About -Initiatives

Ideas 4 Action runs a number of initiatives to provide young leaders from around the world with an opportunity to help shape the international development agenda: the Ideas 4 Action Competition, the Incubator and the Global Classroom. Ideas 4 Action hosts an annual competition during which young people from around the world submit ideas for financing the Sustainable Development Goals. The competition acts as a catalyst to spark global conversation among youth all around the world and encourages them to contribute their own voice to the development conversation. Winners of the competition are then offered the opportunity to receive support from our project Incubator, to help them shape up and implement their ideas. Underlying the I4A Competition and the Incubator, we find the Global classroom, which aims at creating a global community of engaged young leaders to foster the exchange of innovative ideas and implementation strategies across borders.


—       The I4A Competition       —

Every year, Ideas for Action hosts a competition throughout which students and young professionals from around the world develop ideas for financing the UN’s development agenda. Participants from around the globe submit ideas for financing and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The competition acts as a catalyst to spark global conversation among youth all around the world and encourages them to contribute their own voice to the development conversation. Winners are selected in a vigorous selection process based on the creativity, significance, feasibility, and clarity of the proposals. Our jury is composed of executives from the World Bank Group (WBG), the Wharton School, IFC, Citibank, PepsiCo, the G-24 Secretariat, and Firmenich. Other competition partners included the WBG’s Youth to Youth Community (Y2Y), the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), and the Organization of American States (OAS). The winning teams receive the opportunity to present their ideas at the IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings, receive support from a project incubator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with experts from international development, academia, and the private sector.

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2015 Winner: Microinsurance Products for Remittance Service Providers in India

Team Pennsurance developed two new types of insurance products aimed at reducing the risk of lower-income families who rely on remittances from family members abroad. Their “Income Stream Insurance” insures remittances sent from migrant workers to their home countries in the event of accident or sickness. The “Family Remittance Insurance” funds health insurance to protect the families of migrant workers. The proposal is aimed at the $15 billion per year UAE-India corridor of remittance payments in the near-term, and has great potential to be scaled globally.

2016 Winner: A Peer-to-Peer Hyper Local Approach to Last-Mile Delivery in Nigeria

Team DLVR developed a novel solution for the lack of proper addressing systems and inefficient postal infrastructure in developing countries. The team developed a low-cost peer-to-peer delivery system that connects senders with local transporters to carry out scheduled or on-demand deliveries. The enormous potential economic impact and scalability helped this outstanding idea to prevail against a wide array of extremely innovative, high-quality proposals from around the world.

—       The I4A Incubator       —

Winning teams of the Ideas 4 Action Competition are offered the opportunity to receive support from our very own Incubator initiative. The Incubator’s initiative goals is the help the Competition winners refine and implement their ideas. Incubator teams are tasked with building out the solutions pitched to the World Bank, serving as consulting groups and a research teams rolled into one. . This support is entirely geared toward each team’s needs and can cover a broad range of topics like market research, proposal writing, financial modeling, social media campaigns, marketing, programming, and outreach to potential partners and investors. The objective in mind is to capture as much of the vast potential of the submitted ideas as possible.

—       The Global Classroom       —

A core component of the Ideas for Action Initiative is the creation of a new learning and knowledge exchange platform that helps young leaders to more systematically shape the development conversation. Our Global Classroom allows program participants to access knowledge and capacity building resources as well as to connect with other youth from around the world who share their passion for international development.
The Global Classroom promotes the formation of an international community of knowledgeable, inspired youths committed to social impact. It aims to foster meaningful, in-depth conversations among young people from diverse backgrounds, encouraging them to collaborate to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.
By taking advantage of the convening power of technology, the Global Classroom engages and connects leading schools of finance, management, and government around the world and helps the World Bank Group and other development organizations to redefine the global development conversation. The focus is on innovation and actionable solutions grounded in empirical evidence that have potential to create a meaningful, measurable, and scalable impact toward implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of our Global Classroom program, we host capacity building and idea generation workshops called “IdeaLabs” around the world. IdeaLabs provide youths with a unique environment and exclusive resources to help them develop innovative ideas for financing the SDGs. After running a highly successful pilot programs in the U.S., Hong Kong, and South East Europe, our IdeaLabs have become an integral component of the Ideas for Action program.
The Global Classroom will also connect academics and development experts who are interested in enhancing their curricula with case studies relevant to international development. Particular attention will be given to developing learning modules that capture relevant research results, practical experiences, and knowledge across industries, countries, and regions. In addition, the Global Classroom will allow schools around the world to conduct joint web conferences to discuss case studies and innovative methods, frameworks and tools supportive of financing for the post 2015 development agenda.

  • I4A Do-a-Thon, University of Pennsylvania, October 20th 2016

  • I4A at the 2016 World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings, Washington DC, October 4th 2016

  • Global Young Leaders IdeaLab, Washington DC, February 5th 2016