Apply to be a United Nation’s Young Champion of the Earth 2019


The United Nations announced that it is calling for nominations for the 2019 Young Champions of the Earth – the organization’s most prestigious prize for brave environmental entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 30 with a big idea for the world’s future.

Each of the seven winners will receive $15,000 seed money to invest in their projects, $9,000 to invest in communicating and marketing their projects, invitations and funding to attend high-level UN meetings to share their big ideas with the world, and tailored training and mentorship.

By engaging young visionaries, UN Environment seeks to engage the next generation of change-makers and thought-leaders as they set out to build a brighter world.

“The United Nation’s Young Champions of the Earth prize combines two ingredients that are critical to save our planet – innovation and the drive of young people. We need both in equal measure to address the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said Joyce Msuya, UN Environment Acting Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.


In 2019, seven Young Champions of the Earth will be selected from each global region: one from each of Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, West Asia, and two from Asia and the Pacific.

Each winner will receive the following:

  • US$15,000 in seed funding
  • US$ 9,000 in funding to communicate and capture your idea and broadcast the stories of hope and change that you’re catalyzing on the ground
  • Attendance at a high-level UN meeting
  • An introduction to dignitaries at the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony
  • Publicity and recognition through interviews and online and global media
  • Access to a community of Covestro experts offering insights and mentoring
  • Participation in an entrepreneurial training program

The 2019 Young Champions will be required to share their journeys through blogs and vlogs posted on this website for a period of up to one year.


More than just an honorary title, Young Champions of the Earth Prize aims to nurture the next generation of environmental leaders. Up to 50 applicants who clearly articulate their skills requirements and demonstrate a strong willingness to learn will be granted privileged access to mentoring opportunities. They will be able to seek technical guidance and professional advice from a broad community of experts drawn from Covestro’s 16,000 global staff members. These mentors will share their experience through webinars, thematic online roundtables and individual support. Topics of strategic relevance such as communications, project planning and financial management, will be explored in depth with the aim of strengthening the viability and impact of mentees’ ventures.


They’re looking for the artists, scientists, economists, communicators and entrepreneurs from all walks of life with big, bold ideas— for the environment, for humanity, for a greener future.
If you have at least 6 months’ experience working on a big idea to protect or restore the environment and will be aged between 18 and 30 on 31 December 2019, then you are eligible to apply.

Selection process

The selection process has three rounds.

1. The open call for applications will run until 31 March 2019. Each applicant will be required to submit responses to a series of questions and upload a referee’s letter of endorsement.

2. Finalists—drawn from every world region—will be short-listed by UN experts and requested to submit short videos pitching their big ideas.

3. In the final stage, a Global Jury will review the World Finalists’ big ideas and choose seven Young Champions of the Earth. The winners will be publicly announced and invited to attend the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony.

The winners will be expected to implement their big ideas and act as ambassadors of cause at speaking opportunities, while providing regular progress updates in the form of videos and blogs that will be shared on this website.

With climate change threatening the existence of our natural ecosystems and societies, the competition’s organisers hope to find individuals who see beyond the crisis and have the courage to invent the future by carving their place in a new and greener economy.

The 2019 Young Champions of the Earth will be given a platform to become change agents, protecting the environment through their revolutionary ideas and radical innovation for people, planet and even for profit.

The prize is powered by Covestro, a leading manufacturer of materials for sustainable development. Chief Executive Officer, Markus Steilemann, said: “Engaging with the Young Champions from the past two years has demonstrated how much concern – and commitment – they have over the future of our planet. Their passion is very much shared by myself and Covestro’s employees. I am delighted to help kick-off the third round of this global competition – a brilliant platform to help young professionals make their dreams become reality. Together we can make the world a brighter place.”

Previous UN Young Champions of the Earth have spearheaded bold, brave ideas addressing numerous sustainable development goals through high and low-tech innovations: from indigenous rooftop gardens tackling air pollution, to a mobile application which tracks and assists in influencing sustainable consumption off users till receipts; from farming coral to restore degraded reefs, to eco-conscious apparel;  from diving centers powered by citizen science, to a novel technology which filters and converts 90% of particulates from diesel generators into printer ink.

The UN is now searching for the next Young Champions of the Earth for 2019. Following an open call for applications, a global jury will select the seven 2019 winners. Each winner will be expected to implement their big idea and keep UN Environment and partners updated on their progress by producing vlogs and blogs.

Interested environmentalists between the ages of 18 and 30 are encouraged to submit their big ideas here by midnight GMT on 31 March 2019.

Apply to be a United Nation’s Young Champion of the Earth 2019

Source: UN Environment


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