Each spring, post-secondary students design and pitch their best ideas to inspire action

Students can design a future for both wildlife and people

While Canada is home to much of the world’s last remaining intact ecosystems, it needs your help. Canadian wildlife are facing serious threats, including climate change and habitat loss. WWF-Canada is calling on Canadians to take hands-on action to help steward, protect and restore nature in communities where they live, learn and work.

Young professionals like you have important voices and perspectives. Do you have ideas that will mobilize Canadians to take action for nature? We’re calling on post-secondary students to come design and pitch their best ideas to inspire action at Designing Change for a Living Planet.


Drawing inspiration from the everyday and your unique academic background, as a participant you will have the opportunity to:

  • Represent your campus
  • Create and innovate with WWF-Canada and a team of students
  • Gain skills and experiences in leadership and teamwork
  • Connect with post-secondary students and staff from other Canadian colleges, universities and CEGEPs schools
  • Develop new contacts with professionals from various industries
  • Present your concept to WWF-Canada staff and a panel of expert judges
  • Compete for our grand prize: A WWF grant for your campus to help nature thrive at your school

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


Key dates for the next Designing Change for a Living Planet will be released over the winter in 2023.

April 11, 2022

Application period opens

June 8, 2022

Application period closes *extended*

June 1, 2022

Successful applicants notified

June 11, 2022

Event Day 1

June 12, 2022

Event Day 2

June 18, 2022

Event Day 3

Why participate

Build your resume with professional skills

Develop the skillsets employers are looking for: critical and analytical thinking, problem solving and strategic planning, and time management. Throughout the event, students will practice thought leadership, pitching and presenting, and collaboration.

Have a voice and contribute to change

Come together with students from different academic programs and campuses to share perspectives on how environmental sustainability can be practiced and conservation action taken. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the event?

Details for the next Designing Change for a Living Planet will be released over the winter in 2023.

When is the application deadline?

The current application period has closed.

When will successful applicants be notified?

Details for the next Designing Change for a Living Planet will be released over the winter in 2023.

How does the competition work?

Student teams will be given time to ideate together, create their idea and prepare a presentation. Each team will have the opportunity to present their concept to a panel of judges for the chance at the grand prize for their campus.

What is the grand prize?

The grand prize is a conservation grant for your campus that will support action that helps nature thrive. WWF-Canada will work closely with your campus to identify and support an existing or new project idea that will help protect or restore nature on your campus. Students on the team have the option of playing a role in the roll-out of the conservation project.

How long is each event day?

Approximately four hours each event day.

Is attendance at each day required?


Who will be there?

Post-secondary students from Canadian colleges, universities, and CEGEP campuses will be in attendance, as well as campus sustainability professionals, sustainability and engagement experts from diverse sectors, and WWF-Canada staff.

Who can participate?

Post-secondary students enrolled at a Canadian post-secondary institution can apply. Students from all academic disciplines (and all degree or diploma types) are welcome. No previous experience or expertise with environmental sustainability or conservation is required.

I am graduating this school year. Am I still eligible to participate?

Yes, students graduating in this school year (including students completing their final post-secondary courses December, April and August) are eligible to apply.

What language will the event be offered in?

While the event will be delivered in English, students who wish to participate in French will be offered the resources and support needed to succeed. Students who are primarily French-speaking are encouraged to apply to participate in this event.

What previous experience is needed?

No previous experience in design competitions or knowledge of environmental sustainability or conservation is needed. All perspectives and academic backgrounds are encouraged, valued and welcomed.

What preparation is needed?

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

If our concept is selected, are we expected to implement our project idea?

There is no expectation that students will implement their concepts. Ideas generated will help shape and inform how Canadians can be mobilized to protect and restore habitat.

Will extra time outside of event days be required to complete the competition?

With the exception of a short personal reflection exercise between event days, the time required to complete the competition is provided during each day of the event.

How can I join a team?

Successful applicants will be placed on a team by WWF-Canada. Prior to the event, WWF-Canada will introduce successful applicants to their teammates.

Do I create my own team?

Interested students must apply as individuals. Students are not responsible for creating their own teams.

Will Internet access be required to participate?

To participate fully, participants will require access to the Internet.

Who is on each student team?

Teams will be comprised of post-secondary students from different academic disciplines, selected by WWF-Canada. In some cases, teams may be comprised of students from different campuses.

I have a friend/group interested in applying with me. Can we be on the same team?

WWF-Canada creates multi-disciplinary student teams from the pool of applicants and cannot accommodate specific students who wish to be placed on the same team. If you know of peers interested in participating, please encourage them to apply online.

Can’t find the answer to your question? Contact us at [email protected].


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

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


I highly recommend this challenge to all students as it is a great opportunity to practice design thinking, ideation, collaboration and presentation skills. It is also an incredible feeling to be a part of WWF and work for a solution that might change the world!

Ezgi Cokuysal
User Experience Design, Humber College