The Challenge is an educational and awareness drive combined with an annual submissions-based competition to engage students, residents, and interns in ideating climate solutions. Students are encouraged to unleash their creativity in conceptualising, developing, and implementing climate action projects in their homes, schools, and communities. This will be open to all AKU students and trainees globally with participants being recognised for their contributions. 

Challenge Collaborators

As a global initiative, this Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the President and operationalized in collaboration with the Office of Environment and Sustainability, the Office of Communications, the Critical Creative Innovative Thinking forum (CCIT), and led by the Office of Student Affairs and Services. Additional support and advising is also be requested from the Nutrition and Food Services, Facilities Management, Landscaping, the Environmental Sustainability and Responsibility Council, the Brain and Mind Institute, the Institute for Global Health and Development and the section on Environmental and Occupational Health in the Community Health Sciences and various other departments.

Challenge Aims

The President’s Challenge is being conceptualised to: (1) educate, inspire, and encourage AKU students and trainees to serve as change agents for climate change mitigation; (2) promote students’ and trainees’ critical engagement with climate issues; (3) solicit viable project proposals and pledges from students and trainees through a competitive process; (4) and to encourage students’ efforts by recognising and awarding prizes to the best projects and proposals received.

An off shoot of the President’s Challenge is an AKU student led High School competition where schools will be invited to organise a mini challenge at the school level and present their internal winning projects at an event at AKU.

The Waste Nothing Challenge – 2022

The theme “Waste Nothing,” has been selected to help students, residents, and interns engage with the massive issues of climate in a more manageable and pragmatic way. While the most obvious issue stemming from this theme is that of waste and pollution reduction, there are other ways to conceptualise ‘waste nothing’. Students may want to look at how waste products are created through hospital operations, the cafeterias at AKU, their own eating and cleaning habits at home and in hostels, in their communities, through economic activity in wider society, and much more. 

Moving towards the alternate conception of wasting nothing—this may trigger students’ minds towards thinking of all the valuable resources that are wasted, and which could be conserved and reused, on a regular basis in their lives—e.g., water, electricity, gas, oil, food, and so much more. 

The Challenge will consist of an annual educational and awareness campaign combined with an annual submissions-based competition. 

Participants will be provided support in the forms of an Ideation Sprint, advisory sessions with subject matter experts, field visits to AKU and external facilities of power, water, and waste management. 

This Challenge will kick off in May 2022 and will engage students through a variety of interactive events, culminating in a grand closing ceremony in November 2022.