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Our Programs

World Affairs Challenge


The “WAC” is an international program and competition based in Denver, but open to students from across the globe. 

Our student teams learn to:

  • Research and work with subject matter experts to learn about the root causes of a specific global issue, and how it impacts communities around the world in different ways.
  • Design S.M.A.R.T. solutions to address their team’s selected issue.
  • Implement community service projects (WACtions) that contribute toward solving the issue.
  • Present their work to a panel of judges for feedback and scoring at the WAC Global Finals events. 

World Affairs Challenge Programs

Click the buttons below to learn about the three paths to the final competition:


And check out what some of our 2021 winning teams have been doing on their projects since 2021 WAC Event Day!

Are you an educator wanting to learn more about the 2022 theme, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or just need some additional resources? Take deeper dive into content. 

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Since 1992, we have helped more than 8,000 middle and high school students become invested global citizens.

WAC participants explore different cultures and aspects of international affairs, develop leadership skills, network with professionals, expand their future goals, and realize the impact and positive power of their ideas, voices, and projects.

WAC participants acquire and put into practice the leadership skills that are necessary in today’s global workforce, including:

  • Collaborative problem-solving
  • Project and time management
  • Adaptability and cultural awareness
  • Public speaking
  • Research
  • Civic engagement

2021 data from Teachers/Team Leaders and Student self-assessments, using a skill rating of 1 to 5, show an increase in knowledge of Essential Skills after participating in the World Affairs Challenge:


The World Affairs Challenge was created by the Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR) in 1992 as part of what is now the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. It started as a community outreach program to educate students and teachers about global issues. In 2010, CTIR became an independent 501(c)3 organization. 

Over time, the annual competition has grown to a full program, involving students, teachers, community members, and communities across the globe who work together to tackle real global issues.

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