Competition details

The CircularCityChallenge is a Pan-European contest for ideas on circular interventions in students’ local environments. This challenge empowers young people to make the world a better place by proposing innovative and sustainable solutions that support a circular way of living.
Key dates

Submission is open from 1st of September 2023 until 31st of July 2024

Announcement of the winners: 31. August 2024 

Award ceremony: October 2024 (exact date tba)

Who can participate?

The contest is open to all students between the ages of 14 and 18 across all EU-member states. Students can only participate as a team with fellow students (maximum team size: 3 students). Team members may be of various age, and cross-class collaboration is welcomed. Students can participate in the CCC as part of their school lessons or independently.

What to submit?

Two files are required to submit the “intervention” on the online platform:

  1. FILE 1: Explanation of the “intervention” and reflection on its possible future impact. Tell a story about how the idea shifted the system toward making cities more sustainable, more liveable, more inclusive, and more future-proof. Format: A video, presentation (pdf/pptx), comic, text document or similar.
  2. Your “interventions” can be either an Action or a Plan:
  3. Action (real-world project): For instance, building a prototype, performing a campaign, programming an app, changing a product cycle, conducting an event and many more possibilities.
  4. Plan (proposal for action): For instance, designing a product, sketching an alternative production process, planning a political measure, formulating a law, and many more options.
  5. FILE 2: A journal of the process and experiences when developing the “intervention”. Tell us how you identified the problem, who you contacted, whom you asked for help, and what you learned personally or as a group about circularity, collaboration, and the needs of other people involved in circularity issues. For this purpose, you can use the logbook or create a video, photo, text journal, or similar. Through these submission formats, we would like to understand your idea and its potential benefits as well as to learn from your team experience. We don’t expect professional videos or sophisticated texts but are interested in your ideas!
  6. Feel free to experiment – the creativity and possible impact of your idea is more important to us than the professionality of the submission.
In which format should the interventions be submitted?

Two contributions are required to submit the intervention on the online platform:

  1. A video, photo, and/or text journal documenting the process and experiences of developing the intervention. For this purpose, participants can use the logbook.
  2. A video, powerpoint, or text document, presenting the intervention and reflecting on its possible future impact by telling a story about how the intervention shifted the system toward making cities more sustainable, more livable, more inclusive, and more future-proof.

Please submit the ideas in English language. If this is not possible, please use AI translator tools to translate your submission, and submit both versions.

What are the prizes?

All participants will receive a Circular Education Certificate (certificate of participation) to recognize their effort and feedback on their intervention to enhance the learning outcome. 

Through our events, all participants will also have a chance to network, with mind-like students from all over Europe, get knowledge about available tools on how to get their ideas to the next level, chance to showcase your idea to people are influential in their communities. 

Three finalists’ teams and their guardians will receive a three days trip to Vienna for the final Award Ceremony in October 2024, which will enable them to network with peers and be heard by decision-makers. The winning team will also get a monetary award.

What are the evaluation criteria? 

1. UNDERSTANDING URBAN CIRCULARITY: How well does the team display a basic understanding of circularity and the circular economy within complex urban systems of production and consumption?

2. UNDERSTANDING INTER-CONNECTIVITY: How well does the team understand of general landscape (key actors, organizations, initiatives), determine who needs to be involved, map the relationships, roles and information flow in the system, identify opportunities to build new relationships, and explore other parts of the system?

3. SEEING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CIRCULARITY: How well does the team represent the problem in their environment and address this problem, establish objectives through cooperation, and find ways to achieve those objectives via circular actions?

4. CONVINCING THE JURY ABOUT THEIR ANALYSIS AND PROPOSAL: How well does the team present their overall analysis, which includes the problem, actors, cooperation, and their final proposal for the problem they defined?

What does the evaluation process look like?

Round 1: All submissions are going to be rated by the CCC Jury and will receive feedback. The Jury will consist of 5-10 experts from different fields and EU member states. Each jury member has to evaluate all contributions by using a rating matrix: For each of the four evaluation criteria (see above) the jury members allocate 0 to 5 points. The teams with the highest scores will be invited as finalists to present their projects at the award event. The number of finalists depends on the total number of contributions

Round 2: Based on the finalists’ presentation the jury will select winners. The number of winners depends on the total number of contributions (TBA).

What is the award ceremony?  

The award event will take place in Vienna in October 2024 (exact date TBA). All finalists are required to present their intervention within max. 6 minutes to the Jury, which subsequently chooses the overall winners of the CircularCityChallenge. To be considerate of different presentation skills and preferences, the finalists can choose between the following options to present their contribution to the audience: video, audio, oral presentation, reading of a text or having someone else read a prepared text in their name.

All finalists will receive a trip to the final award event, by covering the basic travel expenses (flight or train and overnight stay in appropriate accommodation). For participants below the age of 18, CCC will also provide travelling support for at least one accompanying adult (parent, teacher, legal guardian) per group.