Students, Image from StockSnap/Pixabay


UCalgary's Global Community Challenge YYC will return for our Fall 2024 challenge round, in our 5th anniversary year!

Applications will open in late August. The deadline to apply is Sept. 19, 2024. Get involved, collaborate with other students around the world, and become a catalyst for meaningful change in your community.

How does it work?

It may be hard to imagine doing something locally that has an impact across the world. Calgary has a thriving global community and there are plenty of organizations having that type of impact already. 

So where do you come in? 

Now more than ever, organizations must demonstrate the ability to pivot and respond to issues and needs as they arise. They may be facing new challenges as a result of recent international and local events. The Global Community Challenge YYC (GCC) creates opportunities for you to work in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary teams to identify solutions for issues faced by these organizations in Calgary. In doing so, you will develop skills in teamwork, creativity, problem-solving, and communication while building your intercultural capacity and positioning yourself to become an innovation catalyst for meaningful change in approaching real-world challenges. 


Level/Year of study

Undergraduate students in any year of study, or students currently obtaining a Masters degree

Domestic & international students

University of Calgary students as well as students from any of our partner institutions abroad are welcome to apply!

Teams composition


7-8 students per team

Chosen or assigned

Teams will be assigned

Sorting criteria

  • multidiciplinary
  • varied global perspectives
  • survey responses

Important details

All students will be added to a Desire2Learn (D2L) site to receive program reminders and access program content. Your mentors will also be added to the D2L site to access your work and provide feedback when needed.

It is also expected that you have regular contact with your group, mentor, and community partner via email and/or an agreed upon method of communication (ex: whatsapp, discord, slack, etc). 

This year we are introducing an app called goosechase which is like a virtual scavenger hunt! During the challenge there will be opportunities to gain points for participating in program activities, with a prize at the end for the winner!


Each team will have an assigned mentor(s) to support them in the development of their proposed solution. You are expected to have 3-4 meetings (approximately 1.5 hours each) with your mentors across the span of the challenge between late September to November over zoom.

Some suggested themes for your meetings should be: 

  • 1 initial meeting for introductions and brainstorming 
  • 1 meeting to finalize narrowing down problem scope and ideas for solutions 
  • 1-2 meetings for follow up and finalizing ideas

In case of any questions or issues, please contact the program coordinators at and we will follow up to make sure you are supported.

We will be running 7 separate workshops across the span of the challenge. All workshops will be held virtually on zoom. The links and passwords to enter sessions will be posted on D2L.

You can find the themes, schedule, and more details about each one in the schedule below. 

Students are strongly encouraged to attend all workshops live as workshops are highly interactive in nature will provide maximum benefit if you participate with your team. If you are unable to attend, please let us know. You must attend the kick off live and at least two other workshops live to meet the certificate requirement.

We expect that participating in this challenge will require students to commit approximately 30 hours of their time. This would include, workshops, meetings with community partners and mentors, working with your team, and the final presentations.

Refer to the student guide for more details and expectations of the challenge.

Fall 2023 challenges

Fall 2023 challenges now posted! Click the image above.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Past challenges from community partners

For examples of past challenges, click the image above to see the full list of challenges and community partners involved in our Fall 2020 competition.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Judging criteria

Wondering how you'll be judged in the competition rounds? Click the picture above to see the tentive judging rubric.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

What's in it for you?

While this program does not count for academic credit, it will help you develop skills that will be relevant to both current and future educational and professional opportunities. There are many benefits that the GCC will provide you with, which include (but are not limited to): 

  • Gain hands-on experience addressing real-life issues related to a global issue or problem of interest  
  • Develop new skills in research, entrepreneurship, problem-solving, and team-building while spending time working with students from different disciplines and countries, learning different approaches to the chosen problem 
  • Gain experience preparing and presenting compelling arguments in front of academic and community leaders 
  • Earn recognition among your peers and local university community  
  • Make connections with others who have a passion for changing the world 
  • Expand your professional development network through collaborations with local and global peers, mentors, and expert panelists 
  • Participate in a series of custom workshops designed to help you feel confident planning and executing your project 
  • Boost your graduate/professional school application, as well as your CV/resume  

Challenge Timeline

This is the tentative schedule for our Fall 2024 challenge and is subject to change.