I4A 14 – 18: High School Program


Inspired by the Ideas for Action competition for people ages 18 to 35, the Ideas for Action 14-18 platform was created to give high school students the opportunity to voice their ideas about the International Development Agenda. A joint program of the World Bank Group and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, I4A 14-18 is annual competition that draws upon youth from around the world who are interested in thinking critically about the novel solutions needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Post 2015 Development Agenda.

In its inaugural year, I4A 14-18 chose six finalists from across the United States, with topics ranging from “Rating Charitable Effectiveness in the Private Sector” to “Increasing Financial Literacy Amongst Central American Migrant Workers”. Finalists of the competition presented their ideas at Wharton to a distinguished panel of Wharton Professors and Senior Fellows and received invaluable networking capabilities to further refine their ideas. For the 2017 competition, we are excited to announce the inception of three new I4A clubs in Washington DC, CT, and Budapest and the international expansion of the platform. Youth involvement will be crucial for future sustainable development and we are excited to receive the next batch of innovative proposals.

Our Leadership Team

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Alexi Kalsi


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Alexia Godron


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 Ben Laufer


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Winning Proposals 2016


Team A-Squared: Extending the Human Dimension of Philanthropy: Efficiently Mobilizing Youth to Volunteer in East Africa

The inspiration to take part in the Ideas 4 Action competition came from my school visit to Arusha, Tanzania, where I installed solar panels, smokeless ovens and assisted in the activities of a local school and orphanage. My ideas for the competition were based on witnessing first-hand poverty and lack of opportunity. From my global health experience, I realized that the only way to improve their conditions would be to increase the number of aid workers providing support and care. This led to my contemplation of the human dimension of philanthropy and in particular how high school students, like me, could devote more time to volunteering. Together with my co-author, we expanded on this idea and presented it in the form of a proposal that met the competition’s requirements. We substantiated it with evidence, such as data and charts, on East Africa, the geographical area we chose for the pilot, drawing on World Bank and other reputable sources. After exchanging a couple of drafts, we finalized our proposal, which we submitted literally half an hour before the deadline!

— Ishar Kalsi, British International School of Washington

Full Proposal

Team A-Squared: Extending the Human Dimension of Philanthropy: Efficiently Mobilizing Youth to Volunteer in East Africa

Throughout high school, our geography teacher always emphasized the importance of interconnectivity in an increasingly globalized world. It was this philosophy which inspired me to imagine a program linking volunteer opportunities in Tanzania to gap-year students in the United States. My name is Alexandra Godron, and I’m a senior at Washington International School. I’ve always had a passion for international relations and global issues, including working on the SDGs, which led my partner and I to focus on increasing the amount of philanthropic aid received in Eastern Africa. Through our proposal, the network of US students volunteering in Tanzania would serve to create sensitivity to foreign issues in less economically developed countries, as well as creating a flow of monetary aid towards development from the graduates of the program. Working on Ideas for Action I was able to learn so much not only about today’s methods of development, but also how education frameworks can be used as tools for awareness and global action.

— Alexia Godron, British International School of Washington

Full Proposal

Using micro financing to invest in new, more efficient, technologies in the agricultural sector of India as a means to reduce rural poverty

One of my passions throughout high school has been Speech & Debate. When I heard about the competition, a lot of the issues that we discuss in debate are similar. I used the same thought process when arguing as I did with planning a proposal for financing sustainable development. I choose a country that my family is from not only because I have a strong tie to it, but it is also one that needs reform. My debate partners who helped in this proposal live in other states, so we collaborated a lot through online discussions. We were inspired by Muhammad Yunis and Grameen Bank which lead us to create our proposal on micro-financing in the agricultural districts of India.

— Megan Nuggihalli, High School Senior

Full Proposal