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U21/PwC Innovation Challenge

The U21/PwC Innovation Challenge is a multidisciplinary competition open to Master's and PhD students from all fields of study.  Universitas 21 and PwC are two globally focused organizations who have come together to offer this exclusive opportunity to U21's graduate student community.

 The Innovative Challenge helps graduate students to:  

  • Develop strong communication skills
  • Create their own professional networks  
  • Take on real-world challenges 
  • Connect with other students across the globe 

More information about the U21/PwC Innovation Challenge can be found on the Universitas 21 website and in the 2022 Competition Handbook.

University of Maryland can submit 2 entries for the Innovation Challenge. Doctoral and Master's students are eligible. To be considered as one of the 2 entries, students are asked to submit their 3 minute response to the Graduate School. 

Unfortunately, the U21/PwC Innovation Challenge is not running for 2023. 

Last year's U21/PwC Innovation Challenge

Last year's prompt for this competition was:

To what extent should governments support the private sector in managing and prioritizing their Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) agenda? 

PwC’s Annual CEO Survey reported that, despite rising interest in the Environmental, Societal and Governance agenda, strategy is still primarily driven by business metrics. From your own point of view, address the extent to which you think governments should support the private sector in this way, and what form you think the support should take.  

The U21/PwC Innovation Challenge took place in 2 phases:

  • Individual Challenge (Phase 1): In an individual three-minute video, entrants from U21 network universities will respond to a challenge question
  • Team Challenge Phase (Phase 2): Successful finalists from Phase 1  will participate in a Team Challenge responding to a further question in assigned groups. These groups will then ‘pitch’ their response to a panel.

For questions, please contact Robyn Kotzker at

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