Call for Proposals: UNEP/MIT Climate CoLab SDG Contests 2018 (Win a trip to the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi)

Call for Proposals: UNEP/MIT Climate CoLab SDG Contests 2018 (Win a trip to the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi)

Deadline: January 7, 2018

Proposals are invited for the UNEP/MIT Climate CoLab SDG Contests 2018. In Climate CoLab contests, people from all over the world are invited to work together in developing proposals for what humanity should do about global climate change. They are calling for proposals that outline an integrated set of innovative, practical solutions to help achieve the climate action goal (SDG 13) and multiple other goals.

This contest asks the international community to combine real-world proposals and share how they can achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an emphasis on maximizing synergies between proposals while minimizing the trade-offs that can occur when trying to achieve a broad range of Sustainable Development Goals.

They challenge participants to select and combine existing proposals on the Climate CoLab platform to develop new integrated proposals for achieving multiple SDGs. You are free to add additional actions (that are not on the platform) to make your integrated proposal more robust and achieve a greater number of SDGs.


Judges’ Choice and Popular Choice Winner(s) will:

  • be invited to attend the official launch event for GEO-6 during the Fourth UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in March 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya
  • showcase their proposals to policy-makers, business leaders, Intergovernmental Organizations and other influential stakeholders at UNEA
  • be recognized by the UN Environment’s Office of the Chief Scientist
  • be given the unique opportunity to meet with the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Environment
  • be awarded one economy-class roundtrip airfare ticket, and a daily subsistence allowance to support their travel to Nairobi.
  • receive wide recognition and visibility by MIT Climate CoLab.

Judges will evaluate proposals, and deliberate as a group to select the Semi-Finalists, Finalists, Winners, and possibly other awardee(s) at their discretion.  Judgments of desirability are also made in the final stage of the contest, by the Climate CoLab community through popular vote, and by the Judges through their selection of the Judges’ Choice winner(s). Additional awards and prizes may be given by either the Judges or MIT Climate CoLab in order to recognize other top proposals.

Semi-Finalists will have a chance to revise their proposals before the second round of evaluation. For the contest schedule and phases, please see the blue schedule bar on the contest homepage.


  • Climate CoLab is open to anyone in the world, regardless of age*, nationality, gender identity, cultural identity, or political viewpoint.
  • *If you are under 18 years old, you will need your parent or legal guardian to register on the Climate CoLab website and submit your proposal or your vote for you.
  • You may submit projects that you have previously published or exhibited elsewhere so long as they conform to the Climate CoLab’s Terms of Use and the rules of the contest.

This contest seeks proposals that:

  • Build on at least one existing Climate CoLab proposal;
  • Address how the set of proposals achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on climate action and at least one other SDG (we recommend three or more);
  • Maximize the synergies between the proposals, while minimizing the trade-offs that can occur when attempting to achieve multiple SDGs;
  • Are inventive and creative in how proposals are combined to achieve multiple SDGs.

Judging Criteria

Judges will be asked to evaluate proposals on the following criteria:

  1. Feasibility: Feasibility of the actions proposed in the proposal. Judges with different kinds of expertise will evaluate the technical, economic, social, and political feasibility of the proposals.
  2. Impact: Impact and ability to achieve multiple SDGs: This is the main aim of the proposal and so will be significant in the final judgement. However, it is not sufficient that the proposal achieves a large number of the SDGs, but is not feasible or doesn’t recognize the possible trade-offs with other sustainability goals. The proposals should aim to address the SDGs in an integrated manner, but should be explicit about the areas in which it is unable to achieve change.
  3. Novelty: Novelty of the proposal’s ideas. Innovative thinking and originality in a proposal will be valued more than encyclopedic knowledge.
  4. Presentation Quality: Proposals that are well-presented will be favored over those that aren’t. Presentation quality includes how well written a proposal is, how well it uses graphics or other visual elements, and how compelling are its artistic representations of possible future worlds (if any).

Proposals can include actions that are at any stage of development:

  • Well thought-out ideas that require additional research, design or planning;
  • Comprehensive strategies that are ready for prototyping or implementation;
  • Initiatives that have already achieved success and are ready to be scaled;
  • Best practices that need refinement or support to scale up.


For more information, visit Climate CoLab Contests.