Have a global impact and become a catalyst for meaningful change by getting involved in the Calgary community!


Applications for our winter challenge are now closed.

If you are interested in participating in our Fall 2021 competition, please fill out the survey through the link below. 

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 the pandemic and other 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 and students currently obtaining a masters a degree

Domestic & international students

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

Teams composition


5-6 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 connect with group members, 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.

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 (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

It is your responsibility to reach out to your mentor for introductions, ask for support via email, and to set up meetings. If your mentor has not been responsive to your outreach by February 10th, or 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 6 separate workshops across the span of the challenge. All sessions 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.

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.

Winter 2021 challenges

Click the photo above to see the challenges for our Winter 2021 round! Challenges for Fall 2021 will be posted in late August.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Fall 2020 challenges

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 
  • Receive Co-Curricular Record recognition for your expected 30 hours of engagement and participation
  • Participation in this challenge will boost your graduate/professional school application, as well as your CV/resume  

Challenge Timeline

This is the tentative schedule for our Fall 2021 challenge and is subject to change. 

Aug 30, 2021

Student and Mentor applications open

Sept 9, 2021

Information session for students

Details to come!

Sept 15, 2021

Application deadline

Sept 17, 2021

Mentor acceptances announced

Sept 22, 2021

Mentor and Community Partner introductory meeting

Detail to be sent out via email to accepted partners and mentors

Sept 23, 2021

Student acceptances announced

Please be advised due to limited capacity we will not be emailing candidates that have not been selected by this date. Thank you for your understanding.

Sept 27, 2021

Workshop #1: Challenge Kickoff and Introduction to Intercultural Capacity Training

Sept 27, 2021

Workshop #2: Innovating for Impactful Projects

This workshop will be run at 2 separate time this week. Specific dates and times to come. 

Oct 4, 2021

Workshop #3: Building a Strong Team

This workshop will be run at 2 separate time this week. Specific dates and times to come. 

Oct 11, 2021

Workshop #4: Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

This workshop will be run at 2 separate time this week. Specific dates and times to come. 

Oct 13, 2021

Mentor and community partner check-ins

Oct 14, 2021

Mentor and community partner check-ins

Oct 18, 2021

Workshop #5: Building Intercultural Capacity

This workshop will be run at 2 separate time this week. Specific dates and times to come. 

Oct 19, 2021

Video presentations due for Feedback round evaluation

Oct 25, 2021

Feedback Round Day 1

Details to come. 

Oct 26, 2021

Feedback Round Day 2

Details to come. 

Oct 27, 2021

Feedback Round Day 3

Details to come. 

Oct 29, 2021

Finalists teams announced

Nov 1, 2021

Workshop #6: Professional Applications of Challenge Work

This workshop will be run at 2 separate time this week. Specific dates and times to come. 

Nov 8, 2021

Reading Week - No challenge activities

Nov 15, 2021

Video presentations due for Finals

Nov 18, 2021

Final Presentations

Details to come. 

Nov 30, 2021

Deadline for teams to debrief with community partners and complete workshop requirements