About the Shape the Future challenge:

Young people between the ages of 15-20 worldwide can participate in the challenge.

The challenge program is entirely in the English language. A good understanding and ability to communicate are a must.

The challenge is designed for people between 15-20 years old. You can still join if you are 14 and turning 15 at some point during the challenge. The same counts if you are still 20 when applying, and at some point during the challenge turning 21, you are still eligible to apply.

Yes! You agree that you have informed your parents, before applying to the challenge. We will require signed parental consent for participants who will get to the Final Pitching and are under 18 years old. You will receive the form before joining the Final Pitching Ceremony and need to send it signed by one of your parents before the Final Pitching Ceremony.

Nothing. We believe in fair chances; thus, participation is free for all young people worldwide.

This depends entirely on you and your team and how much effort you would like to put into the project. You should be able to fit this together with your everyday school schedule.

There will be 3-10 minute impulse videos on topics such as “the biggest challenges in the world,” “how to develop an idea,” “how to promote an idea,” and others. It does not require too much time to look at the videos. There are also optional live workshops with experts and individually bookable 30-minute mentoring sessions with international experts, where you can get answers to your specific question. The estimated time you need for the challenge will be 20 min to 1,5 hours per day.

There will be videos published nearly every day on various topics. You do not need to watch them precisely at that time. The videos will be available on the platform throughout the challenge. Watching those videos should help you and your team develop your ideas, so we recommend you don’t leave watching them until the last minute.

Yes, absolutely. As long as you are accepted for the Shape the Future challenge. You can also join if you’re doing an apprenticeship or have a job or are traveling as long as you are active and contributing to the development of the idea.

We encourage the integration of the challenge into the classroom curriculum as it is an excellent opportunity for the students to dig deeper into the topics and can be very positive for developing the ideas in the team.

If you want to support your students by including it in your classroom agenda, we are happy to provide further information to help you.

You can apply to the challenge both as a team or individual. If you are applying as a team, still each of you needs to submit an individual application, where you can specify that you are part of a team. If you apply individually, you will get access to the challenge space on our platform, where you can find other participants from all over the world to form a team. Ultimately, you have to be part of a team of 2-6 people to participate in the challenge.

As a lot of teamwork is involved during the challenge, we highly recommend having a laptop/pc. Also, there will be multiple live calls and calls with mentors, and some things will be difficult to do simply from a phone. As this is an online challenge, a good internet connection, and a laptop/pc are highly recommended.

Moonshot Pirates, unfortunately, can not fund your projects. We can provide you with mentors, workshops, videos, and other input to help you develop your idea. There is, however, a chance that partners might select some ideas that they find exciting, and your teams develop those further.

So you have realized that you cannot participate in the challenge anymore? Well, that’s a pity, but we understand. Please let us know via email at . We will cancel your application and remove all related data. Please ensure you have received an acknowledgment of your cancellation from us. Only this will confirm that your application was canceled. This might take up to 5 working days.

You can only submit your idea as part of a single team. However, you are more than invited to help the other teams with your skills during the challenge.

Difficulties like this happen. It would help if you worked through it with the other team members. Of course, you can also reach out to us with any problems. If one member of your team drops out, that is okay. However, you must be at least two people on the team when submitting your final project.

Of course not! We encourage you to make your team as diverse and international as possible!

About the Ideas:

We are looking for innovative ideas in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more about the SDGs here.

The overarching topic that you should address is climate.

You can explore some previous project ideas from our Bootcamps and other Challenges here:

Innovation can take many shapes and forms. Find what your passions and strengths are and put them into action.

We understand the constraints of time and the ambitious nature of moonshot thinking. The three-week period is designed not to create a final, market-ready product but to spark the initial flame of innovation and to lay the foundation for what could evolve into a transformative solution.

