World Bank Youth Summit 2018: Unleashing the Power of Human Capital

December 3-4, 2018

1818 H St NW, Washington, DC 20433

  • Established in 2013, the Youth Summit is an annual event held by the World Bank Group (WBG) to engage with youth globally on the most pressing topics facing their generation. The primary goals of the Summit are to (1) empower youth to explore innovative ideas for tackling development challenges, (2) provide youth with the tools to build and engage in impactful projects, and (3) promote dialogue between youth, the WBG, and other key stakeholders globally.


    This year’s theme

    The theme for the 2018 Summit is Unleashing the Power of Human Capital. A key determinant of a country’s competitiveness is its human talent—the skills, knowledge, and experience of its population, better known as “human capital”. The agenda will be structured around two main subthemes, exploring how youth can maximize their, and other individuals’, human capital throughout their lifespan.


    Who should attend?

    The Summit invites youth who are passionate about maximizing their, and other individuals’ human capital. Attendance at the Summit is open to youth aged 18-35 from around the world.

    There is no admission fee to attend the event, but all travel and lodging costs are at the sole expense of the attendee. Given the scale of the event, neither the WBG Youth Summit, the Committee, the World Bank Group or any of its affiliates can provide financial assistance to those attending.

    Interested youth are encouraged to find sponsors to pay for their transportation tickets and accommodation for the two days of the event. If attendance to Washington DC is not possible, please send an email to with "WBG Country Office" in the subject line and the Youth Summit Organizing Committee will make an effort to arrange a conference room in the WBG Country Office to watch the event live. 

    If you can't attend in Washington DC, we encourage you to join us online via World Bank Live. Some World Bank Country Offices might host livestreaming events. 




    We are accepting applications to the Summit and to the Competition
    until 11:59 pm EST (Washington D.C. time) on October 5, 2018

  • Detailed agenda coming soon

  • Youth Summit 2018 Competition

    We are calling all young social entrepreneurs to submit an innovative idea that contributes to building human capital, the greatest asset of economies globally.

    In today’s era of technological change and the need for adaptability, human capital, in some measures, explains up to two-thirds of income differences across the world. Investments in human capital, specifically education, skills, and health, are not only key drivers of productivity and economic growth, but also contribute to individuals’ self-empowerment. The advancement of human capital depends on two main drivers: i) the quality of investment in the early years – covering childhood education, health and nutrition; and ii) maximizing the accumulation of skills, knowledge, and well-being throughout people’ life cycle. The successful combination of these two elements is key to achieving the World Bank’s twin goals of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity as well as the  United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

    The World Bank Group wants to hear from you; young changemakers from across the globe!


    Deadline for Submission: 5 October 2018


    How would you spur innovations that contribute to shrinking the ‘human capital gap’ and foster the skills and well-being of individuals? This is your opportunity to submit an original idea aimed at increasing human skills, knowledge, or well-being related to at least one of the subthemes listed in either or both pillars below.


    Building the Foundations of human capital encapsulates the formative years, including children through university-age youth.

    Maximizing individual potential is focused on working-age adults (including early, mid, and late career) and the elderly.


    About the Competition

    Unleashing the power of human capital to ensure that individuals – at all stages of life – are well-equipped to fully realize their potential and shape their own paths is one of the most complex and pressing challenges of our time. Everybody has a role to play – governments, international organizations, non-profits, local communities, and individuals – but no one is better placed than young people themselves to identify, innovate, and overcome the obstacles faced in an era of fast-paced, technology-driven change.

    The purpose of this competition is to challenge young people to solve problems that i) enhance the foundations of human capital by addressing challenges related to childhood education, health, and nutrition; and/or ii) cultivate the skills, knowledge, and well-being of adults in order to improve the capacity of individuals to reach their full potential in an uncertain future.

    The competition provides a forum for young people to identify problems in their communities related to the two pillars of human capital and craft their own innovative solutions. In doing so, it aims to inspire, stimulate entrepreneurial problem solving, and create dialogue on innovative ways to unlock obstacles that have traditionally hindered investment in the potential and quality of life of individuals.


    Why Participate?

    Do you have an idea that has the capacity to improve human capital and thereby positively impact your community, your country, and/or society at large? If the answer is yes, then the Youth Summit 2018 Competition gives you the opportunity to share your idea, connect with peers and high-level experts, and explore how to bring your idea to the next level.


    Who Should Participate?

    The competition is open to individuals or teams of 1-4 people aged 18 to 35, from all over the world. Prior entrepreneurial experience or business background is not required – all individuals with the drive to innovate are encouraged to participate, including professionals from business or policy, students and academics, NGO leaders, government officials and start-up founders.


    How to Enter the Competition?

    Participants should propose an innovative and action-oriented idea on how to boost the foundations of human capital for children and/or enhance the skills, knowledge, and health of adults. The proposed solution (i) can be aimed at business or policy (e.g., product, service, program, policy, course, initiative, etc.), (ii) should solve a specific problem or challenge, and (iii) address at least one of the human capital subthemes in the two pillars below.

