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


Applications are now open

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 February and March 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.

Current Challenges

Check out our challenges for our Winter 2021 round!

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Sample past 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 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 winter challenge and is subject to change. 

Jan 21, 2021

Application deadline for students and mentors

Applications are due at 12pm

Jan 27, 2021

Mentor Training with Victoria Hirsche and Kevan Coyle

*This session is for mentors only

Feb 1, 2020

The challenge officially starts!

Welcome and Introduction Session

Feb 4, 2021

Workshop of the week: Innovating for Impactful Projects


Feb 12, 2021

Workshop of the week: Strengths and Teamwork

Feb 24, 2021

Workshop of the week: Fostering Inclusive Communities

Mar 3, 2021

Workshop of the week: Intercultural Capacity Building

Mar 5, 2021

Semi-Final Video Submissions Due

Mar 8, 2021

Semi-Final Presentations

Day 1

Mar 9, 2021

Semi-Final Presentations

Day 2

Mar 10, 2021

Semi-Final Presentations

Day 3

Mar 15, 2021

Work Week!

Finalists are given a week to take feedback from the semi-finals and apply it to their products before the final presentations.

Mar 17, 2021

Workshop of the week: Professional Applications of Challenge Work

Mar 23, 2021

Final Video Submissions Due

Mar 25, 2021

Final Presentations