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Seton Hall University
Student presenting at the podium during the UN Sustainable Development Challenge.

UN Sustainable Development Challenge

Sustainable DevelopmentDo you think about the problems facing society or about the needs of the world? Do you worry about climate change, poverty, equality and overconsumption? Do you want to make a difference?

The United Nations has set 17 sustainable development goals to help end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy & International Relations is challenging high school students to be part of the solution!

Seton Hall University is committed to serving the greater good, which is why we are hosting a Sustainable Development Challenge designed to engage high school students in thinking about the needs of society and the planet - encouraging you to be an agent of change and embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2020 at midnight.

Inquiries and questions can be directed to the Center for UN and Global Governance Studies at

Here's What You Need to Do:

Step 1: Submit Your Ideas

Using the online entry form, submit a 300-500 word statement that describes an innovative approach or idea you have for addressing one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is an opportunity to share your thoughts about what you want to do to be a part of the solution and help make the world a better place.

Here are some guidelines:

  • You can focus on any of the 17 UN sustainable development goals.
  • You can present an idea aimed at creating awareness or aimed at creating change related to one or more of the sustainable development goals.
  • You can present an idea for a project, campaign or charity that will assist in attaining one or more of the sustainable development goals.
  • You can think locally or globally - focus on your school, local community, your state, the U.S. or any country or region of the world you wish.

Please use the guidelines below when preparing your idea.

  1. Development Goal(s) Focus: List one or more development goals that relate the most to your challenge; review all goals here.
  2.  Challenge: Describe the specific challenge that you wish to tackle within the above goal; provide detailed background information above the challenge.
  3. Solution: Enter your innovative proposal to address the above challenge. Please include top three (3) action points.
  4. Impact/Result: Provided that your proposed solution is executed successfully, what is the anticipated impact and will it be sustainable

Step 2: Share Your Ideas

Ten finalists will be selected by late March and invited to present their ideas to a panel of judges at Seton Hall University with a reception to follow. Finalists who cannot come to campus can participate via Skype.

All submitters are welcome to attend the Challenge presentations on April 24, 2020, as well as the reception to follow. 

Step 3: Win Prizes and Recognition!

Finalist with the best ideas will win cash prizes and a scholarship to attend Seton Hall. The cash prize can assist you in launching your idea or creating awareness about the sustainable development goal or region of the world that is most important to you.

  • 1st Place Winner: $2,500 cash prize. Plus a $10,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($2,500 annually)
  • 2nd Place Winner: $1,000 cash prize. Plus a $6,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($1,500 annually)
  • All other Finalists will receive a $4,000 scholarship to attend Seton Hall University ($1,000 annually)

Finalists who present in person and their families will also be invited to a congratulatory reception on campus immediately following the event where they will meet with Seton Hall faculty and community members who are experts in the fields of international affairs and sustainable development.


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