Since there are no currently active contests, we have switched Climate CoLab to read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


GUCI engages youth in climate education,and in cross-idea interactions, while developing the skills needed to address world challenges.



The world has changed due to climate change: the global economy is flattening, there is unprecedented migration and we are experiencing a digital revolution and yet schools around the globe are not preparing youth for their interconnected world. Those prepared to operate within this reality will see this interconnection as an opportunity. Those not prepared will see this changing landscape as a threat. But in order to save the world for us and for posterity, something urgent must be done and this is where Global University for Climate Innovation and Invention (GUCI) comes in.

GUCI will prepare a new generation of empowered global citizens by offering them open and distance learning certificates, undergraduate degree, and post graduate degree in climate innovations and invention while also engaging other university and middle school students in any location in the world in cross-idea interactions with students abroad. Guided by curricula developed to encourage empathy and action amongst youth, we will help youth across the globe develop the skills needed to address world challenges.


Category of action

Youth Leadership on Climate Change

What actions do you propose?



As a result of the anthropogenic climate change drivers, the global mean surface temperature is projected to increase between 1.5°C and 5.8°C by 2100. In Africa for instance, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its 4th Assessment Report, 2007 has stated that warming throughout the continent and in all seasons, is very likely to be larger than the global annual mean warming, with drier subtropical regions warming more than the moister tropics. The future warming rate is likely to range from 0.2°C per decade (for the low scenario) to more than 0.5°C per decade (for the high scenario). This warming will be greatest over the interior of semiarid margins of the Sahara and central southern Africa. The observed annual rainfall anomalies of the climate change models indicate that there are possible increases in precipitation in East Africa, contrasted with reduced precipitation for southern Africa in the next 100 years. While for East Africa an increase in rainfall as projected would be welcome, it will be accompanied by an increase of extremely wet events, from the current 5% to about 20%, which could seriously disrupt food production systems and infrastructure.


The world is closely linked with its climate. Indeed, all corners of the globe are vulnerable to climate change and are already subject to frequent droughts, floods and famine. The livelihoods of most people are largely dependent on utilization of land-based resources, as well as on freshwater lacustrine and riverine systems as sources of potable water, fish, transport etc. As a result of this dependency and widespread poverty, most of the communities around the world are particularly vulnerable to the effects and impacts of climate change. In contrast most governments have no established social security systems to cushion citizens against these climate-induced risks.

Climate studies and modelling experiments indicate that the anthropogenically-driven rise in global temperatures and land-use changes may adversely affect existing climatic, hydrological and environmental conditions. Multiple stresses make most of the regions of the world highly vulnerable to environmental changes, and climate change is likely to increase this vulnerability. Specific impacts include desertification, sea level rise, reduced freshwater availability, cyclones, coastal erosion, deforestation, loss of forest quality, woodland degradation, coral bleaching, the spread of malaria and other diseases, and impacts on food security. The expected changes are expected to continue beyond the cessation of the rise of green house gases due to the long half-life of some important gases like carbon dioxide. Hence the world needs to have strategies for adaptation and mitigation.


To meet these challenges, we are here to introduce to the world

“Global University for Climate Innovation and Invention (GUCI)”

It is envisioned that the GUCI will serve to offer unique trans-disciplinary programmes that will:

Build the human capacity needed to address climate change and  adaptations that meet global societies unique needs by offering University-based curricula for conventional degrees and short training courses for a wide range of young professionals from all sectors of society;

Encourage action-oriented research activities, including research into climate adaptation technologies, that will help to improve the climate adaptation capacity of the global population;

Provide a framework for national and regional policy assessments and advice to governments and other public and private sector actors; and

Include the grassroots and various youth communities around the world in its programmes execution and implementation of research findings.



The main objective, therefore, is to establish the Global University for Climate Innovation and Invention (GUCI) that will provide and/or conduct open and distance learning:


1.Formal training for youth on climate change innovation, inventions and support services to bring scalable projects to fruition at postgraduate level (Master’s and Doctorate) initially, and eventually at the undergraduate level;

2. Professional Short courses for various climate change and adaptation actors and stakeholders in the public and private sectors including NGOs run by young people;

3. Climate change and adaptation research and knowledge exchange;

3. Action-oriented community outreach programmes for implementation of practical climate change and adaptation options; and Policy advice on climate change and adaptation.

