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GSD Year 12 Competition

Global Sustainable Development Year 12* Competition

The United Nations defines Global Sustainable Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

The world’s population is predicted to grow from six to ten billion between the years 2000 and 2050, with the next few decades predicted to witness significant transformations in economic growth, international relations, human development, biodiversity, human health, and social justice. Our 11 Global Sustainable Development degrees equip you with the expertise, skills, and knowledge that enable you to contribute meaningfully to the debates about these big problems, so that you can make a real difference to the world.

Choose one of the questions below and enter one of the following in response:

a 1,000-1,500 word essay

a 4 minute video/podcast essay

a photo / series of photos and a 500 word (maximum) commentary

an artistic exploration (for example, painting, poetry, short story, short film, etc.) and a 500 word (maximum) commentary.


1. 'Single-use’ has been named Word of the Year 2018. Why is the banning of ‘single-use’ plastics relevant to sustainable development?

2. A recent study reported that, at current rates of progress, it may take more than 100 years to close the gender pay gap globally. How does narrowing this gap contribute to establishing more sustainable societies?

3. Many countries have recently pledged to reduce their emissions in order to stay within a 1.5 degree rise in global warming. Is this target achievable?

*Year 12 in the UK or sixteen to seventeen year old age group equivalent.

Find out more about last year's winning entries to the GSD Essay Competition

If you would like to be made aware of events in the School that your pupils could attend, please, visit our Outreach pages.

GSD essay image

Download our printable Poster for display in your School


Shortlisted entrants will be invited to a Global Sustainable Development Campus Day at Warwick where the winners will each be awarded a £50 prize.

Submit your entry here via this form.

Entries must be received by midnight on Friday 12 April 2019

If your submission is physical/not transferable to a computer, please get in touch with us at globalsustainabledev at warwick dot ac dot uk for advice

  • Please ensure that you obtain support for your entry from one of your teachers. You will need to provide their name on the entry form.
  • The judging panel will consist of members of academic staff from the Global Sustainable Development team, current students, and the Globus team.
  • Winners will be announced at a Campus Day at the University of Warwick in Summer 2019.