Students can design our future

What’s the Next Big Shift? From bike share programs to online paperless banking, almost overnight, innovations are changing how we shop, commute, learn, access entertainment, and connect with others. These big shifts have had local, regional, even global reach.

WWF calls for all eyes on accelerating change that will protect and restore our planet at the annual Designing Change for a Living Planet competition. Each year, we invite students from colleges and universities to apply to join us at our Toronto office for a day to design and pitch ideas to launch the next big shift in our daily lives.


How it works

From January 14 – February 17, students from all academic disciplines were invited to apply to join professionals from different industries at the WWF Toronto office on Saturday March 14 to create and share their ideas on how to build a sustainable future.

Drawing inspiration from the everyday and each student’s unique academic background, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Represent their campus
  • Create and innovate at WWF with their student team of four
  • Connect with other post-secondary students and staff
  • Develop new contacts with professionals from different industries
  • Present concepts to WWF staff and a panel of expert judges
  • Compete for a prize (to be announced) and a one-on-one mentoring opportunity with an industry professional in a sector area of their choice

The application period for this year’s event has closed.

Students who are selected to represent their campus will be notified at the end of February. Please stay tuned to hear more about this year’s event and how you can get involved in Designing Change for a Living Planet next year.

Frequently asked questions

When and where is the event? The all-day event is Saturday March 14, 2020 from 10:00AM – 5:30PM at WWF-Canada’s Toronto office.

Who will be there? Student teams from different colleges and universities will be joined by campus sustainability professionals, sustainability experts across diverse sectors, and WWF-Canada staff.

Who can participate? Successful applicants will be contacted at the end of February and will participate in the event on March 14, 2020.

How can I register to participate? The application period for this year’s event has closed. Please stay tuned to the Living Planet @ Campus website for opportunities to participate in next year’s event.

When will campus teams be selected? Students selected to represent their campus will be notified at the end of February.

What previous experience is needed? No previous experience in design competitions or knowledge of sustainability or conservation is needed. All perspectives and academic backgrounds are encouraged and welcome to apply.

What preparation is needed? No preparation is needed. Everything required to successfully participate will be provided at the event.

Are student stipends available? Student stipends are not currently available through WWF-Canada (but in some cases, participating WWF Campus Partners are able to offer student stipends). Students are responsible for getting to and from the event.

My school is too far to participate. Will this event be available to other regions of Canada? Currently, this event will not be available to other regions of Canada this school year. Stay tuned to next year for updates.

Get inspired: Past campus teams

Why participate

Build your resume with professional skills

Develop the skillsets employers are looking for, including: Critical & Analytical Thinking, Problem Solving, Strategic Planning and Time Management. Throughout the event, students will practice Thought Leadership, Pitching & Presenting, and Teamwork & Collaboration.

Have a voice and contribute to change

Come together with students from different academic programs and schools to share perspectives on how sustainability can be practiced. Working with an interdisciplinary team, multi-faceted and creative solutions can be born.

Build your network of professional contacts

Networking is one of the most effective ways to find a job and meet the right people. Take the opportunity to get in front of industry professionals from diverse sectors at Designing Change for a Living Planet and widen your professional network.

Living Planet Leader

Designing Change for a Living Planet provides unique opportunities to develop and demonstrate leadership skills and experience teamwork. Participants can use this opportunity to complete their Living Planet Leader category for Leadership and teamwork.


Had a great time collaborating with peers interested in sustainability. We took a holistic look at an important issue and delivered recommendations to industry leaders that were well received. Thank you so much for the opportunity to collaborate for a better world!

Devon Fernandes
Community Psychology, MA, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2018

Being a part of this experience has opened my eyes to the power and influence students can have!

Kristina Guga, General Arts and Science, George Brown College, 2019

WWF's Designing Change For a Living Planet 2018 was an incredible event put on by caring and dedicated volunteers that consisted of WWF-Canada staff, academic institutions and other organizations. This event challenges individuals to not only think outside the box and disrupt the norm but to redefine societal norms as they currently exist for a better future.

Rob Monico
Office of Sustainability, Fleming College

Designing Change for a Living Planet






Big Shift Ideas