Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept applicants from any country?

  • Yes! The Youth Innovation Challenge is a global competition, so anyone aged 15 to 30 from anywhere in the world can apply!

Can teams apply for the challenge?

  • We highly encourage collaboration! We ask that one person fills out the application (perhaps the team leader/coordinator). There is a portion of the application that will ask for other team members' names and information, including a requirement for all team members to submit a signed photo/video release form. The submitter for the group must be between 15 to 30 years old!

Is there a limit to the number of people that can apply as a team? 

  • We don't limit the number of collaborators you work with! 

Does the application require both a pitch and written responses? 

  • Yes. In addition to your video pitch, the application requires written responses to four questions. Full details about the application can be found in the YIC Applicant Handbook.

Is there a word limit for the written responses? 

  • Yes, there is a word limit (maximum word count) for each written response question. Please see page 9–10 of the YIC Applicant Handbook for more details. 

Do we have to cite our sources? 

  • We don't require you to formally cite your sources (though you're more than welcome to!). We do ask that your sources are credible and that you mention them somewhere within your answer to the question "What is the relevant research or evidence that informs your solution?" within the application.  You can also use a service like if you want to include short links instead of a lengthy reference. See page 7 under the "Informed" criteria in the YIC Applicant Handbook for more info. 

Can we use background music in our pitch? 

  • Yes! You can use copyright-free background music or audio in your pitch submission. Just make sure that the background music doesn't cover up anyone who is speaking. We recommend sending the video to a family member or friend who can test it out and make sure everything looks and sounds okay before you submit it! We'll also ask you to include links to your sources in the application. 

Can we use stock images or videos in our pitch? 

  • Yes! You can use copyright-free images, videos, animations, or other third-party content in your pitch submission. We'll ask you to include links to your sources in the application. 

If we want to submit a video pitch, can we record it with a phone or laptop? 

  • Yes! The priority of the pitch is to share your idea and vision for your solution. Reviewers will not judge your video quality or your English proficiency. View the recording of our 2021 YIC Webinar to see examples of creative video pitches, including ones that use animation, song, and storytelling. Be sure to also check out our tips for creating a compelling video pitch.  

Will different-aged applicants be judged the same? (For example, will a 16-year-old and a 26-year old be judged the same?)

  • Each applicant will be judged using the same review criteria. Our selection panel will use the Selection Criteria (see page 6 of the YIC Applicant Handbook) to score your solutions and select the YIC finalists and winners. That being said, judges will consider that applicants closer to the age minimum might have less experience than applicants closer to the age maximum. 

Where can I learn more about environmental education (EE)? 

  • More than just raising awareness, EE provides the skills, values, attitudes, and behaviors that encourage individuals and groups to be thoughtful and engaged changemakers. As a key part of your solution, EE can help ensure that your solution are focused on empowering long-term change within a community. Learn more about EE from the following: 

Do you have any social media networks? 

  • You can find more info about GEEP on our website. We are also featured on social media platforms through our secretariat, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). You can find NAAEE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the handle @theNAAEE. You can also subscribe to GEEP's newsletter. 

Where can I watch the recording of the 2024 YIC Applicant Webinar? 

I still have questions! Who can I contact? 

← Return to the Youth Innovation Challenge landing page.