ICO 2018-19


Are you ready to prove you are a Changemaker?


Rules, Regulations, and FAQs

1. About ICO:

The International Changemaker Olympiad (ICO) is an annual international competition with an aim to bring together young people from all over the world to enjoy the challenges of the real-world and explore and exercise their superpower to make positive change happen, in their home, school, or community. Whilst the event is organized in a competition format, for most participants, it is the first time opportunity to launch a social initiative and solve a real-world problem, and develop the critical 21st century skills of empathy, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and collaborative leadership while doing the same. This year, we will witness participation from more than 3+ countries all over the world.

2. Eligibility:

ICO 2018-19 is open to school students from standards 7th-12th. This is a team event where you can participate in teams of 3-5 students (no less than 3 and no more than 5 students in a team). There are 3 levels to the competition. Students belonging to a particular level will be competing in their level.

Level 1 – 7th and 8th standard

Level 2 – 9th and 10th standard

Level 3 – 11th and 12th standard

Ideally, the entire team should be from the same school. But if you want a friend from your colony or neighbourhood, who is in another school, in your team for this initiative, you can do that too. However, only a maximum of 1 team member in the entire team can be from a different school given that he/she also has to be from the grades of the same level.

3. What exactly is a team supposed to do in the competition?

Your team is required to start an initiative to solve a real-world problem (that you will chose) in your home, school, or community. See some examples below of the kind of problems you can solve through your initiative

  1. Social problems:  You can
    • curb the issue of bullying in your school
    • solve the problem of food shortage for stray dogs
    • ensure the children in a nearby NGO get the books they want
    • or any other problem you identify
  2. Environmental problems: You can
    • develop a creative solution to prevent usage of excess water or electricity in your community
    • make your school greener through a plantation drive
    • develop a solution for segregating and recycling waste in your home or school
    • or any other problem you identify


Note that your team will be assigned a mentor who will help you in your entire journey of your initiative, even in helping you chose the problem that you want to tackle if needed.

The competition will go on for 4 months (see deadline for your school), and you are supposed to start and work on the initiative for these 4 months. Of course, you are encouraged to continue your initiative even beyond the 4 months (after all, you will become founders of the initiative), but for competition purpose, your progress till the 4 months will be considered.

See an example of 7th standard students who collected clothes from their neighbours and donated to an NGO here in the video.

Hope you have now understood the kind of initiatives you can take.

Below is a snapshot of the steps involved in ICO 2018-19:

     Step-by-Step Participation Process

4. Can someone register if they are already working on an initiative?

If you are already working on an initiative, you can still participate, but you will have to start working on a different initiative from scratch along with your team members for this competition. ICO 2018-19 is meant to nurture and produce new initiatives from scratch, and will not consider existing initiatives.

5. How does a team register?

If you want to participate, follow the following 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Form a team of 3-5 with your friends. It can be anyone from your own section, or another section, or from another Standard in your Level. Ex. 7th and 8th grade students can also form teams together as they fall in the same level. You cannot form a team with less than 3 or more than 5 team members. Note that a maximum of 1 team member can be from another school if need be, but has to be in the same level of the competition as the rest of the team members.

Step 2: After forming the team, register using any one of the following one mechanism.

  1. Fill the form given below or open it up in a new tab by clicking here

  2. Call us at +91-98451 53303 (Anjana) if you are in India,+ 94-77843 7210 (Bala) if you are in Sri Lanka, or +91-88260 82458 (Rahul) if you are anywhere else in the world, and register.

  3. Give your details to the person in-charge from your school

Step 3: That’s it. Registration successful. You’ll be then assigned a senior mentor for your team who will then contact you, tell you how to get started, and will mentor you throughout the period of the competition. The mentor will guide you to identify the problem you want to solve, planning of the solution to the problem, and implementing it to cause real-world change. The mentor is a guide for your team and will help you, but remember that all the decisions will be of your team, and your team will be the one leading the entire initiative.

6. What are the criteria we should keep in mind while forming a team?

The following criteria can be helpful while forming a team.

  1. You can work outside of school hours, and can meet from time to time – Note that most of the work might happen outside of school hours, especially if your initiative is solving a problem at home or community. So this will require you to meet up.
  2. Think of diversity in your team – While it’s good at involving everyone in doing all the tasks, having a diverse set of skills in the team can be helpful. Someone can be good at doing work on-ground, someone can be good at making posters, someone can write well, someone knows photography, etc. Having different areas of strengths can be helpful in a team.
  3. It’s okay to NOT form a team with your best friends if they don’t add any value to the initiative. You are going to be doing some serious work (along with having a lot of fun, of course), so make sure you are forming the team accordingly.

