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An Invitation To Help Students Slingshot the Planet Forward

By Sean Pettis
18-Jan-23
An Invitation To Help Students Slingshot the Planet Forward


Designed to empower and amplify youth voices on the social issues they care about, the Slingshot Challenge creates a platform where youth can share their ideas about the future of conservation work. Participants are asked to create a one-minute video outlining an innovative solution to an environmental issue. Topics of focus include cleaning the air, restoring the ocean, protecting nature, reducing waste, and addressing climate change.

The Slingshot Challenge is open to all young people between the ages of 13 to 18 who are passionate about saving our planet. With a full suite of both student and educator facing resources, it represents a significant opportunity for teachers looking for ways to engage students around impactful environmental storytelling. The National Geographic Society will select winners who will be awarded up to 10,000 USD in cash prizes and personally invited to their headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the iconic Explorers Festival. The closing date is 24 February 2023 with winners announced in May 2023.  You can find more information and inspiration at www.SlingshotChallenge.org.

Engaging young people as co-creators of the future is the foundation of Videos for Change. Led by The Human Responsibility Accelerator, a collaborative ecosystem dedicated to developing citizenship education for a better world, we take an ecosystem approach to promoting youth voices and partner with organizations who share our belief in the power of developing, harnessing, and amplifying young people’s talents and creativity. Given our world’s pressing environmental issues, we are delighted to be working with the National Geographic Society, which launched this new global video challenge with support from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

In addition to the Slingshot Challenge, there are a range of opportunities for international schools and their students to harness the power of real-life, project-based learning while developing 21st-century skills and dispositions.

Following the success of the inaugural Global Competition in 2021, the Videos for Change Global Competition returns in late 2023. The Global Competition provides an opportunity for young people to develop one-minute videos that address other social issues they are passionate about, either individually or in teams of up to six. Videos for Change is open to entries from young people at any time, with submissions automatically entered into all competitions they are eligible for. In 2021, a selection of winners of the Global Competition were screened at COP 26, broadcast on network tv, and have become part of the Videos for Change Showcase

Schools can also deliver their own bespoke competition on a personalized Videos for Change website. As previously featured by The International Educator, Zurich International School has developed an innovative approach to delivering its Grade 8 Social Studies program through a unit entitled “The Future We Want.” The unit challenges students to choose a focus area they’re passionate about and research innovative initiatives, creative solutions, and advocacy at various organizational levels that contribute to the future they want, culminating in the creation of a short form video.

If you want more information on how Videos for Change can harness the talents of your students, visit www.videosforchange.org and we’d be pleased to talk with you about how we can work together.


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Sean Pettis is the director of strategic alliances with the Human Responsibility Accelerator, supporting young people and educators across the globe to engage with Videos for Change and other citizenship-focused platforms.




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