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The Geneva Challenge
October 01, 2023

The 2023 Advancing Development Goals International Contest for Graduate Students aims to present innovative and pragmatic solutions to address the challenges of loneliness

Eager to stimulate reflection and innovation on development from diverse disciplinary and contextual perspectives and with the generous support of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin, the Graduate Institute has launched in 2014 the Advancing Development Goals Contest, an international competition for Master students.

The idea is to gather contributions that are both theoretically grounded and offer pragmatic solutions to a relevant international development problem stemming from an interdisciplinary collaboration between three to five enrolled master students from anywhere in the world.

Five prizes will be distributed; one in each of the following categories (based on the UN Statistics list):

Universities located in Africa
Universities located in Asia
Universities located in Europe
Universities located in North America and Oceania
Universities located in South America

The Challenges of Loneliness

A substantial proportion of people worldwide, from young adults to seniors, experience problematic levels of loneliness, including social, emotional and physical loneliness. Loneliness impacts people`s physical and mental wellbeing, as well as their ability to fully participate in political, social and economic life. The experience of loneliness is prevalent in all parts of societies, among people from all socio-economic backgrounds, ages, and genders. Socially excluded and marginalised groups experience higher levels of loneliness, further exacerbating existing societal inequalities. For example, shocks, forced displacement, war, migration, and poverty all have profound links with loneliness and the negative effects of loneliness. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, shocks and crises can increase the number of people experiencing some form of loneliness, especially among vulnerable groups, but the issue is prevalent in all parts of the world and societies.

Furthermore, loneliness is linked to many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). Therefore, addressing loneliness is crucial in order to achieve the SDGs.


Registration deadline: April 23th 2023
Submission deadline: July 14th 2023