UNICC – CU: Thinkathon

UNICC and the Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS) have launched a Think-a-Thon to bring students/alumni together to advance human welfare and confront two great challenges of our time: Gender Equality and Climate Change. Selected finalists will receive mentorship from UNICC subject matter experts to work on real-world solutions for the two challenges, have a chance to win cash prizes to advance their projects and the opportunity to present to UNICC delegates while working on a real-world solution to a global issue.

Participation Guidelines

Participants will have to form a group of 3-5 members, and at least one member per team will be required to be a Columbia SPS Student or Alumni. Then choose one of two challenge prompts provided (Gender Equality or Climate Change) and prepare their proposal using the Evaluation Criteria provided. Each team should submit their proposal through the form on the UN THINK-A-THON platform. Proposal submissions will be accepted till Friday, Sept 2 at 5:00 pm ET.

Judges will review the submissions beginning on Friday, September 2 at 5 pm ET through Friday, September 9th  at 5 pm ET and up to 10 teams will be selected to move to the next round/phase of the competition.

Please note: There will be an information session on Thursday, August 11 from 12:00 – 1:00 ET for students/alumni to learn how they can take part in the Think-a-Thon and how to team up. This Information Session is an opportunity to find and network with teammates from Columbia SPS and around the globe before the submission deadline on September 2nd. RSVP HERE!

Why Participate?

Students/alumni who will participate will be able to:

  1. Work on a real-world solution to a global issue with a mentor/ subject matter expert from the UNICC.
  2. Network with a cross-functional team from the UNICC and learn about the organization
  3. Use live data sourced by the UNICC to hone in on your analytical skills
  4. Collaborate and network with Columbia University colleagues across academic programs
  5. Strengthen your resume with project experience that makes a positive global impact.


1st Place⁠ – ⁠$10,000 to split between the team members

2nd Place⁠ – ⁠$10,000 to split between the team members

Audience Choice⁠ – ⁠$5,000 to split between the team members.

For more information on the next phases and challenges criteria, please visit the Think-a-Thon page.