Student Teams

Student teams (suggested size 2 – 5) applied for enrollment in one of four tracks:

  • Track 1: Inspiration and Empowerment
    Develop a creative approach to raising awareness on climate change and influencing others using tactics such as video, art, writing, or social media.
  • Track 2: Ideas into Action
    Propose a student-led climate-related project on campus or in the community that will affect measurable change over the course of six months, after the workshop has taken place.
  • Track 3: Governance and Policy Innovation
    Select a local, national, or global climate policy or governance mechanism and conduct an analysis either on how it can be improved or how your college or university can contribute to its implementation (remember – the idea MUST be actionable).
  • Track 4: Innovation and Imagination
    If none of the three defined tracks suits your project, please blaze your own path. Ideas in this category can be revolutionary, entrepreneurial, and creative. However, they must be actionable and should be designed to yield measurable results over the course of six months. Also remember that all projects must have a university-affiliated sponsor.

Projects must be action-oriented, and should yield measurable change between December 2020 and May 2021. Student teams should ensure that projects are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Possible metrics for success include:

  • A completed project such as a video or an event
  • Number of clicks, likes, or impressions
  • Number of members or participants
  • Estimated GHG reductions from project-inspired actions
  • Signatories
  • Survey results
  • Feedback from intended audience or stakeholders

General Guidelines

  • Applications will only be accepted through the online form.
  • Proposals may reflect ongoing projects and activities so long as they are the intellectual capital of the students applying and there is a projected measurable outcome during the duration of the Forum implementation period. New projects and ongoing projects may be subject to feedback from reviewers.
  • Student teams must identify an advisor from their Higher Education Institution (HEI). This can be a faculty member or an administrative staff member. Alumni mentors are also encouraged as additional advisors.
  • The Forum can provide additional mentors upon request.

Participation will require three phases:

  • Proposal development: these must be submitted through the official form, and may require refinement based on reviewer feedback.
  • Workshop attendance: each member of the team must attend at last three online sessions during the week of 9 November. Team members can attend different workshops, and there is no limit to the number of sessions a student can attend.
  • Project Execution: teams will have 6 months to implement and test their ideas. During this time, they will be required to post monthly updates through the Forum's website.

Successful participants will contribute to a publication to be released at the 2021 COP. Certificates will be granted to students who complete all three phases of the program. (NB: Even if the program does not go as hoped, the act of following through with the idea and documenting progress – or barriers thereto – is seen as success.)

Important Milestones

The deadline for application was 30 September 2020. Selected teams were announced in October 2020.  The workshops took place between 9 and 13 November. Final reports will be due 15 May 2021.

A Note about Diversity and Inclusion

The online nature of the 2020 program will make it more accessible to a broader array of students around the world than would have been possible for an in-person program. To ensure that the event is inclusive but not oversubscribed or imbalanced toward particular regions, the organizers may set limits to the number of teams per country. Should this limit be reached, acceptance will be based on the excellence of the proposals. If there are opportunities to encourage student teams to work together on similar ideas, this may be offered as an alternative.