About TIC2018-11-07T15:46:29+00:00

What is The Intellectuals’ Challenge?

The Intellectuals’ Challenge (TIC) is an exciting international competition for students aged 11-14 and 15-18. We aim to inspire intellectual curiosity in every young mind. Over four days at the Global Challenges, students participate in a series of team and individual challenges revolving around a central theme. This year’s theme is “Creativity: Beyond the Borders”.

TIC has two types of challenges:

Team Challenges: Working in groups of three, students will face four different challenges in five subjects over four days. Team Challenges are Knowledge, Pen Down, Speech-Craft, and Team Spirit challenges.

Individual Challenges: Working individually, students will show their skills in one of the four challenges. Individual Challenges are Creative Writing, Short Film, Photography and Painting challenges.

By participating in a range of individual and team challenges in five different subject areas, young Intellectuals will share their creative ideas, develop their multi-disciplinary academic skills, unlock their potential, build self- confidence, develop collaborative teamwork skills and create new friendships.

The Intellectuals’ Challenge consists of five subjects which are Social Studies, Art & Design, Literature & Culture, Science & Technology and Economics & Business. Every year, the events have the main theme and take place in different cities around the world.

If you enjoy thinking, writing and talking in a social and academically stimulating environment then, this is the Challenge for you!

Our Story

The Intellectuals’ Challenge is rooted in the desire to give young people a chance to grow and develop as individuals in every capacity. We believe that young and inquisitive minds should be given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and share their ideas in a stimulating environment, which is exactly what the Challenge is all about!

Who is Owly? Across the world, owls are a symbol of intelligence, perspective, brilliance, wisdom, knowledge and independence. We believe that this intriguing nocturnal bird also inspires knowledge and wisdom, bringing mysteries out of the dark. “Owly,” our mascot, represents these qualities and he joins our Challengers on every step of their journey.

Our Mission

We aim to rekindle the intellectual light in every young person. Our Young Intellectuals are agents of change across the globe. We hope to bring the best youthful minds together for an intellectually stimulating event, where participants will encourage and motivate each other to make invaluable future contributions to our society.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create an erudite learning platform in which every individual has the opportunities to attain his or her potential intellectually, socially and personally in a mutually challenging and supportive environment.

Our Aims

We want young intellectuals to:

  • Challenge their intellectual capability.
  • Build their selfconfidence in a stimulating discussion environment.
  • Learn to handle reallife problems creatively and confidently.
  • Celebrate their own and others’ achievements.
  • Meet other great minds from all walks of life.
  • Deepen their knowledge and build multidisciplinary life skills.
  • Become actively involved in many intellectual challenges.
  • Utilise individual qualities through collaborative activities.
  • Take home memories of a challenging, rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable experience!



Every single participant in Team Challenges receives a TIC certificate of participation. Each student is judged and awarded based on each challenge (Knowledge, Pen Down, Speech-Craft, and Team Spirit) individually and as a team. In addition, teams are also recognised. Successful participants receive certificates, medals and even trophies.

The awards are given according to students’ and teams’ total score within the challenges.

Students must get their awards, certificates and medals during the award ceremony; TIC will not ship any kind of award later.


Every single participant in Individual Challenges receives a TIC certificate of participation. Successful participants receive certificates, medals and even trophies. Each challenge (Creative Writing, Short Film, Photography, Painting) is awarded separately.

The awards are given according to students’ total score within the challenges.

Students must get their awards, certificates and medals during the award ceremony; TIC will not ship any kind of award later.


The Intellectuals’ Challenge Cambridge: an international competition for students aged 14-18

Curiosity is a joy forever because with it, you will never be bored! It is a key trait that the brightest minds share, whether that is an interest in the lives of other people, wanting to understand how space flight works or why Shakespeare was, and remains, so popular. The Intellectuals’ Challenge is an international competition to tap into and encourage this curiosity in young people. In it, students aged 14-18 will compete across different challenges and disciplines. In this blog, we will share the competition’s aims, details about the tournament and how you can sign up for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Challenging the leaders of the future

With The Intellectuals’ Challenge (TIC) we want curious students to challenge their intellectual capabilities, learn to handle real-life problems in a creative and confident way and to celebrate their own and others’ achievements. Taking part will help build students’ self-confidence whilst they meet other curious and bright students from all walks of life. Contestants will bolster their collaborative skills and see how each person brings their own strengths to the team. In this way, we can give the next generation of leaders experiences and skills that will be of benefit to them with every future endeavour. Attendants will leave with memories of a challenging but rewarding experience—something they will remember for life!

TIC 2018: Cambridge

TIC will take place on April 20-23, 2018, in Cambridge (UK). It is an international competition in which individual students (registration now closed) and teams of three take part. This year’s theme is ‘Failure: Road to Success’. We all know that if you don’t play, you can’t win—this applies to all aspects of life. So, why then are we so afraid of failing? Failure is a necessary part of growth and development and it is something we should embrace, not mock or fear.

The competition for teams consists of four team challenges. The students will acquire and develop different skills in each. One challenge is all about knowledge, so students will try to score points individually on a multiple-choice exam. Another challenge asks teams to explore a topic through brainstorming, resulting in an essay. Teams will also compete together against other teams by answering questions: pick harder questions for more points but risk not knowing the answer! This requires both strategy and a bit of luck. The fourth challenge encourages students to consider arguments both for and against a position. This will inspire participants to look beyond their own opinions and experiences, which will help strengthen their skills to make up their own mind and to debate others.

Teams sign up for the discipline of their choosing: social sciences, art and design, science and technology, economics and business, or literature and culture. Each discipline will thus come up with new views on failure, and how it can be a key component of success. A primary takeaway will be that failure is normal and that it is through failure that we achieve success!

Not only will students take part in intellectually stimulating challenges, but they will also explore a little bit of the UK and get to know each other better through social events. One of these events is a punting tour of Cambridge. This is one of the best ways to explore the rich history and architecture of Cambridge’s colleges. Some famous sights you might see are the Mathematical Bridge and The Backs. A day-trip to London is another organised outing as part of TIC and promises to be a great experience for all attendants.

Opportunities to get involved

Are you interested in supervising your own team in TIC? In this position, you can play a key role in an exciting and once-in-a-lifetime experience for young people. You will accompany your team throughout the event to make sure it understands the rules of each challenge and to encourage and support the team members as required. As a supervisor, you can volunteer to judge a challenge too! You can enter your team until March 31, 2018.

Do you want to take part in the competition, either as a student or a supervisor? Click here for details and to sign up now!

Alex van der Wateren
12 February 2018