FAQs

Get answers on all things about International Changemaker Olympiad — from start to end and everything in between.

About ICO FAQs

ICO is an annual International Olympiad, open for students of class 6th to 12th from all around the world, that gives a platform to young people to enjoy the challenges of the real-world and exercise their superpower to make positive change happen. As part of ICO, students get to launch a social initiative and solve a real-world problem in their home, school, or community, thereby making a positive difference in the world, while also developing the critical 21st century skills of empathy, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and collaborative leadership while doing the same.

Students studying from class 6th to 12th in schools across the world are welcome to participate.

Your team needs to start an initiative to solve a real-world problem (that you will choose as a team) in your home, school, or community. You will be given a period of approximately 4 months to launch and make your initiative big. You are also required to measure the impact of your initiative. Your mentor will be there to guide you throughout, so nothing should be difficult. Towards the end on the Olympiad, you will prep up for the “Final Submission” where you will share with us all the work you have done and the impact you have created. The “Final Submission” will be done in the form of a ‘Report’ and a ‘Video Pitch’. More details will be shared on this by your mentors after registration.

Yes, there are 3 levels to the Olympiad. Students belonging to a particular level will be competing in their level.

  • Level 1 – 6th, 7th and 8th class
  • Level 2 – 9th and 10th class
  • Level 3 – 11th and 12th class

Each team will get approximately 4 months to launch and scale their initiatives, at the end of which the progress needs to be submitted in the form of a “Final Submission”. Of course, your team is encouraged to continue your initiative even beyond the 4 months (after all, you will become founders of the initiative), but for the Olympiad purpose, your progress till the 4 months will be considered

Once you have registered, your mentor will get in touch with you and you will get approximately 4 months to launch and work on your initiative. For ex. If you register on July 15 2019, your mentor will get in touch with you immediately and then you will have at least till November 2019 to work on your initiative and complete your “Final Submissions”.

Just your passion to make the world a better place 🙂

Yes, at the end of the Olympiad, your team needs to submit the “Final Submissions” of your initiative, that consists of a Final Report and a Video Pitch, that will convey the work and impact you have made. Your mentor will guide you how to do it, so don’t worry about it now.

Yes, your team will be assigned a mentor who will help you in your entire journey of your initiative, even in helping you choose the problem that you want to tackle, if needed. The mentor will be in touch with your team through messaging/calling throughout the 4 months, and you can seek their help anytime of the day during the 4 months. The role of the mentor is to provide guidance to your team if needed by your team, but remember that all decisions will be yours. So take as much guidance from the mentor, but you need to work on your own. More details will be communicated by the mentor after registering.

Registration FAQs

Visit our Registration Page and follow the 3 simple steps by clicking here.

Yes absolutely. Students can register their team for the Olympiad independently even if their school hasn’t registered for the Olympiad.

Yes. For Regular Schools (Schools with fee more than ₹18,000/year or ₹1,500/month), the subsidised registration fee is ₹1,000/- per team (which comes out to be only ₹250-500 per team member, depending on the number of team members you have) and for Budget Schools (Schools with fee less than ₹18,000/year or ₹1,500/month), the subsidised registration fee is ₹100/- per team (which comes out to be only ₹25-50 per team member, depending on the number of team members you have). For more details, read the Registration Fee Details sections on the Registration Page.

No, only 1 person from a team should make the payment for the entire team. You can then settle it later amongst yourself. For ex. if your team has 4 members and falls under Regular Schools, one of you can register and make the payment of ₹1,000/- for the team, and then later, that person can take ₹250 from the other 3 team members.

Yes, each team member needs parents’ consent to participate. Make sure you have your parents’ consent before registration. An official “Parent Consent Form” will also be shared at a later stage with each team member that your parents will need to sign. This form will be sent to you by your mentor once he/she gets in touch with you after your registration.