4. A service learning  program that will link schools around the world to build mutual respect and understanding among students and provide the global life skills needed for success in the interconnected 21st century on climate change.


GUCI will be established using two strategic approaches:


Involves securing space for University premises, Designing of GUCI University portal available to users worldwide, and invitation of lecturers, professors etc to participate- The University will let young people study online accessible at home, at work or on the move, in their own space and at their own pace. GUCI flexible study methods will bring learning to life, combining top quality course materials and tutorial groups with e-learning methods like podcasts, online courses, community forums and interactive media.


1. When GUCI receive your registration, we’ll send you a welcome pack and let you know if you need to do any prep work ahead of your course start date. Before your course begins, we’ll also send you the course materials you’ll need. And then you’re off! You’ll be part of a study group supported by your GUCI tutor, who’s there to help you face-to-face, on the phone and online and give you feedback on your assignments.

2. GUCI qualifications will be designed to be flexible. By telling us which qualification you are studying towards and how many credits you want to study each year we will be able to identify your study intensity – and advise you on whether this affects your eligibility for financial support.

3. For those students entrepreneurs with green & clean inventions and innovations to help cut climate change impact, GUCI will lunch open funding platform for GUCI Entrepreneurs to meet with  Investors, Banks and Public Institutions around their ideas so they could successfully start & grow their company.


In partnership with other universities from around the world, GUCI will establish a service-learning program on their campuses and train their students to facilitate a weekly global competence curriculum in local middle school classrooms around climate change education. Guided by their university student mentors, the middle school students will explore this year-long curriculum in active partnership with another GUCI classroom abroad through exchanging videos, pictures and messages.


Youth participants will be able to communicate directly with their project pair group as well as with the entire GUCI community... here's how!

Group to Group:

Youth are able to directly communicate with the youth of their sister-school through:

- Pen-pal letter correspondence

- Password protected internet message-boards  

- GUCI Conversation Bursts 

GUCI groups will be encouraged to participate in 'Conversation Bursts'. This will be a time for ‘intensive’ communication between project pairs.  At the beginning of the school year, each teacher or group leader will be mailed a packet of Conversation Burst curriculum.  For example, a curriculum activity may include: write a journal entry about the impact of climate change in your community and what you are doing to solve it.  During each Conversation Burst period, the teacher or group leader chooses one or more of the curriculum activities from the packet –or they can invent their own!  Project Representative often helps coordinate the exchange of these activities.  Beyond direct communication with their project pair, youth participants are also able to communicate with the entire GUCI Community.  The GUCI Community will comprise of all the participating sister-schools and Project Representatives staff from around the world. 


Who will take these actions?

The GUCI will be structured as an academic   outfit and will be made up of an interdisciplinary team of emerging young talents in the areas of environment, urbanism, architecture, art, design, science, technology, education, and sustainability. This team will see to the day in day out activities of the institution and will spend time making the institution better every day by inviting and involving various stakeholders from around the world.


What are other key benefits?

As long as youth continue to graduate in the 21st century with 20th century skills, our vision of a just world cannot be achieved. If we can work within the existing education infrastructure to enhance school curricula with opportunities for youth to become empowered and empathetic participants in the world especially around climate actions, then we can make these necessary learning experiences equal access and systemic. We have an aggressive scaling plan to reach 24 new program sites within 5 years.




What are the proposal’s costs?

We anticipate an investment of $10,000 in administrative, travel, and research expenses to write a project plan. In the near future, we will require an additional $2,000 to $5,000 for incorporation and legal expenses, plus $500,000 in seed financing to launch the project.





Time line

The Project will be launched in five major phases, during the following estimated dates:

Phase 1 Incorporation: Finalize project plan, incorporate, build project website: January—March, 2015

Phase 2 project financing: $500,000 to jump-start operations: February—September, 2015

Phase 3 putting together hubs in Universities around the world: October—December, 2015

Phase 4 Optimize the hub: November, 2015

Phase 5 open for operations: December, 2015


Related proposals