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The global sustainability crisis is an opportunity for humanity to learn to flourish without compromising the natural systems upon which we depend. A few of the interrelated challenges presented through the global sustainability crisis include Global climate change, Persistent poverty, Food and water insecurity, Lack of quality education, Social inequities, and Loss of Biodiversity.

The Undergraduate Sustainability Competition asks students to develop, alone or in a team, a bold and innovative plan or solution that promotes one or more of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)


  • To demystify sustainability through the lenses of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. And to challenge undergraduate students to develop an innovative plan or solution that promotes one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while taking account of other relevant SDGs. In doing so, students (alone or in teams) will address a particular sustainability problem or challenge which could be at a local, regional, national, or international level anywhere in the world. The plan or solution could be a program for a government or private entity, proposal, product or service, system, business plan, event, social media platform, app, game, law, organization, educational initiative, or something else. The plan or solution must be presented in the form of a fact sheet.

The Sustainability Competition will proceed with the following timeline:

  • Registration commences on August 23, 2021
  • Registration ends on Sept. 20, 2021
  • Entrants submit final deliverables in the form of “fact sheets”: November 21, 2021
  • Finalists announced: November 26, 2021
  • Winners announced: December 04, 2021


Leon Liebenberg proposed this competition to his colleagues, specifically to Robert McKim. After a few discussion, we pulled Warren Lavey into the discussions. We also then reached out to centers and institutes around campus to garner attention. Once we had a critical mass of people interested, we sought funding from various organizations. The Organizing Team reached out to over 100 colleagues across campus (including alumni) to act as either specialist advisors or as initial judges. We also secured seven prestigious people (some who are alumni) to act as finals judges.

No description has been provided yet.

Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Leon Liebenberg,

    Project Leader:

    Leon Liebenberg,

    Team Members:

    • Leon Liebenberg
    • Robert McKim
    • Warren Lavey
    • Michelle Wander
    • Peter Davis

Project Location(s)

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