Yes, we allow registrations even if you don’t have a team yet. You can register your name for the Olympiad, pay the registration fee and later form your team of minimum 2 and maximum 4 members. Once you do that, update your mentor about the new members.

We believe to solve the real-world problems, people will need to collaborate with each other, and hence, you cannot participate as an individual. You need to participate in a team of 2-4 members. However, if you haven’t formed your team, you can register for now and form your team after your mentor contacts you. 

Absolutely! We don’t require you to finalise on a problem while registering. You can do it once the Olympiad starts. In fact, you mentor can help you out in choosing the problem as well!

Yes, you can participate if you are still studying in class 6th-12th. You can work with the same team or form a new one. However, you need to start a new initiative and your last year’s initiative will not be counted. You can work on the same problem, but the initiative idea must be different.

If you are already working on an initiative, you can still participate, but you will have to start working on a different initiative from scratch along with your team members for ICO. ICO is meant to nurture and produce new initiatives from scratch, and will not consider existing initiatives.

Team FAQs

There should be a minimum of 2 members and a maximum of 4 members in each team.

You should ask your friends and/or classmates who would be interested in forming a team. You can ask your friends you go to school with, or the ones you play with in your neighbourhood. In short, you can form a team with anyone as long as they are studying in a class of the same “Level” as yours. 

Level 1 – 6th, 7th and 8th class
Level 2 – 9th and 10th class
Level 3 – 11th and 12th class

No, we require all the team members to fall in the same category of the “Levels”.
Level 1 – 6th, 7th and 8th class
Level 2 – 9th and 10th class
Level 3 – 11th and 12th class

So, if you are in 7th, you can form your team with someone in 8th, but not with someone in 9th.

Absolutely! As long as you can coordinate with each other and work together, you can form a team with your friends from different schools as well. Just remember they should be in the same “Level” as yours. (For level categorization, refer to previous question)

The following criteria can be helpful while forming a team.

  • Your team members should be able to regularly interact – either during school hours or outside of school hours – and can meet from time to time – Note that most of the work might happen outside of school hours, especially if your initiative is solving a problem at home or community. So this will require you to meet up from time to time.
  • Think of diversity in your team – While it’s good at involving everyone in doing all the tasks, having a diverse set of skills in the team can be helpful. Someone can be good at doing work on-ground, someone can be good at making posters, someone can write well, someone knows photography, etc. Having different areas of strengths can be helpful in a team.
  • It’s okay to NOT form a team with your best friends if they don’t add any value to the initiative. You are going to be doing some serious work (along with having a lot of fun, of course), so make sure you are forming the team accordingly.

Initiative FAQs

Great! You now have to start an initiative to solve a problem you find in your home, school or community. You will soon be assigned a mentor who will help you out with the steps involved. So wait for a phone call or a message from your mentor.

You can pick up any problem that you are passionate to solve in your home, school or community. Some examples of problems that you can solve:

Social problems:  You can:

  • curb the issue of bullying in your school
  • solve the problem of food shortage for stray dogs
  • ensure the children in a nearby NGO get the books they want

or any other problem you identify


Environmental problems: You can:

  • develop a creative solution to prevent usage of excess water or electricity in your community
  • make your school greener through a plantation drive
  • develop a solution for segregating and recycling waste in your home or school

or any other problem you identify

You can also take your mentor’s opinion before finalizing your problem.

Teams decide when they meet. Most students meet in school, during their free periods and there are some who meet at someone’s home on any day of the week. It’s up to the team to coordinate a time that works for them. Moreover, you don’t have to meet everyday as your team can coordinate with each other over a phone or a whatsapp group (after taking permission from your parents of course).

Yes, at the end of the Olympiad, your team needs to submit the “Final Submissions” of your initiative, that consists of a Final Report and a Video Pitch, that will convey the work and impact you have made. Your mentor will guide you how to do it, so don’t worry about it now.

Judging and Prizes FAQs

Read the ‘Judging Criteria’ section of the Olympiad Information page carefully.

