The Tocqueville Civil Society Challenge (Tocqueville Challenge) reflects the mission of the Tocqueville Foundation to foster community engagement while strengthening youth service and building capacity in citizen society organizations. The Challenge’s objectives are to harness the desire for engagement and the connected nature of the Millennial generation and inspire passion for the field by providing hands-on opportunities to explore and design viable solutions to specific social challenges within the context of civic service. It also develops professional skills and provides a framework for building bridges between sectors and generations.

The Challenge’s seeks to raise awareness of the connections between civil society and other sectors, facilitating cross-fertilization between business, government, universities, student public service organizations, students and non-profit or civil society organizations. The aim is to build strong networks that contribute to a more holistic, professional and effective approach to social change. The Challenge offers students a chance to apply theory to practice through civic engagement in ‘real life’ problem solving.

Participating in the Tocqueville Challenge is designed to be a win/win/win proposition for all parties involved. Students are able to build real world problem-solving skills and lasting relationships with mentors and mentor organizations from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. It is an avenue for these students to remain active, engaged citizens throughout their lives. Through the co-creation process, businesses develop working relationships with key community organizations, offer a social innovation experience to their own staff while gaining access to the best and brightest students who may be future recruits. Action Partners receive assistance on some of their most important challenges from professional and dedicated partners from the business and non-profit world. The networks and solutions developed through collaboration on a Tocqueville Challenge project will surely yield benefits long after the prizes awarded and the projects implemented.

« The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens. » – Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America