challenge - EarthTech

The Countdown is on to the EarthTech Challenge

Do you have an idea or solution addressing the world’s biggest environmental and social issues?

We are inviting purpose-driven young people aged between 13-29 with a passion for solving the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues, to participate in the 6 week EarthTech Challenge starting in December 2019.

Form your teams, choose your division (13-17 years and 18-29 years), begin formulating your ideas and prototypes, and prepare for your “summer of impact” with a world class curriculum and prizes including an all expenses paid trip to the EarthTech Summit on Makepeace Island.

For a comprehensive overview about the challenge, rules and regulations, click here.

The Challenge Categories

Each category covers one or more of the Global Goals. Judging criteria will include the impact a submission makes on the Global Goals. Teams are welcome to describe the impact their idea or solution will have on the Global Goals.

Poverty & Inequality

Over a billion people still live in conditions of extreme poverty, with many situated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Poverty ensures that people can’t access basic services like healthcare or primary education, and makes day-to-day life a huge struggle.

This category includes the following Global Goals: #1. No Poverty; #4. Quality Education; #5. Gender Equality; #8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, #10. Reduced Inequalities; #16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions;

Food, Water & Health

Hunger is the leading cause of death worldwide, while too many people globally still do not have reliable access to clean water, sanitation or basic health services.

This category includes the following Global Goals: #2. Zero Hunger; #3. Good Health and Wellbeing; #6. Clean Water and Sanitation

Climate & Energy

As the world’s largest nations grow and industrialise, solutions are needed to ensure that the world’s energy is clean, reliable and doesn’t leave anyone behind. Our reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable and harmful, while the world needs to keep global warming below 2 degrees celsius to avoid the worst affects of climate change.

This category includes the following Global Goals: #7. Affordable and Clean Energy; #13. Climate Action

Sustainable Futures

Our world’s population is increasing, and to accommodate everyone, we need to build sustainable, smart and modern cities and communities. We need to consume resources sustainably, reducing impact on our natural resources while promoting sustainable industrialisation.

This category includes the following Global Goals: #9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; #11. Sustainable Cities and Communities; #12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Environment and Biodiversity

The world’s oceans drive the global systems which make life on earth possible. Forests cover 30 percent of the Earth’s land, while plant life provides 80 percent of our diets. Caring for life below water and life on land is crucial for ensuring a sustainable land, combating climate change and improving living standards for all.

This category includes the following Global Goals: #14. Life Below Water; #15. Life On Land

The Prize

The winners of each category receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the EarthTech Summit at Makepeace Island in Noosa, Richard Branson’s home in Australia (and other cash and product prizes). While on the island, the winning teams will work with experts and investors to take their solution from Makepeace Island to the world, who represent millions of dollars of investable investment.

6 Week Course Content

Week 1: Re / Search

Identifying a legitimate problem space or need

The lecture and reading that is covered include:

  • Introduce terms used in the fields of strategy & Innovation
  • Market focus
  • Markets v’s Arena’s
  • Use of EarthTech Themes
  • Classifying the impact of invention or innovation
  • Leveraging emerging new technologies
  • Where do good ideas come from
  • New or old & the importance of timing

Week 2: Ideation

Methods / techniques on how to deliberately generate ideas

The lecture and reading that is covered include:

  • Business Model Canvas MasterClass
  • Ways of thinking – lateral / creative and reasoning techniques
  • Addressing Problem Spaces or Needs?
  • Job to be Done – history / overview
  • Value Proposition Design
  • Discuss the rise of Design Thinking
  • IDEO / rise of design thinking
  • T shaped people in teams
  • Customer experience design
  • How to run a workshop

Week 3: Prototyping

Conceptual Development of the Value Proposition

The lecture and reading that is covered include:

  • Lean start up – hypothesis driven / test
  • Agile development – build units, then components, then systems
  • Developing a pretotype or prototype or MVP of the Value Proposition

Week 4: Testing & Iterating

Lean start up approach to testing

The lecture and reading that is covered include:

  • Bench tests
  • Field trials
  • Collecting, measuring & analyzing results
  • Interpreting results
  • Deciding what to do next
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Expert community Q&A platform
  • Community voting tools

Week 5: Articulating

Making an argument to support your hypothesis

The lecture and reading that is covered include:

  • Bring together the tools methodologies & frameworks to create an outline argument
  • Rumelt’s strategy kernel + why/how/what/how
  • How to give a TED talk

Week 6: Presenting / Submission

Prepare for the final submission

The lecture and reading that is covered include:

  • checklist of the key points to cover off in a presentations
  • guidance on presentation approach / media / techniques


OCTOBER 2019 Pre Registrations Open at EarthTech 2019

NOVEMBER 2019 Submissions Open at EarthTech 2019

DECEMBER Challenge Begins at EarthTech 2019

JANUARY 2020 Top 10 Finalists Announced at EarthTech 2020

FEBRUARY 2020 MakePeace Island Summit – 2 Winners Announced at EarthTech 2020


Is it free to enter?

It is completely free to enter the EarthTech Challenge.

When does it start and finish?

The challenge starts on 16th December and concludes on 24th January. It is a six week challenge, with weekly content being delivered each Monday.

Are there minimum contact hours required?

Each week there is a recorded lecture, a live tute as well as access to our global expert mentors. However there is no requirement to attend any session. If you were to fully engage with our course material and content, and mentors, we anticipate around 3 hours per week of your time for us to help fine-tune your idea.

Is this challenge only online?

This is an online challenge and there are communities across Australia who are championing the EarthTech Challenge. They are offering free lab space, co-working during the 6 weeks for participants.

Can you join as an individual?

You can compete on your own, or as part of a team with up to 5 members. As this is a challenge that involves, science, technology, communication, design and a video based delivery, we highly recommend creating a team.

Can you join more than one category?

It is not possible to join multiple categories. Our mentors can help decide the best category for you if your idea solves multiple problems across the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals.

How does the Judging work?

Judging criteria will include the impact a submission makes on the UN SDGs. Teams are welcome to describe the impact on any UN SDGs.

The Judging is weighted in three areas: THE PUBLIC (51%), TECH/SCIENCE EXPERTS (24.5%) and BUSINESS/ENTREPRENEUR EXPERTS (24.5%)

We’re looking for ideas and solutions that achieve and create exponential impact for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals – the world’s most ambitious plan to end poverty, solve the climate crisis, protect biodiversity and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The EarthTech Challenge will look for the best ideas and solutions from five distinct categories:
Poverty & Inequality: Food, Water & Health; Climate & Energy; Sustainable Futures; Environment and Biodiversity

The EarthTech Tribe

The EarthTech Challenge brings together a community of entrepreneurs, technologists, innovators, mentors, and like-minded partners. You don’t have to participate in the challenge to be a part of EarthTech. If you would like to be up to speed on all the latest news and participate with us in changing the world, learn more about joining the tribe.

EarthTech acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which our company is located and where we conduct our business. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging. EarthTech is committed to honouring Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society.