Your mentor and an external evaluator will be the one who will evaluate your work based on the mentioned criteria. So make sure you communicate your work updates to your mentor regularly and take ample photos and videos to add to your final report which will help an external evaluator evaluate your work. More details will be shared by your mentor after registering. 

Well, it surely matters, but it is NOT the sole criteria for evaluation. A lot of other factors like your consistency, desire to work, how well you work as a team, your “Final Submissions”, etc. also play an important role in the evaluation.

It’s worth noting that the problem each team is trying to solve is completely different and the impact is hard to compare. For example, imagine if Team A is collecting and recycling e-waste, and Team B is planting more trees in neighbourhood. If Team A is able to recycle 300 Kg of E-waste, and Team B is able to plant 40 trees, can we really compare which has done better? Well, we cannot since some problems may be more challenging to solve than others. Hence, your final impact is not compared to others. It’s compared to your own potential of achieving what you can.

There will be different winners in the following categories.

  • All Rounded Performance Award
  • Social Impact Award
  • Social Innovation Award
  • ICO Finalist Award

Read the ‘What’s up for Grabs?’ section of the Olympiad Information to know what prizes you can win.

Yes, each team member of a team will be sent a Certificate of Participation upon successful completion of the Olympiad. A team will successfully complete the challenge if they meet the following criteria.

  • Your team puts a good effort for the initiative throughout the Olympiad and communicates regularly to the mentor.
  • Your team completes the “Final Submissions” before the final deadline.

We hope that you feel inspired to keep solving problems in your home, school or community. We encourage you to continue your initiative or start a new one to solve a different problem until we’re back in the next year’s edition, and you can participate again!

Parent FAQs

ICO, in its essence, is helping raise every student as a changemaker. It is a unique competition designed to help young students take action and solve a real-world problem they find in their home, school or community while building the critical 21st century skills of empathy, creative problem solving, collaborate leadership and teamwork. The Olympiad is also, for most students, their first entrepreneurial experience, which can help the students when they apply to colleges and universities within the country or abroad in the future.

Apart from this, the students also stand a chance to win various prizes, media recognition, etc. Read the ‘What’s up for Grabs’ section of the Olympiad Information page to know more.

You can simply fill the registration form on behalf of your child. Note: This is a team competition and your child is required to form a team of 2-4 members to participate in the Olympiad. In case you have a team ready, register immediately. If the team is not finalised, even then you can register him/her alone for now and update the details of the team members later.

You child will begin his/her changemaker journey with ICO. You should support them in this initiative is whichever way you can, however, we advise you to not handhold the child and do the work for them. If you do that, they will not learn the skills themselves. You can definitely guide them, but let them take the decisions and do things as a team themselves, independently. 

Teacher/School FAQs

ICO, in its essence, is helping raise every student as a changemaker. It is a unique competition designed to help young students take action and solve a real-world problem they find in their home, school or community while building the critical 21st century skills of empathy, creative problem solving, collaborate leadership and teamwork. The Olympiad is also, for most students, their first entrepreneurial experience, which can help the students when they apply to colleges and universities within the country or abroad in the future.

Apart from this, the students also stand a chance to win various prizes, media recognition, etc. Read the ‘What’s up for Grabs’ section of the Olympiad Information page to know more.

From getting an international exposure to students, to getting national media coverage, to getting Changemaker Certificates and Reports for the school that can be shared with parents, put on the school website or social media, and shared with other stakeholders, the list of benefits for the school is long. Check out the “Why Bring ICO To Your School?” section on the School Registration Page to understand the amazing benefits for your school!

It’s simple. Fill a short form on the School Registration Page to bring ICO to your school!

You can definitely support them and guide them if they ask for help, but the teachers should not do the work directly for the students. It is against the rules of ICO. Let the students take lead and do everything by themselves so that they learn everything on their own. But of course, you can be the moral support to them in their endeavour.

If you have more questions, call us at +91 98112 33306 or write to us at [email protected] 

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