UNEP Young Champions of the Earth

Deadline: 2 April 2018
Open to: individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact
Benefits: USD 15,000 in seed funding


In 2018, seven young people – selected from every global region – will be named Young Champions of the Earth. These winners receive seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentorship to help them bring their big environmental ideas to life.

Whose big idea will change the world? Following an open call for applications, UN experts will short-list 35 Regional Finalists who will be subjected to an online public vote, informing the selection of 14 World Finalists. A Global Jury will then select the seven 2018 winners.

Each winner will be expected to implement their big idea and keep us updated on their progress by producing videos and blogs that will be shared on UNEP website.

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Young Champions of the Earth aims to celebrate and support individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact.

In the first stage of the selection process, all applications will be judged by United Nations experts according to the following criteria:

  1. The 3 Ps – The positive impact your big idea could have on the environment (planet) and society (people), and its financial viability (prosperity);
  2. The 3 Cs – Evidence that you are a curious, courageous, and colorful individual;
  3. Demonstrated commitment – It is important that you have already attempted to implement your big idea for at least 6 months and can outline achievements and/or developments to date;
  4. Endorsement – The strength of your referee’s recommendation.


  • USD 15,000 in seed funding;
  • Attendance at a high-level UN meeting;
  • An introduction to dignitaries at the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony;
  • Publicity and recognition through online and global media;
  • Access to a community of Covestro experts offering insights and mentoring;
  • Participation in an entrepreneurial training program provided by The DO School.

How to apply?

In order to apply, please fill the application.

The selection process has three rounds:

  1. The open call for applications will run from 27 February to 2 April 2018. Each applicant will be required to submit responses to a series of questions and upload a referee’s letter of endorsement.
  2. A total of 35 Regional Finalists—drawn from every world region—will be short-listed by UN experts and requested to submit short videos pitching their big ideas. In mid-June, they will be subjected to an online public vote informing the selection of 14 World Finalists.
  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 invited to attend the Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony in September 2018, at which point, their names will be publicly announced.

For more information, please visit the official web page.