Here’s what we value and look for in submissions:

  • Depth of Concept: We’re interested in how thoroughly you’ve thought through your idea. This includes understanding the scientific viability, sustainability of the business model, potential market, and the mechanics of how your solution works.
  • Research and Viability: Show us the effort you’ve put into researching your idea. What evidence or studies support your concept? How have you validated the need or demand for your solution?
  • Innovative Approach: How does your idea stand out? We’re looking for solutions that challenge the status quo, offer a new perspective on existing problems, or introduce entirely novel methods or technologies.
  • Potential for Impact: Assess the social, environmental, or economic impact of your idea. Who benefits? How significant is the change your solution could bring about?
  • Presentation and Clarity: How effectively can you communicate your idea? A clear, compelling presentation that conveys your vision, research, and potential impact is crucial.
  • Execution Strategy: While a fully operational model may not be feasible, outline a roadmap. What are the next steps? How do you envision moving from concept to reality?

This challenge is as much about showcasing your problem-solving skills and innovative thinking as it is about the idea itself. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to dive deep into a problem, think critically about solutions, and present a coherent, researched-backed proposal that could one day make a significant difference.

The more comprehensive and researched your submission, the better it reflects on your understanding and commitment to tackling complex challenges. This depth and execution level show us the potential for your idea to develop further beyond the competition, even if it’s in the early stages during the challenge.

Yes. Your topic needs to address at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You will learn more about the SDGs during the challenge.

Both are fine. You can describe your idea and a concept and how it can be implemented. Or you can also build a prototype of your idea, app, website, etc. The more you can show during the online voting and final pitching, the better your chance of winning.

No. Each team should focus on only one idea throughout the challenge. Even with “only” one project, it will be challenging enough.

What happens to the ideas is up to you and your team. We do not own the ideas nor take any shares if they are realized. We are currently developing a Launchpad program, which should also enable you to continue working and developing your ideas further after the challenge is over.

One criterion the judges will look upon is “feasibility,”  For that, it will be necessary that your idea is also financially sustainable and can be implemented at some point. There are many financial models your concept could be built on. So we encourage you to discover how the idea can be financially sustainable.

About the Online Voting & Final Pitching:

Having a groundbreaking idea is just the beginning of your journey towards making a real impact. To achieve your goal, it’s also crucial to spread your vision and get support from others.

In the online voting phase, you can share what you have developed during this challenge with the world. So it’s really important to plan how to promote your idea to get those votes early on.

The team with the most votes online and six other teams chosen via assessment criteria and online voting position will advance to the Final Pitching Ceremony.

The selection process of finalists combines online voting and assessment criteria points:

Criteria Points (Max 40 points)
  • Impact: 1-10 points
  • Radicality: 1-10 points
  • Feasibility: 1-10 points
  • Wow effect: 1-10 points
Online Voting Points Allocation
  • 1st place: Directly goes to the finals
  • 2-3rd place: 30 points
  • 4-7th place: 20 points
  • 8-15th place: 15 points
  • 16-30th place: 10 points
  • 31-50th place: 5 points

Our expert jury will select the winner from the seven teams during the final Pitching Ceremony.

Online Voting Disclaimer
It is absolutely forbidden to use any fake emails or bots for voting. We monitor this; if a team is caught using any of these, they will be disqualified.

Your friends, family, teachers, fellow pirates, … everyone that is a fan of your idea. Go out and promote your idea! The voting is public.

  1. Impact: Think about who benefits from your project. Are you touching lives on a local scale, or are you setting out to transform the global scene? Show us the tangible changes your idea could bring about.
  2. Radicality: We’re not looking for the ordinary; we’re searching for the extraordinary. How far does your vision stretch? Are you aiming to revolutionize your community, or do you have the ambition to redefine the world? Aim high, beyond the stars!
  3. Feasibility: It’s not just about dreaming big but also making those dreams achievable. Consider the practicality of your project—can it be brought to life? Discuss the financial viability and the roadmap to reality.
  4. “WOW Moment”: Every memorable project has that spark, that unique element that makes everyone pause in admiration. What’s yours? Highlight what makes your project stand out, not just in its essence but in how you communicate it. Dedicate thought to your presentation and the efforts behind your pitch.

