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APJ Global
Problem Solver

Enter now

Days until the APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge Closes

There’s never been a better time to make a difference in the world… and win prizes!

Act like a social change agent

We all care about certain issues. What are yours? Poverty, inequality, climate change? When we combine tech know-how, ingenuity, and social consciousness, we can help people thrive, build new commerce, and become guardians of our planet. We believe that each and every one of us has the power to make a positive difference to the well-being of our society.

Think like an entrepreneur

Here at Cisco, we embrace innovation, which is why we are launching the APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge (GPSC) on 1 March 2017. There has never been a better time to team up with other NetAcad students to come up with the next big thing. The deadline to submit your ideas is 6 October 2017.

Innovate like a technologist

For this challenge we invite you to embrace your tech smarts, spirit of risk taking, and collaborate with other students to come up with some fantastic technology solutions to solve real-world problems in our region. We can’t wait to see what exciting new ideas you dream up!

So get your team together and come up with the next big thing and be in the running to win a Cisco innovation study trip. But you need to hurry.

The deadline is 6 October, 2017.

Get Started

NetAcad Student

All competition participants must be a current Cisco Networking Academy student and a resident of the Asia Pacific and Japan region.

Establish a Team

Form a team of 2 to 4 NetAcad students and start collaborating on a great idea! All teams are responsible for organizing their members and managing activities.

Complete the Introduction to the Internet of Everything (IoT) Course

All team members must have completed the Introduction to the Internet of Everything course. The course is self-study online, only 20-hours and can be completed in your own time prior to submitting your entry.  Entries will not be accepted from students/teams that have not completed the Introduction to IoT course.

Develop an Innovative Concept

All teams must submit a two page concept note which is included on the application form.  Within each concept note applicants will identify a social, economic or environmental problem and the proposed IoT technology-based solution.  Please refer to the application form to see the information required for all entries.

Make a Video

We want to hear you talk about your concept, each application must submit a maximum three minute YouTube video to pitch their IoT technology-based innovative concept solution to the identified problem. This is in addition to the concept note mentioned above.  Here are some video examples to help you in your elevator pitch.

Say it in English

Concept notes and videos must be submitted in English.

Be an Original

Your innovative idea must be an original, entries of existing ideas will be disqualified. If you’re not sure if your idea exists, Google it.

Age Limit

All team members must be 18 years or older.


1 March 2017

APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge Launch

1 March – 6 October, 2017

Complete introduction to the Internet of Things course.Submit your concept note and video pitch.

24 October 2017

Finalists Announced

8 November 2017

Let the judging begin! APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Final Round

February / April 2018

Grand champion study trip to Cisco Innovation Center

Introduction to IoT course

Learn how the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to alleviate some of the world’s most significant problems. By 2020, there will be 50 billion things connected to the internet, creating 1.5 million jobs in IoT.

Duration: 20 hours

Self paced

Get Inspired

You want to enter the APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge but you can’t seem to come up with a problem to solve?

Meet some of the global problem solvers that Cisco supports

Protecting the world’s oldest animals with some of the world’s newest connectivity technology

There’s never been a better time to save a species.


Agriculture and Food Security

“795 million people in the world go hungry every day and 2 billion people a day lack the nutrients to live a healthy life”.

Economic Growth and Social Inclusion

“The global economy is at risk.  Unemployment, rising inequality, and low productivity remain some of our pressing global issues”.

Climate Change

“The Earth’s average land temperature has warmed nearly 1°C in the past 50 years as a result of human activity, global greenhouse gas emissions have grown by nearly 80% since 1970, and atmospheric concentrations of the major greenhouse gases are at their highest level in 800,000 years”.

Environment and Natural Resource Security

By addressing environmental issues such as: Scaling clean energy, land use, water use and access sustainable ocean management

Healthcare fit for the future

The number of people on the planet is set to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 with 2 billion aged over 60.

You may find the exact problem you want to solve listed above.  Next step?  Take the Introduction to IoT course and submit you proposed IoT technology solutions .

Don’t wait.  Get started now.  The final day to submit is 31 May 2017.


There’s never been a better time to take on the world’s biggest challenges. Because there’s never been a better time for a good idea.

  • Apply now by providing the following details:
  1. Your team name
  2. Names, emails and twitter handles of each team member
  3. Confirmation that all team members have completed the Introduction to the Internet of Everything course
  4. Concept note to be completed using the application form.  Within each concept note, applicants will define a precise regional challenge to a real-world social, economic or environmental problem and the proposed Internet of Things (IoT) technology-based solution. See application form for concept note guidelines.
  5. Provide the Url to your 3 minute video posted on YouTube in the application form. This video is your team presenting your IoT technology-based solution to the identified challenge.  Entries not supported by an IoT solution will not be considered. Submit the 3 minute YouTube video here. For guidelines on your elevator video pitch and what to include please refer to the following examples
  6. Example 1|Example 2

  7. All submissions must be received by October 6, 2017

You don’t need to be an expert to take part in the APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge.  Just an open mind and a big dose of enthusiasm.  Challenge yourself now and submit your entry.


Innovation is Everywhere

Tune into our free live TV broadcasts to learn all you need to know to about the APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge.  Get the motivation you need by joining our lineup of speakers as they share the technology solutions addressing important issues of today.

Event start Times:  UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Times 






Register Now

7 June 2017
12 – 1pm (UTC +8)    The Top 10 Technology Predictions of the Future & Virtual Career Fair 

Kevin Bloch

Chief Technology Officer
Cisco Australia & New Zealand

Register Now
8 November 2017 12 – 1:30 pm (UTC +8)   APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge Final Round Judging Panel & APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge Finalists

Registrations opening

Monday, 28 May 2017

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The top team will win a fantastic study trip to a Cisco Asia Pacific Innovation Centre as well as great prizes.

The Cisco IoT Innovation Centre’s showcase what is possible with the new internet of things and also serve to foster innovation and collaboration with universities, government, start-ups and industry to prototype and develop new products and services.

The Cisco IoT Innovation Centre study trip will consist of tours, industry partner visits and be hosted by experts in Information Technology.

Overall winners and finalist will receive awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams and we will also be awarding special mentions.

Meet Our Judges

Kevin Bloch

Chief Technology Officer,
Cisco Australia and New Zealand

Mary de Wysocki

Senior Director, Corporate Affairs
Strategy & Global Problem
Solving Initiative at Cisco

Gary Coman

Learning Engineering
and Business Development at Cisco

About Cisco Networking Academy

Cisco Networking Academy is an IT skills and career building program for learning institutions and individuals worldwide. Self-paced courses are designed to take at your own pace, at any point in your career journey. More than 6 million people have joined the Networking Academy and become a force for change in the global economy since 1997.

Terms and Conditions

APJ NetAcad Global Problem Solver Challenge – Terms and Conditions Apply.