Triggering Change Pitch


Triggering Change Logo

Triggering Change is a two-minute pitch that can be done individually or in pairs. It aims to develop creative processes that inspire action on sustainability. Students can participate in the pitch through their classes or independently. Participation involves attending four mandatory online Prep sessions with experts. In Spring 2024, students from Richmond, the American University in London, are joining the pitch. Read about the Spring 2024 winning pitches.

Winners will receive a €100 voucher for Patagonia products. In Spring 2024, the pitch is due on April 20 at 11:59 PM (CET, Rome time). Late submissions are not accepted.

This semester, Triggering Change will concentrate on two UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s): Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11). Students will choose one topic for their pitch after attending four mandatory Prep sessions. Attending is important because it provides the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session. Students who, for a valid reason, cannot attend a session, can receive a recording by writing to [email protected].

Attendance at all four sessions and completion of both sessions of the Sulitest, an awareness test to measure students’ eco-literacy, are required to complete the pitch, receive credit and be eligible for the Certificate in Sustainability.

The selection committee is composed of alumni Giacomo di Capua and Asia Guerreschi, student Davide Ebraheem, Professors Michèle Favorite, Carola Hieker and Tanja Lanza. 


How to use creative storytelling methods, audiences, contextual research and multidisciplinary perspectives to design a pitch that is disruptive, emotive and creates a dialogue or exchange related to sustainability, ultimately leading the audience to want to create change or respond to make the planet a better place. 

Pitch format: 
You should choose formats and methods that are appropriate to your idea. Your presentation will consist of a two-minute video - done individually or in a pair - that is sent online to the link below. This might include a presentation (no static Power Point’s please), dialogue, prototype or even a performance held in a space that you think is engaging. Sitting in front of a screen and reading a script is not what we are looking for.

Choose a specific audience and personalize your pitch for it.

Key elements to cover:

  • Why this issue is important to your audience
  • What the challenge is from an environmental sustainability perspective
  • How your audience can make a difference
  • The takeaway or impact: ask your audience to do something about it and have a clear call to action

Think of concrete and actionable ways your audience can make a difference; avoid utopistic proposals.

Your proposal should be environmentally, socially and economically feasible. For example, a solution to a specific environmental problem in an industrialized country can have negative social repercussions in a developing country. In other words, don’t make the solution to a challenge in your backyard someone else’s problem further afield.

Past winners:
Fall 2023
Spring 2023
Fall 2022
Spring 2022

For more information, visit our FAQs page.


Participants must be knowledgeable about the two SDG’s selected this semester by attending all mandatory online Prep sessions, taking two sessions of the Sulitest, and by reading independently about them. Relevant Library resources are available.

If a participant misses a Prep Session for a valid reason, they can receive a recording by emailing [email protected].

Prep session 1
“Triggering Change: Purpose and Expectations” - Davide Ebraheem
Date & Time: Monday, March 18 at 6:30 PM CET

Davide won the Triggering Change Pitch in Spring 2023 and is a member of the selection committee since Fall 2023. He is a John Cabot University Marketing student, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. He made sustainability a central theme in his John Cabot experience, by weaving it not only in his academic path but also in extracurricular and personal projects.

Prep session 2
The Liminal Space Workshop
Date & Time: Watch by Monday, March 25 at 6:30 PM CET and submit a short summary on Classroom. 

The Liminal Space is a London-based creative agency that has created this creative thinking workshop specifically for Triggering Change participants. The workshop will help and inspire participants to think creatively about sustainability issues. 

Prep session 3
Girl MOVE Academy - Alexandra Machado, Founder & CEO | Mara Santos, Head of Global Engagement & Impact Investment Partnerships
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 3 at 6:30 PM CET

Girl MOVE Academy promotes education and leadership through an intergenerational circular mentoring model for women in Mozambique. Since 2014, the program has transformed over 5,000 girls' lives, with 85% moving to secondary education—far exceeding the national rate of under 35%. Girl MOVE has been recognized by UNESCO for having the best education program for girls and women. 

Alexandra Machado graduated in Business & Administration from the Portuguese Catholic University (1990). She has over 20 years of business experience, including 10+ years as General Manager at Nike Portugal. She was recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and recipient of a Career Award from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics for impactful work in gender and education. Machado is leading systemic change in Mozambique, empowering the next generation of female changemakers.

Mara Santos has over 9 years of experience in strategic partnership activation and management, focusing on social innovation & development cooperation. She holds a Law degree from the University of Lisbon and a post-graduation in Development Studies. Santos was a TEDx speaker on finding purpose through reconnecting with one’s roots.

Prep Session 4
Valencia City Government - Giuseppe Grezzi, Councilor for Sustainable Mobility and Public Space
Date & Time: Tuesday, April 9 at 6:30 PM CET

Giuseppe Grezzi is from Italy and has been living in Valencia, Spain, since 2000. He is a City Councilor in Valencia’s local government and is an expert in mobility and transportation. After founding Coop Ecovida, an NGO dedicated to environmental services, Mr. Grezzi was elected City Councilor in 2015, appointed Deputy Mayor, Councilor for Sustainable Mobility and Public Space, and President of the public transport company EMT, which was named best urban transport company of 2018.

In the past eight years, Valencia has become an international best practice of sustainable transformation through smart public mobility, the recovery of quality public spaces, and the promotion of cycling. The city has about 200 km of bike lanes, 76 km of which were created in the last eight years.

In 2024, Valencia was named European Green Capital

Pitch Feedback Session with Giacomo di Capua
April 15 from 3 PM CET to 6 PM CET
Book a session here.

Participants will need to register for the Pitch by March 16. They will then receive a link to attend Prep session 1 and will need to join a dedicated Google Classroom course with a Gmail address. Further information will be provided after the students have registered to Triggering Change. Students will receive links to attend those sessions after they have completed the preceding ones.

All participants are required to complete the first Sulitest Awareness Test session by March 19 to be successfully registered to Triggering Change. Participants need to complete the second Sulitest (Awareness Test) by April 21 at 11:59 PM. Please refer to Google Classroom for detailed instructions.

The pitch is due on April 20 at 11:59 PM (CET, Rome time). For any questions, please contact [email protected] or write on Google Classroom. All students (including those working in pairs) must register individually. For team submissions, include all members' names in the Submission Form when submitting your pitch.

Submit the pitch

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