that are capable of driving meaningful social change. Innovation Prize grants will support the most promising projects aiming to transform, amplify, and accelerate the work of Global Shapers. Our prize will specifically offer:

  • Funding for promising projects: Our prize will provide crucial financial support to the most promising projects led by Global Shapers. Projects will be selected based on their potential to deliver significant lasting impact in local communities and beyond.
  • Supporting underserved areas: Recognizing the importance of reaching those who are often left behind, the Innovation Prize is committed to supporting project delivery in hard-to-reach and/or underserved areas around the world. This commitment ensures that innovative solutions are brought to communities that need them the most.
  • Building bridges between generations: Our prize seeks to create invaluable linkages and learning opportunities between experienced business leaders and young changemakers. By fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, this initiative aims to harness the combined power of experience and fresh perspectives to drive change.

Who should apply?

All Global Shapers and hubs can now apply to the Innovation Prize until 20 March for a chance to unlock funding to help maximize the impact and scale of your solutions. Projects can be either early stage solutions or proven scalable solutions. To be eligible for the prize:

  • Submitted projects must have commitment from a minimum of three hub members, and the support of your hub's Curatorship, to ensure projects are delivered in 2024.
  • Your hub must be able to receive charitable funds from Switzerland (as a registered legal entity with a bank account or have a signed agreement with a fiscal sponsor).
  • Submitted projects should be uploaded to TopLink and fulfill our usual project criteria.

How can I apply?

Our Innovation Prize will begin with a global call for ideas. Before submitting your solution, convene all hub members and carefully consider which of your hub's projects has the highest potential for lasting impact. Reflect on your hub's unique strengths and read through the Prize selection criteria. Each hub can submit one project for consideration, including how funding (from 2'000 to 10'000 CHF) will help accelerate your impact.

When you're ready, submit your project via Qualtrics before Wednesday 20 March. You will be asked the answer the following questions in the short application form:

  • Sponsors: Provide at least 3 hub members who are championing this hub project.
  • Grant type: Early-stage solution (<5'000 CHF) or scalable solution (<10'000 CHF).
  • TopLink ID: To be eligible, projects must have been submitted on TopLink.
  • Project name: This should reflect the essence of your solution and be compelling.
  • Impact area: Select up to two of our community's six impact areas.
  • Project solution: Describe a local challenge and how your solution will address it.
  • Project pitch: If you had 1 minute to pitch your project, what would you say?
  • Impact: Outline your impact goals including measurable outcomes and targets.
  • Criteria: How is your solution innovative, inclusive, feasible and scalable?
  • Funding: How will you use the Innovation Prize funding to achieve your objectives?
  • Mentorship: Which type of mentorship or support would be most helpful to you?

What are the scoring criteria?

Applications will be reviewed by a diverse set of experienced judges who will leverage the below criteria and a discussion-based evaluation process to select this year’s winners.

  • Impact: Projects have the potential to make a positive, measurable, and lasting impact on a targeted group of people or the planet / specific ecosystems.
  • Innovation: Projects apply a novel approach, new technology, creative impact model or unique partnership for solving a local challenge.
  • Inclusivity: Projects are designed with and for underserved and/or diverse populations, and hubs demonstrate a deep understanding of these needs.
  • Feasibility: Hub members of submitted projects have a realistic, practical and collective plan for implementing the solution locally, including funding it.
  • Scalability: Projects have the potential to scale or be replicated across communities and geographies.

We are looking for projects across our community's six impact areas, including:

  • Reskilling for the future: Projects that increase access to education, skills, jobs and the internet, and promote entrepreneurship, ethical innovation, or digital literacy.
  • Protecting the planet: Projects that reduce emissions, fight drought, preserve biodiversity, conserve nature or promote circular economy solutions and sustainability.
  • Creating inclusive communities: Projects that advocate for human rights, advance social justice or disrupt harmful stereotypes related to gender, race or disability.
  • Improving health and wellbeing: Projects that improve access to services for mental health, reproductive health and infectious diseases to achieve better health outcomes.
  • Strengthening civic engagement: Projects that aim to strengthen democracy, mobilize voters, influence policy change or inspire young people to run for office.
  • Delivering basic needs: Projects that are combating hunger, poverty, homelessness or providing other necessary support to vulnerable groups.

What will prize winners receive?

Innovation Prize winners will unlock access to:

  • Dedicated Funding: Prize Winners will receive grant funding to bring their projects to fruition or scale, enabling them to make a positive impact on the world. Early-stage solutions will be eligible for 2'000-5'000 CHF and proven scalable solutions will be eligible for 5'000-10'000 CHF, depending on the project's unique needs and status.
  • Upskilling Opportunities: We are committed to nurturing and enhancing the skills of our Prize Winners through comprehensive training , mentorship, and coaching opportunities. Winners will receive personalized support depending on their needs, on project management, monitoring and evaluation, partnerships and collaboration, technology and innovation, legal and compliance, and storytelling and global visibility.

When will winners be announced?

Projects can be submitted until the deadline of Wednesday 20 March 2024. After this, applications will be reviewed by a diverse set of experienced judges who will leverage the selection criteria and a discussion-based evaluation process to select this year’s winners. Each year, winners will be announced by the selection jury during the Global Shapers Annual Summit, this year taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10-12 July 2024.


Where can I find more information about the application criteria?

To find more information about the application criteria, take a look at the Open House session recording and slide deck.

Can a cross-hub initiative apply?

A cross-hub initiative is elegible to apply, but only one grant will be awarded for the project. Make sure you are very clear in the application about how the funds will be distributed to other hubs that are participating in the cross-hub inititiave, if applicable.

We have already received a grant from the Climate Reality Project. Can we also apply for the Innovation Prize?

Yes, you can submit your application for the Innovation Prize if you have already been received a grant application from the Climate Reality Project. We understand that meaningfully scaling a project may need more resources. We will also try to award hubs that have not yet received financial support in order to reach as many hubs as possible.

If selected for the Innovation Prize, when will we receive the funds for the project?

As soon as the finalists are confirmed, we will initiate the process to transfer funds to your hub or fiscal sponsor. This can take between 1-2 months, so the hub should expect to receive funding for their project around September.

How long will we have to implement the project?

Hubs will have until December 2024 to implement the initial stage of their project. The project should be completed and the funding spent a year after the award was announced, in July 2025. A project report will also be due at this time.