FAQs & Tips

1. How do I choose a good topic?

Teams choose their own case and topic related to one of the seventeen United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, their targets and indicators. (See our SDG Resources page for more details.) The best topics are current issues or those just on the horizon. We encourage teams to choose topics that they find personally compelling. Some topics may relate to more than one Sustainable Development Goal; in that case, choose just one for your presentation and Executive Summary. To see the broad spectrum of possible topics, visit the sample Executive Summaries on our Executive Summary page.

2. What's new in this year's competition?

Two changes have been made:

(1) Topics should connect with one of the SDGs. While this may leave some topics outside of the scope of the competition, recent years have shown that 65-70% of student topics directly connect with sustainable development issues. We now ask that this connection be direct and intentional for all teams.

(2) Sustainable development initiatives are engaged by for-profit, non-profit, and public policy organizations, often in collaboration. For this reason, topics from those sectors are also encouraged. 

3. How do I craft a good solution?

Your solution should seem like a logical outcome of your argument. It should make good business sense and be backed by the data and evidence of your presentation. Your audience should feel that you are proposing action that is affordable, provides a clear benefit the organization, and is ethically compelling

4. Where can I see examples of past winning presentations?

Our Video Resources page has links to winning presentations from previous years. This competition follows the same method of ethical analysis and presentation structure. Look to these well-crafted presentations that analyze the ethical, business, and legal dimensions of their solution.

5. Can we give handouts in addition to the Executive Summary? 

Handouts are permitted only for the full presentation. The Executive Summary is limited to one page, but additional handouts have no limitations. However, we strongly advise teams to remember that it is easier for judges to process a few, well thought-out pages than a large pile of paperwork.

The judges for the 10-minute and 90-second competitions will be asked to read the executive summary before the presentation begins. That means that the executive summary should give them a good sense of how the team sees the ethical issue and how the proposed solution is effective. The executive summary should NOT simply be a description of the topic that the team is discussing. 

6. Why is the executive summary limited to one page?

Brevity is a virtue and, more importantly, a highly valued skill in the working world. Executives and senior managers have many demands on their time and want to be able to see a clear, concise summary in a quick perusal.

7. Can teams and their coaches/advisors watch other presentations?

Teams, coaches and advisors may watch any presentation they choose. Because of the combination of a core group of very experienced judges, many different judges, newer judges and a detailed scoring sheet, there is no particular advantage to an earlier or later time slot.