7. How do you benefit from the competition?

Well, there are loads of benefits to your team. Some of them have been listed below.

  1. Certificates, trophies, media recognition and more. Each team member of a team gets a participation certificate upon successful participation in the competition, certifying you as a “Changemaker”. If your team does well and is amongst the winners, you will also get trophies, media coverage, mentorship from leading entrepreneurs, and so on (see Question 10)
                 You can get a certificate recognising you as an official Changemaker!


      One of the many winners from last year!


  2. Well, at the end, it’ll be a lot of You will play the role of a CEO (the person heading a company) and understand how to run an organization at a young age. Your team will get to run your own initiative/organization that solves a real-world problem. Your team will execute a plan of action to make a difference. This will most probably be your first entrepreneurial experience at a young age, which will help you through the rest of your life.
  3. You will develop the most critical skills of empathy, teamwork, creative problem-solving and collaborative leadership by working together as a team, tackling challenges creatively, and by taking lead of the work you will do.
  4. It will make you a more happy person, as you will solve a social problem and make the world a better place to live in for others around you.
  5. Well, at the end, it’ll be a lot of fun, and that’s what really matters. Imagine figuring out a plan to feed the stray dogs in your area, or using your creative skills to recycle waste paper into something creative, that too with your friends, taking all the decisions by yourself and not someone telling you what to do (note, the mentor is only their as a help). No matter what problem you chose to solve, it’ll be a lot of fun actually doing it on-ground.

8. What are the criteria for evaluation in the competition?

Note that this is a competition where the final impact of your initiative is NOT the sole criteria for comparison. For example, imagine if Team A is collecting and recycling e-waste, and Team B is planting more trees in neighbourhood. If Team A is able to recycle 300 Kg of E-waste, and Team B is able to plant 40 trees, can we really compare which has done better? No, we cannot, because the problem each team is trying to solve is completely different. Some problems may be more challenging to solve than others, hence the final impact does not matter. In fact, it is the process of working towards solving the problem that matters where we want to see your genuine desire and effort. It is explained below.

Below are the criteria on which teams will be evaluated

  1. Teamwork – How well do you work together as a team? How well do you distribute responsibilities amongst each team member? Does everyone contribute to the initiative or is it just one person working? A good team ensures everyone participates and takes ownership of responsibilities.
  2. Social Impact – This refers to the scale of your initiative. The more impact you make, the better. Note that your social impact will not be compared to the social impact of another initiative, but to the potential of your own initiative.
  3. Imapct Monitoring – Did you measure the impact you made through the initiative? A good initiative always measures the impact in as detailed a manner as possible. Your mentor will guide you how to do it, but it’s up to you on how well you do it.
  4. Documentation – How well are you documenting your work and communicating it to the world? Are you using pictures, videos, tables, etc. to articulate your work and impact well? A good team doesn’t just keep the good work to themselves, but shares it with other people in the best way possible. The mentor will guide you on how to document your work, but it’s up to you on how well you do it.

See a sample report by clicking here or by clicking the below image

Sample Report from last year

Note that the mentor will work with you throughout and evaluate you on the first 3 criteria. However, an external evaluator will go through your report and evaluate you on the last criteria. The external evaluator wouldn’t have spoken to you, so make sure you document your work really well for her/him to understand it well.

9. How many winners will be selected?

There will be different winners in the following categories.

The different categories for the Awards


Note that this is an International competition, and there will be Champions at a School, State, National, and an International level.

10. What do the winners get? 

Winners at each level and for each category are eligible for the following.

Perks that winners in each category and in each level will get.

11. Does every team get a participation certificate, even if they don’t win?

Yes, each team member of a team will be sent a Participation Certificate, but they will have to at least successfully finish the competition. A team will successfully complete the challenge if they meet the following criteria.

  1. Your team puts genuine effort for the initiative throughout the competition and communicates the same regularly to the mentor.
  2. Your team submits the report of your initiative before the final deadline, highlighting the work you have done, with pictures and videos as proof.

Note that your mentor and an external evaluator will be the one who will decide if you meet the above two criteria. To make it simpler, as long as your mentor sees that you genuinely made effort to solve the problem and the external evaluator is satisfied with your report, your team will have successfully completed the challenge and will get individual certificates certifying you as a Changemaker!

12. Still have any questions?

Reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at +91 98112 33306 (Shreya) if you are in India,+ 94-77843 7210 (Bala) if you are in Sri Lanka, or +91 88260 82458 (Rahul) if you are anywhere else in the world, and register. We’ll get back to you immediately.

So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to prove you are a Changemaker?