Whether you want to present your idea as a whole team or only one person is up to you. However, most of the time, it is the best way to choose the best pitcher from your group and have them present your idea. Also, note that every team member should attend the Final Pitching Ceremony as there will be a Q&A session after your presentation.

Yes, the Final Pitching is available to the public. So invite your friends, family, and everybody who wants to learn about your unique project! We will provide you a link to share the final Pitching Ceremony live stream closer to the event.

We will require signed parental consent for the participants who will get to the finals and are under 18 years old. You will receive the form before joining the Final Pitching Ceremony and need to send it signed by one of your parents before it.

About the Silicon Valley Trip:

The trip is preliminary planned for Autumn 2024. The exact dates of the winner’s trip to the Shape the Future challenge will be aligned directly with the winners of the challenge.

The trip includes return flights to San Francisco from a major international airport close to you, accommodation and a program with workshops, meeting startups, visiting companies like Instagram, Apple, Pinterest, and Google, and exploring Singularity University and Stanford campuses. The exact program will be announced closer to the trip.

The winners will need to take care of their VISA/ESTA applications and cover the related costs. Please inform yourself about the cost of the VISA/ESTA for your country.

Winners of the trip will need to cover their expenses related to getting to and back from the airport. They also need to cover their food and miscellaneous during the trip.

Moonshot Pirates crew members will join and accompany the winners on the trip to Silicon Valley.

About the Mentoring During the Challenge:

Everyone from your team can join the session! It is sufficient if one person books the session and shares the details with the other team members.

No, every team can book every mentor. Each team can only book each mentor once, so you can not book the same mentor twice. However, the other teams can still book the same mentor in another time slot.

If you need more time with a specific mentor, you can also contact them and agree on private sessions with the mentors apart from the offered slots. However, please note that the mentors are doing this voluntarily and offering you their free time – so understand if they say no.

If you feel that you do not need the help of a mentor, you are not forced to have mentoring sessions. However, we highly recommend you take advantage of this significant free input from experts in different fields. You should have at least one mentoring session to see how much input they can give you. This will, of course, be of advantage when thinking about getting to the Final Pitching.

We are beyond happy to have the support of such amazing mentors throughout this challenge. The mentors come from various fields, and all have unique expertise in what they are doing. You can check out the mentors on the website and see who fits your needs best.

We suggest you briefly explain to the mentor the idea you are working on and have specific questions ready that they can answer. Remember that you only have 30 minutes with each mentor, so the better you prepare, the more you will get out of the session.

Information for parents of participants below 18 yo:

If a parent insists on accompanying their child on the Silicon Valley trip, they need to cover their travel and all expenses related to that trip by themselves. If the parents also decide to join the Silicon Valley tour program while there, they need to cover the costs associated with that tour.

All participants below 18 years old from the seven teams selected for the Final Pitching must submit parental or legal guardian consent before joining the online Pitching. Participants will receive the form before the challenge starts. In the consent, parents agree that their children are allowed to join the trip to Silicon Valley in case of winning. If we do not receive the consent before the Final Pitching, another team will be given a chance.

The Moonshot Pirates team is happy to offer video calls to the parents of minors to get to know each other before the trip.

We are happy to answer any of your questions via email or phone. Please find the contact details here.

About Moonshot Pirates & Other

Moonshot Pirates is a global educational platform enabling young people from 150+ countries to acquire 21st-century skills, solve global challenges by developing innovative solutions for the SDGs, as well as advise and challenge established companies.

We believe everyone has what it takes to make a difference. As a global movement, we want to encourage young leaders & changemakers to think big, build on their passions, gain relevant skills, and explore the possibilities of the latest technologies.

The Shape, the Future Challenge is funded exclusively by partners, foundations, and government grants. Bootcamps are usually made possible by regional sponsors. Other partners on board are the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the Federal Ministry of Labor, Family, and Youth. For more information, go here.

Got Your Own Question?

Go ahead and contact our team. We will answer your question as soon as possible.