SLU news

Global Challenge, Global Teaching – a conversation with high school teachers

Published: 21 January 2022
A smartphone with Minecraft on the screen

High school teachers from seven countries gathered to learn more about the concept Global Challenge. The Global Challenge is written by hundreds of students every year to learn about food insecurity issues of a specific country. This assignment also allows students to participate in their local Youth Institute to network with other students and discuss with experts.

Teachers' experiences

Luke Becker from Minnesota (USA) and Håkan Jansson from Sweden are both high school teachers that already use the Global Challenge in their classrooms. How they deliver this challenge is up to them, and they each gives a unique spin to it.

“Many students in my classroom have not even left the state by the time they graduate high school, so it is hard for them to gain a global perspective. Implementing programmes like Journey 2050, which includes an agriculture simulation game, and coupling that to the Global Challenge is essential for all students to gain global perspective in food security.” says Luke during his presentation. Especially in a time of online education this provides a meaningful lesson for high school students to gain knowledge in food security.

Håkan Jansson applies a similar principle of using games as a means of teaching students about agriculture. The Swedish teacher uses the popular game Minecraft and connects it to agriculture related problems in the real world. Students first get to know a community in Guatemala that struggles with food security. Then, they can use the Minecraft maps based on the location of that community and collaborate on building, for example, farming systems as a possible solution to its problems. Their virtual experiences are then coupled back to communities in Guatemala, which the students then can write about for their Global Challenge.

Teachers inspired

The meeting, organised by the SLU Youth Institute in Sweden, was intended to inspire teachers to implement the Global Challenge in their classrooms. Teachers who were already familiar with the Challenge were also able to share their experiences and talk about possible struggles. High school teacher Greetje Kranenburg shared after the discussion rounds: “Language is also an important part of global food security, so language teachers could just as well apply the Global Challenge to their classroom.” The event created many opportunities for teachers to implement their Global Challenge in new ways and will stimulate more students to participate in future Youth Institutes! 

This article is written by colleagues at Wageningen Youth Institute


SLU Youth Institute

SLU Youth Institute (SLU YI) aims to create interest among Swedish youth for global food security and to find sustainable solutions to the global challenges based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SLU Youth Institute is a Swedish part of the many Youth Institutes coordinated by the World Food Prize Foundation. To participate, students write a short report about a global challenge of their own interest.

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For more information please contact one of the coordinators on e-mail:

Anna-Klara Lindeborg (Uppsala region):
Telephone: +46-(0)730-88 64 47

Kristina Karlsson Green (Skåne region): 
Telephone: +46-(0)40-41 53 02

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Telephone: +46(0)90-786 82 38