For participants


Roughly 1.3 billion tons of the world’s food is wasted every year. Saving just a quarter of food lost or wasted globally each year would feed 870 million people. What can be done to achieve the UNSDG target of cutting global food waste in half and reduce food loss?
If you are interested in participating, contact for a registration package.
Several rows of students sitting in an auditorium and clapping

Cultivating Canada’s future global leaders

GII was started over 10 years ago to provide students with the tools, knowledge, and guidance to develop innovative solutions to complex world issues. In our global economy, it is becoming increasingly important for students to develop acumen through intensive research and learning to tackle some of the most pressing global issues that don’t currently have solutions. Through mentorship, collaboration, and expert guidance, GII allows students to hone skills that would enable them to be future global leaders. 


Watch the recap of the Global Ideas Institute 2023

At the Global Ideas Institute (GII), secondary school students work in teams with University of Toronto student mentors, faculty, and expert practitioners to tackle a real-world problem. The challenge for 2022-23 was: How can we effectively tackle global challenges in education to ensure that quality, inclusive and equitable education is available to all? Hear from the students themselves about their GII experience.

The program

The GII program runs from November to April each year, throughout which students are trained, mentored, and given feedback to develop critical thinking, leadership & problem-solving skills.

  • Participating student teams consisting of 4-6 Gr. 10-12 students are given a global challenge without existing solutions to tackle
  • U of T professors and expert practitioners provide monthly sessions to help build context and share their expertise on the issue
  • Lectures are also supplemented with articles, current research, and additional videos to provide students with detailed knowledge
  • Each student team will also have U of T student mentors to guide them through developing innovative ideas to address the problem.
  • Students present their ideas in a day-long symposium at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy where an expert panel gives them feedback


Secondary school students in grades 10-12 can participate
Students must form teams of 4-6 with a teacher champion chosen from the school
Students must be able to attend mentor and expert sessions (2 hrs./mo.), work independently on their projects, and attend the final day-long Symposium in April

The Ontario curriculum

GII is designed to complement the Ontario Curriculum:

  • Canadian and World Studies“As well as becoming critically thoughtful and informed citizens who value an inclusive society, students will have the skills they need to solve problems and communicate ideas and decisions about significant developments, events, and issues.” (Ontario. (2015). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11-12: Canadian and World Studies. Toronto: Ontario, Ministry of Education.)
  •  Social Sciences and Humanities: “Students in social sciences and humanities develop a critical lens through which they can build their awareness of and make decisions with respect to critical issues in our increasingly complex, multifacet ed, and diverse society.” (Ontario. (2013). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11-12: Social Science and Humanities. Toronto: Ontario, Ministry of Education.)
  • Transferable skills: “Transferable skills are the skills and attributes that students need in order to thrive in the modern world. The Ontario Ministry of Education has defined seven important categories of transferable skills: Critical thinking and problem solving; innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship; self-directed learning; collaboration; communication; global citizenship and sustainability; digital literacy.” (Ontario. (2022). Transferable Skills. Ministry for Education.)

Interested in starting a GII team?

  • Are you a student interested in starting a new Global Ideas Institute team at your school? Find 3-5 other peers from grades 10-12 at your school who are interested in creating a new team to participate in GII, and one teacher who is open to supervising the team.
  • Are you a parent interested in having your child participate on a new Global Ideas Institute team at your child’s school? The easiest way to establish a new GII team at your child’s school is to reach out to a teacher or school administrator who is able to supervise a new team. Every student team requires a teacher liaison. Please email us at for an outreach package that can be sent to your teacher contact.