    Pillar I: Building the foundations of human capital[1] subthemes:

    a.      Infant care and/or maternal health

    b.      Childhood and/or early youth education

    c.       Childhood health and/or nutrition


    Pillar II: Maximizing individual potential[2] subthemes:

    a.      Life-long learning & training

    b.      Adult & elderly health


    Deadlines & Process

    Stage 1 – Submit your Idea (Deadline: 5 October 2018)

    Participants must submit their proposal by 5 October 2018. Proposals will be evaluated by an Expert Committee. Shortlisted individuals/teams will be announced by early November and will proceed to the next stage.

    Stage 2 – Refine your Idea & Prepare your Pitch (end of October)

    Individuals/teams shortlisted in Stage 1 will receive feedback on their proposals and may be asked to submit further information, refine their proposals and/or submit short ‘pitching’ videos. Based on that, the Expert Committee will select the ‘Finalist’ individuals/teams who will proceed to Stage 3.

    Stage 3 – Pitch your Idea at the Youth Summit 2018 (3-4 December 2018)

    Finalists will join the Youth Summit 2018, taking place at the World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington DC. The Youth Summit will cover all travel expenses and lodging in Washington DC for up to three nights for one representative from each finalist team. The entire morning of the second day of the Summit will be dedicated to showcase Finalists’ ideas. Finalists will present their proposal in front of a Judging Panel and Summit attendees – presentations will be live-streamed. One of the winners will be designated by the Judging Panel, and another winner will be designated by the audience.


    Ready to Apply?

    To share your idea and enter the Youth Summit 2018 Competition, you shall:

    1. Make sure that you/your team meets the Eligibility Requirements:

    • The Competition is open to individuals or teams of 1-4 people, aged 18 to 35 inclusive as of 11:59 pm EST on 5 October 2018.
    • Teams and individuals are limited to one submission each.
    • The Competition is open to nationals of ALL countries of the world.
    • Active (at the time of the submission up until the closing of the Youth Summit 2018) staff of the World Bank Group, including Consultants and Interns, are not eligible to participate in the Competition.

    2. Prepare a proposal that outlines your idea, according to the following Submission Rules:

    • Proposals must be created by and owned by the Participants.
    • Proposals must be submitted in English.
    • Proposals shall provide an innovative and action-oriented business-level or policy-level idea that enhances human capital and complies with the following criteria:

    a.       The problem/need and the proposed solution outlined in the Proposals must relate to at least one of the subthemes outlined above.

    b.       Should apply to a least one client country of the World Bank Group

    • Proposals must (a) provide a short 2-5 sentence summary of the idea, (b) describe the specific problem/need that the proposed solution seeks to address, and (c) describe the innovation or solution proposed to address this specific problem/need (e.g., a product, service, program, policy, course, initiative, etc.).
    • Proposals will be judged based on the following Judging Criteria: (1) Clarity, scope and relevance of the problem and of the proposed solution; (2) Innovation and originality; (3) Feasibility of implementation and whether it is sustainable over time; (4) Potential for impact. Please refer to the Competition Rules and Regulations (pdf) for further information about the Judging Criteria.
    • Proposals must be between 1,000- 2,500 words in length, all-inclusive – i.e., including all bodies of text, titles, headings, tables, textboxes, footnotes, endnotes, references, appendices, etc. – and must not exceed 4 pages in total.
    • The following information must be provided at the top of the first page of the Proposal: (a) the names and respective country of citizenship of the Participant(s) submitting the Proposal – for teams, all team members’ names and respective country of citizenship shall be listed; (b) the final word count (all-inclusive).

      To write your proposal, you can refer to the Writing Tips (pdf), which provide a resource to help you structure and develop your proposal – referring to these tips is not mandatory; proposals will be judged solely based on the Judging Criteria and Submission Rules.

    3. Make sure that you are aware of, accept, and agree with the Competition Rules and Regulations (pdf).

    4. Submit your proposal by 11:59 pm EST, 5 October 2018 through the online Competition Submission Form. You will be asked to provide some information about yourself and other team members – if applicable – including a short 200-word bio for each of you, and to upload your proposal. 

    Any questions? Contact us at



  • The 2018 Youth Summit, Unleashing the Power of Human Capital, will take place on December 3-4 2018.

    Youth Summit Steering Committee 2018

    Manager and Co-Chair

    Fannie Delavelle 

    Treasurer and Co-Chair

    Samia Ausaf


    Serena Yulong Shi

    Communications Lead – Social Media and Website

    Alejandra de Lecea

    Communications Lead – Branding and Outreach Management 

    Sundas Liaqat

    Event Content Lead – Plenaries and Training Sessions

    Olivia Charlotte Hipkins

    Event Content Lead – Competition

    Roman Alexander Balin

    Event Logistics Lead – IT

    Rohit Bangera

    Event Logistics Lead – Design

    Terrence Zhang
    Partnership LeadDiego Soto Garcia 

    Youth Engagement Lead International

    Tingting Wang

    Jose Barbosa

    Youth Engagement Lead National

    Ameya Sapre

    Senior Communications Advisor

    Patrick Andrew Powell

    Senior Advisor

    Mora Farhad
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    Engineer, VIT student’s renewable energy plan picked for World Bank Youth Summit (Hindustan Times) - Infinite Light (2017 Youth Summit Finalists)

    Youth Summit Brings New Ideas to Digital Development

    A Competition To Remember (Intel)

    How language, tech open opportunities for refugees (Reuters) - Team NaTakallam (2016 Youth Summit Winners)