2019 ITU Innovation Challenge for Young ChageMakers

Deadline: July 31, 2019.

Do you have what it takes to create a digital world?

Join a network of change-makers that will help you positively transform your community!

The 2019 Young ICT leaders’ Forum will take place from September 3-6 in smart city of Busan, Republic of Korea during KICT Innovation Week.

The Young ICT Leaders’ Forum is an annual event organized by ITU and Busan Metropolitan city. It gathers youths worldwide to learn and to share ideas about ICT development and innovations.

The 2019 Innovation Ecosystem Program will be held from September 9-12 in beautiful Budapest, Hungary during the ITU Telecom World 2019.

ITU Telecom world 2019 is a leading international platform for influential figures from government, industry and tech SMEs to connect, exhibit and explore common challenges, share ideas and build partnerships.



  • Participants of all age are welcomed to take part in the challenges however, participation to the Young ICT leaders Forum event in Busan is reserved for winners aged 18 to 35 at time of application.
  • Returning challenges winners from previous years with a validated minimum viable proposal will be given special consideration. Winners will only be selected for one global event. Team submission winners will only have one team member approved to participate at the event. 
  • There are limited seats available for every challenge and the number of winners and final award depends on our sponsors and partners’ requirements.



1. Up to 10 global winners will be chosen by a jury of experts. Additional winners may be sponsored by regional organizations or countries in a specific region. If you wish to sponsor additional winners, or need further information on these challenges, please contact us at innovation@itu.int

2. Global winners, with the support of regional winners, will develop the winning ideas and pitch the refined proposal to a jury of experts during one of our events below. They will be recognized as global change-makers who “have what it takes to create a digital world”.

3. The selected winners will be rewarded with a trip to one ofour key flagship events (Young ICT Leaders’ Forum in Busan or Innovation Ecosystem Progamme in Budapest):

  1. Round-trip air ticket (economy class) between major airport of the applicant’s country and the event City.
  2. Hotel accommodation during their stay,
  3. Participate in event program where they will receive mentoring, capacity building, pitching and networking opportunities.
  4. Participate in a boot camp to expose enhance their idea, with possibility of pitching their projects in front a large global audience
  5. Have an opportunity to make strong case for collaboration with other markets
  6. Be recognized an Innovation champion in the global stage with an award.


Your application will be evaluated by a jury composed of senior ITU officials, host sponsors, and Innovation experts, based on the following criteria:

  • Originality: The concept of your proposal must be original to fit your context;
  • Creativity: Your idea must to be innovative and unique
  • Sustainability: The ways and methods to sustain your key activities must be clearly described;
  • Viability: Your proposed solutions must be realistic and logical. Bonus points may be awarded if you can categorize your solutions into short, mid and long terms;
  •  Impact: Your idea/proposal must be within the context of the challenge. You must consider cross-cutting impacts, problems and relevant solutions;
  • Co-creation: a special attention will be given to candidates who are actively helping other participants advance their ideas.


1. Submit your project or idea on the platform– From the active challenges, choose the one that fits you the most. Share an overview of your proposal with the crowd using the post function.

2. Gather a community to co-create – Use the social media feature to invite other participants to support your project. You can also request feedback on your idea from the platform community. You will need to gather 15 votes from the community to move from this stage.

3. Refine your idea through expert advice – Learn from a community and other experts’ insights to further develop your business model or project proposal.

4. Submit your final proposal – Your final proposal must be documented using the challenge submission form and sent to a secure email.

5. Winners’ announcement – Every entry is submitted to a jury which selects winners based on pre-established guidelines rules for each challenge. The competition is very selective:




Click here to apply

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