About the Game Changer Challenge

Think your school team has what it takes to solve a real-world wicked problem? Do you want to learn new skills and unlock powerful design thinking tools and processes, while working with leading industry thinkers and having a whole lot of fun along the way?

The challenge

The design thinking challenge is open to all 2,200+ public schools across the state and centres on exploring tangible solutions for a real-world wicked problem.

84 teams (42 primary and 42 secondary) will compete in Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Newcastle, Sydney, Parramatta, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga - battling it out in a one-day challenge to be awarded the junior or senior semifinal winner at each location.

The semifinal winners will be in the running to win the coveted title of Game Changer Champions 2020, announced early December.

All ability levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to apply.

#GCC2020 challenge question

'How might we use technology to bring everyone in our community closer together?'

The size and scope of where you take this real-world wicked problem is defined by your team's imagination!

Join the challenge

1. Submit your application

Register your interest so we can send you important information and updates.

Start preparing your application and then you have until Wednesday 19 August to apply.

Include a 60-second video explaining your game-changing ideas on 'How might we use technology to bring everyone in our community closer together?'

Be sure to include all your team members in the video. Remember, you will be judged on the quality of your idea and your enthusiasm, not the production of your video.

2. Semifinals held across NSW

Teams will be selected to compete in a one-day intensive workshop where they will learn and apply the design thinking process to build on their video application entry ideas.

Guided by our expert facilitators and industry thinkers, the day will consist of teams working through the challenge playbook to create a tangible solution for their real-world wicked problem.

In the afternoon, teams will pitch their ideas to the judging panel who will decide the semifinal winners.

3. Grand final

A panel of education and industry experts will judge the semifinal winners to decide who will be crowned Game Changer Challenge Champions for 2020.

What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a human-centred approach to solving complex problems. Empathy and collaboration are at the heart of design thinking.

The five-step process starts by encouraging problem solvers to walk in the shoes of those experiencing the 'problem' to gain a deeper insight into the challenges and issues they face (empathy).

This knowledge is then used to develop a clear problem statement (define), work on solutions (ideate), turn these solutions into tangible products (prototype) and then see whether the solution will work (test).

Design thinking is not a linear process. With each stage, you will make new discoveries that will require you to rethink and redefine what you have already done.

Design thinking brings our head, heart and hands together to find innovative solutions to complex problems.

This process can be used over and over again, for small or complex problems.

Key dates


19 August

Applications close


14 September

Semifinalists announced


27 October

Dubbo semifinal


30 October

Sydney semifinal


2 November

Wagga Wagga semifinal


5 November

Parramatta semifinal


9 November

Newcastle semifinal


11 November

Coffs Harbour semifinal


13 November

Tamworth semifinal


1 December

Grand final winners announced

The great challenges of the future will be solved by today's students. To flourish in this world, they will need to be deep thinkers, critical and reflective, empathetic and creative. The Game Changer Challenge aims to highlight and develop these future-focused skills.

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