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International Changemaker Olympiad (ICO)

place India + 2 more

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

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 throughout the period.

HundrED 2022


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2022

Web presence






Target group
March 2020
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.

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.

What does your innovation look like 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 over our online platform via video/audio calling over this period. This ensures scalability of our program and our ability to impact any child anywhere in the world.

How has it been spreading?

In just over 3 years, 25,000+ students from 200 schools in 23+ cities across India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh have participated in ICO and launched their social ventures. Because of ICO's online, remote mentoring model, the program is highly scalable and allows us to empower any child, anywhere in the world.

ICO has also garnered the interest of many organizations. 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, giving us a wider reach.

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

Any child/school can participate in ICO by registering here -

ICO has also developed an open-source toolkit for any organization to replicate our model. Please see the "Steps" section below to access the toolkit OR contact us at to know more and get access.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

Open Education Resource tool kits is a positive step in making this initiative adaptable for varying contexts - geographic and cultural. Build student capacity to find problems, and then take steps to provide sustainable and innovative solutions is INSPIRING!

This project allows young people to be directly involved in their communities. They can see the problems directly and provide solutions. It works on their leadership, their self-esteem and their commitment to their community.

- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Download the ICO Initiative Planning Workbook

The ICO Initiative Planning Workbook is a toolkit for children, teachers, and parents containing an 8-step process to launch & implement a social initiative. Children can either directly use the workbook or teachers/parents can use it to guide their children to launch their social initiatives. Download it here.

Use the workbook to social launch initiatives

Whether you are a child, teacher, parent, or any other stakeholder, use the ICO Initiative Planning Workbook to launch a social initiative. Children can either directly use the workbook or teachers/parents can use it to guide their children to launch their social initiatives.

Spread of the innovation

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