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?

The Global Social Leaders (GSL) Global Goals Competition is a project-based learning programme which supports students to develop and implement a social action project that helps to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Scroll down to find out more information!

To take part in the competition, schools need to first become a GSL Member School. You can find out more about the GSL Membership here.


The GSL Global Goals Competition is a project-based learning programme available for students at GSL Member Schools around the world.

Students will form teams to design and deliver a social action project, working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and addressing issues that they feel are important.

Schools are supported throughout the competition with online training events for both teachers and students, as well resources that guide teams to plan and run their projects. There will also be other events and check-ins with the GSL Team throughout the year!

Teams are invited to submit their project plans in January and will receive feedback on how to further develop their projects. They will then submit their Final Projects to the competition in May!

The competition is a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills and be part of a global movement of socially conscious leaders creating positive change in their communities.

  • 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: GSL Member Schools only
  • Age eligibility: 11-17
  • Number of teams per school: 1-15 Teams
  • Team size: 3-7 Students 

Key Dates 

Indicative dates for 2023-24

  • September 2023 | Registration Opens
  • End of February 2024 | Submission Deadline for Project Feedback
  • 8th May 2024 |  Final Project Report Submission Deadline
  • 12th June 2024 |  GSL Festival & Announcement of the Global Goals Competition Winners

Dates are subject to change


Phase 1: Get Started

Team Setup & Project Planning

Your students will be required to form their GSL project team, which should consist of 3-7 students.

As a team, they will research the Global Goals and develop their idea into a plan. We want them to aim high but be realistic about what they can achieve within 6 months. Students should consider the long-term sustainability of their project (as they will be judged on this!).

Teams will complete a baseline survey, enabling them to measure the impact and success of their project. We provide students with the following support and resources to help get them started:

  • Team Handbook resources
  • Team training
  • Masterclasses and other resources on the GSL Teams’ Area website

Phase 2: Take Action

Get more support with your project!

While delivering their project(s), teams will receive additional support from the GSL Team. This includes:

  • Team Check-in(s) for them to share updates on their project and hear from other teams.
  • Ask the Expert Event(s) to gain more advice and inspiration for their projects.

Teams will also gain further written support and tailored feedback from GSL Global Goals Heroes. They will be sent a link to answer 3 key questions:

  • What have you done so far?
  • What are you planning to do next?
  • What challenges are you having?

The deadline for submitting their answers can be found in the Timeline above!

We encourage Teams to work closely with their Lead Teacher to reflect on their learning, and to review their project plan.

Phase 3: Raise Awareness

Share your story and build support

Teams have been requested to document their project’s journey by capturing photos and videos. These will help recruit others to support them in
the future and with fundraising activities.

Teams will be expected to raise awareness of their project and it’s impact by writing a press release for the school or local newspaper(s). We invite teams to share their project journey and inspire other teams by submitting a blog to be featured on the GSL website.

We encourage Teams to create a social media account and join the conversation by following #GSLgoals on social media here. They can publicise their project and the issues they are addressing by sharing updates using #GSLgoals and provide inspiration to teams around the world!

Phase 4: Wrap Up

Final Submission & Celebration

The Final Submission will be in May and you can find the exact dates in the timeline above. We advise early submission if teams have exams to prepare for.

We emphasised the importance of carefully following the submission requirements and using the judging criteria to ensure submissions are as
strong as possible.

We will invite you and the Teams to our annual online GSL Festival in June where we will celebrate their hard work with some amazing guest speakers and contributions from stand out competition teams.


We have ‘Junior’ and ‘Senior’ categories, and a range of awards beyond a single winning team project.

We know that young people are concerned about some key areas and wish to encourage projects focused on climate, education and wellbeing which will be recognised in these additional awards.

Details of the judging for these categories are outlined in the Handbook you receive to support the competition.

JUNIORS (11-14)

  • Junior Winner
  • Partnership & Collaboration Winner
  • Climate & Sustainability Winner
  • Quality Education Winner
  • Health & Wellbeing Winner

SENIORS (15-17)

  • Senior Winner
  • Partnership & Collaboration Winner
  • Climate & Sustainability Winner
  • Quality Education Winner
  • Health & Wellbeing Winner


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:

  • Impact
  • Courage
  • Resilience
  • Sustainability
  • Creativity
  • Pivot
  • Social Media Champions
  • Learning


  • All Team Members will receive a named certificate (final submission required)
  • All Lead Teachers will receive a named certificate (final submission required)

Registration is now open for the 2021-22 competition! To register please complete the following three chronological steps:

Step 1 – School Registration

  • Schools need to identify a member of staff who will coordinate the competition and act as a main point of contact.
  • Promote the competition at your school using materials available on our resources page.
  • Schools can register up to 10 project teams in a school year*

Step 2 – Team Registration

  • Teams should consist of 3-7 students and have a designated supporting teacher
  • This step should be completed by the student team leader or supporting teacher
  • After completion, each team member will receive a unique link to complete their student registration

Step 3 – Student Registration and Parental Consent

  • The registration form will be emailed to each team member named in the team registration.
  • Each team member named in the team registration will receive a unique link to complete their registration. This form is not available on the website or competition booklet.
  • Students need to have parental consent to take part in the competition.

*If schools would like to register more teams for the competition they should email

SUBMISSION IS NOW OPEN! Submit your Project Update Report for feedback by Monday 31st January 2022.

Remember, the more time and effort you spend completing your Project Update Report and adjacent submission form, 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 Update Reports.

We will provide bespoke written feedback and guidance for teams on a first come, first served basis. Feedback will be released every Tuesday, and all teams will receive their feedback by the end of March.

Click here to watch Masterclass #3 for guidance on how to submit your Project Update Report.