Project Management Institute Announces Winners of First Make Reality Challenge™ Competition


Global Competition Encourages Rising Leaders to Develop Creative Solutions to Help Make the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a Reality

Project Management Institute (PMI) today announced the winners of its first Make Reality Challenge™, a global competition for Rising Leaders to bring creative and strategic solutions to life using no-code/low-code tools—all while making a social impact. This year’s Make Reality Challenge™ Competition consisted of nearly 10,000 college or university student contestants ages 18-24 globally.  

Citizen development is on pace to be the most disruptive agent of change in a generation and Gartner predicts that by 2023, citizen developers will be 4 times as prevalent as professional developers.  By using no-code/low-code platforms in the Make Reality Challenge™, Rising Leaders were able to develop solutions to help address some of the world’s most pressing issues more quickly and efficiently.

“At PMI, we believe in the power of Rising Leaders, and empower and enable them to drive social impact and change through project management skills,” said Michael DePrisco, Interim President & CEO at PMI. “Through the Make Reality Challenge™, these innovative thinkers built useful solutions to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges from climate change to inequality. They are truly using their time and knowledge for good.”

Nearly 5,900 Make Reality Challenge™ teams across 65 countries were tasked with identifying a problem and developing a solution related to one of the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), making this year’s theme “Disruption for Social Impact”. The SDGs were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

Advancing teams used no-code/low-code tools and citizen developer technology to make their solution a reality. Throughout the three phases of the competition, teams were judged on various components including user functionality, presentation, impact and scalability, ideation, and Q&A.  Judging was conducted by senior staff at PMI, PMI Board past-chair Tony Appleby, PMIEF Board past-chair Ram Dokka, members of the Academic Insight Team and PMI® NextGen Insight Team.  Collectively, winning teams were rewarded with nearly $40,000 in cash prizes and PMI networking opportunities. 

“Disruption doesn’t come from doing things the same way. The entire citizen development movement and its use of no-code/low-code platforms is a catalyst for faster change, revolutionizing the way we work, but also the way we create social impact,” said Sam Sibley, PMI Global Head of PMI Citizen Developer™. “Through the Make Reality Challenge™, the power of citizen development is evident, and it’s equally as powerful when used for business transformation or social impact.”

First Place: Team Tech Era (African Leadership University, Rwanda)

  • SDG: Good Health and Well-being
  • Studies show that electronic medical records play a significant role in reducing medication errors that can lead to death or pose a significant health risk to patients.  In Rwanda there is just one such platform called IvuliroTech, created by Karisimbi Technical Solutions, which helps hospitals record patient data online and it serves just 12 hospitals.  Team Tech Era developed UbuzimaPrivacy, an innovative platform that will help hospitals record patient data online including testing, results, prescriptions, and illness trajectory.

Second Place: Team EmEducation (Emlyon Business School, France)

  • SDG: Quality Education 
  • Students at primary and secondary schools in underserved countries regularly face educational disadvantages. Team EmEducation created a remote learning course, similar to a massive online open course (MOOC) to help governmental bodies select skilled educators, monitor efficiency levels, and provide training resources. 

Third Place: Sport Sharks (University of Mumbai and Institute of Chemical Technology, India) 

  • SDGs: Good Health and Well-being; Quality Education; Reduced Inequity 
  • According to the Research Center of the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), only 5.56% people in India have knowledge of sports.  Sport Sharks developed an app that connects youth with mentors and coaches focused on the sport of their choice, while supporting health and well-being and quality education, while reducing inequality in India.

Asia Pacific: 

  • First Place: Artemis (Ateneo de Manila University and Polytechnic University of the Philippines)
  • Second Place: Adalace (University of Technology Mara)


  • First Place: Zhouan Huang Team (Tianjin University)
  • Second Place: P&E Team (Dalian University of Technology)
  • Third Place: TD (Tianjin University)


  • Second Place: UL Wolves (University of Limerick)
  • Third Place: Tarongers’ Project (Polytechnic University of Valencia)


  • Second Place: Niraale (Chandigarh University)
  • Third Place: Decoders (Banasthali University, National Institute of Technology Patna) 

North America: 

  • First Place: Team MEM (Northeastern University) 
  • Second Place: Project Management team (Northeastern University)
  • Third Place: ESG Stars (University of Pittsburgh)

The Make Reality Challenge™ supports Hours for Impact™, an initiative that encourages community members to pledge hours aligned to the 17 SDGs in the betterment of people’s lives and the planet, now and in the future. To help collectively drive change and make the SDGs a reality, individuals can pledge hours of service at and share their story about service experience on social media with the hashtag #PMImpact.  

The winners of the Make Reality Challenge™ will have the chance to take part in an interactive Q&A session at the PMI® Virtual Experience Series 2022: PMXPO, on March 24, 2022. PMXPO is a free, interactive event for the project management profession to learn from key players in the industry, network, earn PDUs and gain valuable knowledge. PMI® members and non-members can register for free here.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

PMI is the leading authority in project management, committed to advancing the project management profession to positively impact project success. We empower professionals to excel in project management practices through our growing global community, knowledge sharing, and best-in-class certifications—driving positive change in organizations and communities. Since 1969, our unwavering mission has been to advocate for the profession by offering life-long learning and connections to sharpen high-demand skills. Today, PMI provides professionals at every stage of their career journey with the globally recognized standards, online courses, thought leadership, events, and tools they need to succeed. With more than 300 chapters around the world, PMI members can network, find mentors, access career opportunities, and learn from peers, working together to drive greater impact.

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Media Contact:

MaryKate Dougherty

External Communications Specialist

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