Over the next 50 years, our world will face a range of complex challenges. New technologies and the priority to develop greener economies and accelerate the sustainability agenda require a shift in how we engage and excite children through self-exploration in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). By taking a different approach to how we encourage learning in STEAM and sustainability, we can prepare our children to be at the forefront of global innovation, and take important steps to accelerate social, scientific, and technological change.

To solve the world’s greatest problems, our planet not only needs millions of scientists, engineers, and technologists but also a large-scale attitudinal change to accelerate the adoption of sustainable behavior. Our challenge is not finding these future talents. Our challenge is how we connect them to knowledge, each other, their communities, and their environment; motivating them to learn on their terms in a way that is fun, exciting, and fulfilling.

The Alliance’s vision is to engage, empower, and encourage young people to take positive action in sustainability, and more broadly, the 17 UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that delivers impact in their schools, communities, and our world. Since its creation in 2007, the Alliance’s focus has been on establishing a large-scale network of sustainability change agents across schools and districts, defining industry standards in school sustainability actions, and engaging young people through national programs and challenges.

With these fundamentals in place, the Alliance is now preparing to execute the next stage of its growth and impact strategy.

The Alliance is expanding its student engagement opportunities through the development of the Global Youth Engagement and Impact Program (GYEIP) to:

  • accelerate the engagement of young people and drive action on the topics of STEAM and sustainability.
  • combine the digital world driven by mobile devices and computers with hands-on leadership training and development.

Download the Brochure (PDF)

The framework for the GYEIP is anchored in local boots-on-the-ground action while being supported and scaled with digital tools. Live events, leadership training, and classroom curricula foster face-to-face interaction while the digital solutions provide connection, access, and scalability, building capacity for global youth leadership development. GYEIP also combines various programs and services the Alliance already provides to schools and districts worldwide.
  • Sustainability Tracking and Roadmap Tool: START is a 3-level system with a focus on tracking actions the school community takes and then scaling upwards to outcome-focused, measurable metrics.
  • Citizen Earth: Citizen Earth is a mobile app that allows young people to engage in unique digital experiences developed in partnership with some of the world’s leading organizations.
  • Online Community: Our online community connects sustainability champions worldwide. Members have access to over 1,200 curated resources in 21 topical categories and opportunities to collaborate and engage with peers through a crowd-sourced event calendar, blogs, and discussion forums.
  • Guided Actions: Through the Green Cup Challenges and OnAir Schools program, students are empowered to take action in their community, uniting them around a common goal.

GYEIP has an integrated operating model that enables the Alliance to achieve three goals:
  1. Set Standards: The Alliance will set the global standard by utilizing guidelines and tools that support schools driving a sustainability agenda.
  2. Enable and Encourage Action: The Alliance will provide a range of services, including both digital and physical, to children and youth, adults, schools, and districts that encourages them to tackle sustainability challenges, individually and collaboratively, delivering real impact in their communities.
  3. Measure Impact: The Alliance will establish mechanisms for the qualitative and quantitative measurement of the social impact of actions by schools and children participating in the programs.

Students using Citizen Earth on phones

Digital Action and Engagement

In 2018, the Alliance will launch a new component of the GYEIP to provide a fun and innovative digital solution to engage children in the United States and around the world with exciting content on the topics of STEAM and sustainability, which encourages them to take action through their medium of choice - the Smartphone.

To deliver the digital component, the Alliance is partnering with Tribal Planet, a leading social impact technology company, to localize and deploy Tribal Planet’s mobile platform and partner ecosystem, Citizen Earth. Citizen Earth, designed for individual student digital action and engagement, will incentivise children through a point system that allows them to not only reward themselves, but also support their education, transition to employment, and give back to causes they’re passionate about.

The four strategic objectives of Citizen Earth are:
  • To foster passion in STEM and the “science of sustainability” in children of all ages through fun and exciting outside-the-classroom experiential and experimental learning.
  • To inform and prepare children for the opportunities and pathways available to them as they progress from high school to higher education and the workplace.
  • To encourage children to take more action individually, collectively, and in their communities to address local and global sustainability challenges such as climate change, waste, and pollution.
  • To enhance children’s self-worth, critical thinking, leadership, creativity, innovation, and literacy skills.


The Alliance will run a three-month digital solution pilot project in two U.S. cities in Fall 2018 with approximately 10,000 children ages 14-16. Insights from the pilot will inform how the platform will be deployed on a broader scale. In 2019, the platform will be accessible to the nearly 5 million U.S. children in the Alliance’s network schools. Beyond the initial rollout, the platform will be available to all children in the United States, irrespective of whether they attend an Alliance school or not.

How you can help

A fundamental principle of the GYEIP program is the Citizen Earth mobile application must be free for children to download and use. The mass deployment and delivery of this new service in 2019 and onward will be funded by corporations and foundations applying Tribal Planet’s proven model for public/private partnerships. In addition to funding the application, this also provides a revenue flow for the Alliance to expand the reach and impact of its programs.

The Alliance is seeking ‘seed funding’ in 2018 to cover the initial cost the first phase of the project – to build out the Alliance’s presence on the existing Citizen Earth application and execute the pilot. Through the duration of the pilot, the Alliance and Tribal Planet will engage major corporations and foundations across the United States to secure sponsorship deals, donations and grants that fund the rollout and operation.

For specific funding opportunities and information, contact Katy Perry at kperry@greenschoolsalliance.org.

Download the brochure (PDF).


About Tribal Planet Inc.

Tribal Planet is a Silicon Valley based company focused on driving youth and citizen engagement, social cohesion, and behavior change through innovative digital and partner ecosystems. Tribal’s vision is to leverage mobile technology as a means of connecting public and private sector organizations with young people, engaging them and influencing their knowledge, skills, and behaviors to tackle some of the most pressing socio-economic challenges faced by communities, nations, and the world as a whole.

Tribal Planet has 15 years of experience in engaging mobile consumers by applying gamification and mobile behavioral economics models to influence actions in an authentic and trusted way. In 2016, Tribal was honored to receive the United Nations’ People and Planet Award in recognition of their work with nine UN agencies in Social Impact.

Citizen Earth is a mobile app that allows young people to engage in unique digital experiences developed in partnership with some of the world’s leading organizations. The purpose is to develop a passion for STEAM and sustainability at a young age through curated content not only to created a pipeline of future change-makers, but also to develop skills in critical thinking, creativity, innovation and literacy outside of the classroom.n return for taking actions that are aligned with the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals, young people are incentivised through a unique program that rewards their progress, supports their education and eventual employment, and helps them give back by supporting causes they care about.