Contact innovator

Rahul Adhikari
ICO empowers children in schools to develop a changemaker mindset by enabling them to launch social initiatives & solve real-world problems

International Changemaker Olympiad (ICO)

location_on India
ICO provides a platform for children in schools to identify social/environmental problems around them and launch change initiatives to solve them. Students participate in teams of 2-4, identify a real-world problem, and develop & implement their solutions over 5 months. Each team is assigned a trained mentor who guides them remotely via audio/video calling or messaging throughout the period.
Rahul Adhikari, Founder & Director, ICO
The biggest problem we face as a society right now is the lack of empathy! ICO tackles this issue by helping children develop it from a young age.

Rahul Adhikari, Founder & Director, ICO


HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by Rahul Adhikari on March 25th, 2020
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
25 000
Updated on April 18th, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

The Indian education system focuses largely on rote learning & memorizing facts. There are no opportunities for children to become sensitized to the real-world problems around them and get encouraged to take action. Consequently, they leave schools with grades & certificates and get good jobs, but lack in becoming empathetic, responsible, and engaged citizens. ICO was born to tackle this problem.

How does your innovation work in practice?

The International Changemaker Olympiad (ICO) provides a platform for children in schools to launch their own social initiatives and solve a real-world problem. For instance, a team of 12-year olds saved 81,000 litres of water after installing water-saving devices (aerators) in taps in people's homes. Another team saved 800 Kg of food by taking the extra unused food from their hostel mess & donating to an orphanage regularly. The objective of ICO is to give a real-world problem-solving experience to the students, helping them develop an empathetic, action-oriented mindset from a young age. In ICO, students register in teams of 2-4, identify a real-world problem, develop a solution, & implement it over 5 months. Each team is assigned a mentor from our organization who guides them online over this period.

How has it been spreading?

Till now, 25,000+ students from 200 schools in 23+ cities in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have participated in ICO and launched their social ventures.

6 national education organizations in India, such as Teach for India, have partnered with ICO to implement our program with their national network of schools.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

ICO has developed an open-source toolkit for any organization to replicate our model. Please contact us at to know more and get access.


See this innovation in action


Achievements & Awards

March 2021
Young Social Entrepreneur Global Award, Singapore International Foundation
January 2020
UnLtd India Fellowship for High-Impact Social Ideas
December 2019
Oscars of Education 2020 Award, London
November 2019
Republic TV "I For India" National TV Campaign - Top Changemaking Idea
August 2019
Karmaveeer Global Fellowship by United Nations

Spread of the innovation

loading map...