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Innovation Challenge:

Urban Gardening - Get Growing!

This Challenge is


Urban Gardening - Get Growing!

Clifford Chance has partnered with the New York Academy of Sciences to launch innovation challenges in Kigali, Rwanda. The goal of this three-year program is to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education opportunities and enhance STEM workforce development in Kigali. We’re pleased to launch our latest Open Innovation Challenge and we seek innovative ideas for how to grow food in our own homes.


Students ages 13-17 in Kigali, Rwanda are invited to compete in an 10-week innovation challenge this Spring. During the challenge, students can form teams with peers and have access to research guidance from mentors via the Academy’s own virtual collaboration platform, Launchpad. The students then work together to develop an innovative, research-driven solution to address the challenge.


The Challenge

Kigali, Rwanda has been hailed by the United Nations as a “model sustainable city” and is considered one of the most food-secure cities in Africa. None-the-less, drought and competing needs for land-use continue to threaten food security. In the face of climate change and a growing urban population, students who take on this challenge will be tasked with considering how urban gardening can be a part of the solution. The need for low-cost or no-cost innovations will be critical.

Design an innovative approach to implement urban gardening in your home, school or neighborhood that increases access to nutritious food sources for your family and/or community.

How it Works

Once signed up, students will be invited to join Launchpad, an online collaboration platform where students work together to design challenge solutions in self-selected teams of up to 6 members. Each team will be paired with a STEM professional who serves as a mentor for the challenge. Mentors are experienced and highly motivated STEM experts and industry leaders from around the world. Students will also gain access to a series of curated learning resources that help advance research and virtual 21st-century skills.

Who can sign up to participate?

  • Students: Age 13-17 who are enrolled in secondary school (or equivalent) in Kigali, Republic of Rwanda.
  • All participants must have access to a computer or mobile device and a reliable internet connection and must be able to communicate clearly in English.


Applications are closed

April 22, 2022


The program is made possible through the support of Clifford Chance as a part of its Cornerstone initiative. Cornerstone is Clifford Chance's flagship global pro bono and community investment initiative in Rwanda. The initiative is made up of a series of projects that are designed to help these communities overcome the barriers inhibiting improvements in well-being.