Do you want to help change the world for the better? Have you got an idea that will build towards a more sustainable future for all?

Take part in the Global Social Leaders (GSL) Competition and start a social action project that contributes towards addressing the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The aim of the competition is to develop students’ understanding of global citizenship and to turn their ideas into reality. They will be challenged to plan and lead a team project which addresses one or more of the United Nations Global Goals, to enable global change on a local scale. 

The competition is free to enter, but requires schools to appoint a member of staff to act as our main point of contact. Schools can register up to 10 project teams per school year. We will provide support through an online project framework (Project Update Report) and bespoke feedback as teams develop and implement their project at their school.

Resources are provided to help you promote the competition at your school. You can also use our collection of project examples to inspire your student body with excellent initiatives delivered around the world. Click the buttons below to download the competition booklet and access the support pages.

  • Free Programme

    Fully funded opportunity

  • Leadership

    Develop leadership skills

  • Project Design

    How to plan and execute a project

  • Teamwork

    Learn how to collaborate with colleagues

  • global citizenship

    Understand how to be part of a wider community

  • United Nations Global Goals

    Help to achieve the UN Global Goals by 2030


  • School Eligibility: All schools are welcome to register
  • Age Eligibility: 11-17
  • Number of Teams per School: 1-10 Teams
  • Team Size: 3-7 Students 

Key Dates 

  • 24th September 2021 | Registration Opens
  • 4th – 31st January 2022 | Submission for Project Update Reports
  • 1st May 2022 | Final Submission Deadline
  • June 2022 | Winner Announced at the GSL Festival


  • All participants will receive a named certificate (final submission required)
  • All supporting teachers will receive a named certificate (final submission required)
  • All competition participants are entitled to a discounted place
    on GSL programmes

Commendation Awards

  • Teams who reach the semi-final stage of the competition can be awarded an additional certificate and a permanent feature on our website in one of the following categories:
    • Social Media Champions
    • Resilience Award
    • Courage Award
    • Collaboration Award
    • Junior Standout Award
    • Learning Award
    • Impact Award
    • Sustainability Award


  • The winning team will receive a GSL online course for up to 40 students.


PHASE 1: IDEA GENERATION – October 2020 to 31st January 2021

Submit your project plan for feedback. We encourage you to submit your plan as early as possible to maximise the time you have to implement your project.

Remember, the more time and effort you spend completing your submission the better your feedback will be! In previous years the projects that have performed best in the competition and delivered the most impressive impact have been those driven by teams that submitted very detailed and considered project plans.

We will provide bespoke written feedback and guidance for all teams that submit their project plan before the deadline. We will aim to provide feedback within 14 working days of submission. If you submit between 4th December – 8th January then it may take longer due to our offices being closed for the Christmas period.

PHASE 2: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION – October 2020 – April 2021

Implement your project plan and turn your ideas into reality. Share your project plan and feedback report with a teacher before implementing your project. Be part of the GSL movement and join the conversation by following #gslgoals on social media.

Share your project journey and inspire other teams around the world by submitting a blog to be featured on the GSL website.


Your team is expected to complete the final submission and attach the following two components:

  • 2 Page Report

  • 3-minute Digital Submission

Your report and digital submission should be a team effort and should clearly outline how your team’s project has met the Judging Criteria (see below). If you would like to see examples of reports and digital submission please visit our Project Library page or Commendation Awards page.


1: The team’s learning and knowledge gained
a) Share the learning they have had in their
team and skills developed
b) Demonstrate knowledge gained of their
community by their team
c) Understanding of the SDGs

2: The impact on others and the community
a) Measure and demonstrate the impact
made by the team’s project on the SDG(s)
they have selected
b) Number of students, people and
organisation(s) involved or impacted
c) Number of students and hours spent
on the project

3: Special Recognition
a) Involving other people and partners
in their projects
b) Created a project that is sustainable


This is a prestigious annual 12-day residential programme at Wellington College in the UK.  Find out more about how you can reserve your place on the programme you’ll never forget.



Catalysts are our three- or five-day semi-residential programmes held in schools and colleges around the world.  Open to the public or specifically for your community: it’s entirely up to you.


GSL Inspire gives young people a voice and a platform to present about issues and projects they care about.

During our programmes, our participants are invited to prepare a short presentation to share with fellow delegates.

We invite our partner schools to hold GSL Inspire events within their schools.