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2021 Innovation Competition

The innovation competition is a cornerstone of the TYSI Conference. The subject is different each year, but the outline for our 2021 event was as follows:

Each year Inefficient light bulbs cost Americans 120 billion USD. One-third of food produced ends up rotting at the hands of consumers and retailers or spoils due to poor shipping and harvesting practices. Our population is growing, and our consumption demands are endless. The planet can not keep up with this accelerating trend, and excessive waste is acting as a catalyst.


The current crisis has opened the door to significant systemic change as countries around the world rebuild their economies and social norms. The shut down of businesses, production, and typical consumer habits have given governments the opportunity to invest in organizations and projects that foster a waste-free future. 

The UN created a series of targets for each sustainability goal. This specific goal has 11 targets and we have selected 6 for you to choose from. Please choose one of the following goals and create a solution in a team of 2-4. Your solution should focus on Canada’s role in fulfilling the goal. Your proposal should be grounded in research and reasonably feasible as well as relevant to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math). You will present a 3-minute' elevator pitch' to an industry professional on the first day of the conference and successful candidates will present a full 5-10 minute presentation to all the delegates on the second day. Delegates will then vote to select a winner.

The Challenge:

Goal 12:

Responsible Consumption and Production


12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse (chose a significant Canadian industry to focus your presentation on)

12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment (choose 1-3 common chemicals to focus your presentation on)

12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

12.A Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production

12.B Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

Demo & Rubric:

A full sample presentation of the elevator pitch, as well as contest rules and a rubric can be accessed through delegate resources, linked below.

Registration is now open! Make sure to select the innovation challenge while registering. If you forget to do so, you can contact the email listed to resolve the issue. You may select your own teams and will be sent a form to confirm your team at a date closer to the event.

Any Innovation Challenge inquiries can be directed via email