Apply to Pitch at World Bank Youth Summit 2017

The World Bank Group is excited to announce the launch of the 2017 Youth Summit & Competition! This year’s Youth Summit will seek to provide the youth with a forum to voice their concerns, share their ideas and learn from one another while discussing the challenges and opportunities created by this technological shift. The Youth Summit 2017 will take place on December 4-5 in Washington D.C. to explore solutions on how to realize the promises of technological innovation together with other passionate, creative and motivated young leaders from all over the world!

On the second day of the Summit, the live final of the Youth Summit Competition ‘Technology and Innovation for Impact’ will take place. The competition finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the audience of attendees and an expert jury. If you could take advantage of today’s technology and solve any problem or need, what would it be? Would it support the World Bank Group twin goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity? Share your idea now to contribute to building the inclusive tech-world of tomorrow.

The Competition

The purpose of this competition is to challenge young people to take advantage of today’s rapidly changing technology and solve the problems that matter to them most by crafting their own solutions so that they can build the future they want. In addition, the competition also aims to inspire and create a dialogue on innovative ways to address some of the problems and needs that have also been created by this “technology revolution”, and that hinder sustainable development.

Do you have an idea that has the potential to solve a problem or need by taking advantage of the transformative potential of the digital revolution and the technological advances of our times? Does your idea positively impact your community, your country, and/or society at large? If the answer to both questions is yes, then the Youth Summit 2017 Competition gives you 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 2 to 4 people aged 18 to 35, from all over the world.
  • Teams and individuals are limited to one submission each.
  • Prior entrepreneurial experience or business background is not required.
  • All individuals with the drive to innovate are encouraged to participate, including professionals from business or policy, students and academics, NGO leaders, government officials and start-up founders.
  • Active staff of the World Bank Group (at the time of the submission up until the closing of the Youth Summit 2017), including Consultants and Interns, are not eligible to participate in the Competition.

Submission Rules

  1. Proposals must be created by and owned by the Participants.
  2. Proposals must be submitted in English.
  3. Proposals shall provide an innovative and action-oriented business-level or policy-level idea aimed at solving a problem/need that will support at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and one of the World Bank’s Twin goals of (1) Reducing poverty and (2) Boosting Shared Prosperity
  4. Proposals must comply with at least one of the following criteria:
  • The problem/need to be solved must have been caused by a technological transformation
  • The idea/solution must use a technological component (such as ICTs) to solve the developmental problem/need.
  • The problem/need and the proposed solution outlined in the Proposals must relate to at least one of the sub-themes of the Youth Summit 2017 and should apply to a least one client country of the World Bank Group.
  1. Proposals must:
  • Provide a short 2-5 sentences summary of the idea,
  • Describe which Sustainable Development Goal it will support and which YS Sub-theme it relates to,
  • Describe the specific problem/need that the proposed solution seeks to address, and
  • Describe the solution proposed to address this specific problem/need (e.g. a product, service, program, policy, course, initiative etc.).
  1. Proposals must be between 1,000-2,500 words in length, including all bodies of text, titles, headings, tables, textboxes, footnotes, end-notes, references, appendices etc. – and must not exceed 4 pages in total.
  2. The following information must be provided at the top of the first page of the proposal: (a) the names of the Participant(s) submitting the Proposal – for teams, all team members’ names shall be listed; (b) the final word count (all-inclusive).

To write your proposal, you can refer to the Writing Tips, which provide a resource to help you structure and develop your proposal – referring to these tips is not mandatory; proposals will be judged solely based on the Judging Criteria and Submission Rules.

Judging Criteria

  • Clarity, scope and relevance of the problem and of the proposed solution
  • Innovation and originality
  • Feasibility of implementation and whether it is sustainable in time
  • Potential for impact

How to Enter the Competition

Participants should propose an innovative and action-oriented idea on how to provide a solution to a developmental challenge adapted to the realities of the 21st century. The proposed solution can be aimed at business (private sector) or policy (public sector) and should relate to at least one of the sub-themes of the Youth Summit 2017:

  • Transforming the Economic Landscape
  • Leveraging Information, Communication & Technologies (ICTs)
  • Igniting Youth Entrepreneurship

Submission Process

Stage 1

Submit your Idea (Deadline:11:59 pm EST, September 29, 2017) Participants must submit proposals through the online Competition Submission Form. Proposals will be evaluated by an Expert Committee. Shortlisted individuals/teams will be announced by mid-October 2017 and will proceed to the next stage. Make sure that you are aware of, accept, and agree with the Competition Rules and Regulations.

Stage 2

Refine your Idea & Prepare your Pitch (Mid-October to Early-December 2017) 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. Based on that, the Expert Committee will select the ‘Finalist’ individuals/teams who will proceed to Stage 3.

Stage 3

Pitch your Idea at the Youth Summit 2017 (4-5 December 2017) Finalists will join the Youth Summit 2017, taking place at the World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington DC. The entire morning of the second day of the Summit (December 5th,2017) will be dedicated to showcase Finalists’ ideas. Finalists will present their proposal in front of a Judging Panel and Summit attendees – presentations will be live-streamed. After the presentations, winners will be selected by a combination of votes from the judging panel and the audience.

Any questions? Contact us at [email protected]

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