Launch student competition Battle of Ideas

Up to 7500 euro for the best idea for sustainable global development

3 June 2014

How can farmers in Africa increase their water use efficiency? How can people live together again after a civil war? How can you better involve adolescents in developing countries in sharing information about sexual education? These and other questions are key in the Battle of Ideas. In this student competition, the team with the best and most creative idea that contributes to solving problems in developing countries, has a chance to win up to 7500 euro.

The Battle for Ideas challenges Dutch and foreign students studying in the Netherlands to jointly and in no more than 1200 words describe a new and creative idea to help solving a specific problem in developing countries. Teams must consist of 2 to 5 bachelor and/or master students from different studies. The team with the best idea wins 1500 euro per team member.

Collaborating with experts

From all entries into the competition, the three teams with the best idea will be selected at the end of this summer. 

These teams will be invited to a conference on 15 October in The Hague, to participate in a think-tank session with researchers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and representatives from development agencies. Together, they will further develop the team’s ideas. At the end of the day, the three teams will pitch their improved idea to a live audience. This audience, which also includes the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, will decide which team wins the competition. The winners can use their prize to increase their knowledge of the theme of their choice, for instance by visiting a country where their selected problem is urgent.

Ideas that are submitted to the competition should focus on specific problems that are connected to one of the following themes: Food Security, Water, Security and Rule of Law, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Inclusive Development. A detailed list of the themes and the selected problems is available on More information is also available on

Kick-off and matchmaking on 26 June

Students who are interested in entering the Battle of Ideas are invited to the kick-off and matchmaking event on Thursday 26 June at the Toque Toque Werfkelder, Oudegracht 138 in Utrecht, from 19:00 until 21:30 hrs. Students who do not have a (full) team yet, have the opportunity to meet other interested students to team up with. In addition, more information about the competition is given. Attending the event is free of charge, drinks are on the house. Registering is possible until 22 June. Students that are not able to be there on the 26th, but who are interested in joining the competition, can also register on this website as a potential contender. Teams can submit their final idea until 29 August 2014.

The Battle of Ideas is part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of WOTRO. With this competition, WOTRO aims at motivating students to join the search for new ideas for global issues and at showing the power of collaboration between people from different academic backgrounds and with different professions.

Source: NWO