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  3. How does the Global Issues (GIPS) IC competition work?

How does the Global Issues (GIPS) IC competition work?


Competitors have two hours to write their Global Issues booklet. Students will receive a paper copy of the International Conference future scene, as well as digital access in FPSOnline. Writers may work directly within FPSOnline or work offline and submit a handwritten booklet. Students are responsible for bringing their own laptop and/or pens or pencils to the competition room. All competitors, whether individual, team, or MAGIC, will be assigned official competition rooms. There are small differences in how these three competitions are conducted.

Helpful Links
How does the IC MAGIC competition work?

How does the IC Action Plan Presentation portion of the competition work?

GIPS Overview Competition Info (PDF)

International Conference Awards
The award ceremony recognizes the 1st – 10th place team booklets for our world finals in each of the three divisions. For individual competitors, 1st – 5th place writers are recognized in each division. For competitors in the multi-affiliate competition, MAGIC, 1st – 3rd place teams are recognized in each division at the ceremony. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, scoresheets will be available in FPSOnline.

Competition Rules

When competitors register for the event, they are required to complete the International Conference Publication Release and Competitor Rules Contract, which indicates a violation of any rules may result in disqualification. Submission of student work during a Future Problem Solving competition indicates that competitors will adhere to all the following:

1. Future Scene

All competitors will receive a paper copy of the future scene and scrap paper for notes. The future scene, as accessed in FPSOnline, is not editable or downloadable.

2. Booklets

Team and individual competitors must decide whether to complete their booklet electronically (typed) in FPSOnline or on paper (handwritten).

Electronic (Typed)

  • Students who complete their booklet electronically are responsible for providing their own laptops. Campus wi-fi will be provided. Students may elect to use personal hotspots.
  • No power sources (outlets) will be provided. Students are responsible for ensuring that their electronic devices will have sufficient power for the competition.
  • Students competing as a team can all log in simultaneously to write their booklet. To review teammates’ work, students may need to refresh their browsers.
  • Team members must coordinate with each other to ensure all work is captured. If multiple students enter the same field simultaneously (such as two students typing in the Action Plan field), they will overwrite each other.

Paper (Handwritten)

  • Students handwriting their booklet will receive a paper copy of the official Global Issues booklet.
  • Students should make sure their writing is legible and dark enough to be read.
  • IC staff will handle the upload process for all handwritten booklets.

3. Outside Resources

Students cannot utilize outside resources. Prohibited items include, but are not limited to; student notes prepared before the competition, research, references, coach/parent advice, and internet searches.

4. Supplies

Students must provide their own pens or pencils and/or laptops. Students can bring a paper dictionary and thesaurus to use during the competition.

5. Monitors

Monitors will be present to ensure that students do not use prohibited items and that they adhere to Future Problem Solving rules for the duration of the competition.

6. Competition Rooms

All booklets must be written in the official competition rooms as assigned.

7. Time Limit

Only two hours are permitted for student work upon receiving the future scene, which is released at the start of the competition time.

8. Translation

Please note any need for translation during registration so arrangements can be made. All evaluations will be completed in English.

9. No Self-Identification

The booklet must not contain identifying information (name, location, etc.).

10. Only Official Entries Scored

Only student work entered into the official booklet (paper or electronic) will be scored.

11. Good Judgment

Students should use good judgment and remember that all submitted work should be appropriate for all audiences.

Watch Out
Students are encouraged to think creatively and futuristically. Taking conceptual risks is part of the creative thinking process, but these risks may not pay off or may push the boundaries too far. All participants should consider the impact of their work and words on others, accounting for the diversity of age, ethnicity, religion, culture, and experience that make up the Future Problem Solving community.


Evaluators use the official Global Issues Problem Solving Evaluation Guidelines to assess all International Conference submissions. They consider submitted student work to determine the best application of Future Problem Solving skills to the IC future scene, in order to determine champions at our world finals.

Each competitive submission is considered by multiple evaluators. Each underlying problem is reviewed by a pair of evaluators to identify if there is a critical error. Booklets with a critical error will only receive one evaluation and are ineligible to advance to the final round. All other booklets receive three evaluations.

  • Each evaluator uses total points to determine a booklet’s rank. Points and ranks from evaluations are used to create a composite score (values are assigned to a set range of points and ranks).
  • The composite score is used to identify the top team and individual booklets, by division, for advancement to the final round.
  • In the final round, a team of three evaluators examines all the advancing booklets using a Paired Comparison Analysis (PCA). PCA is an evaluation method that allows each step of two booklets to be compared head to head to determine which booklet is the strongest overall. While completing a PCA, evaluators use the scoresheets from previous rounds and the actual Global Issues booklets to determine which booklet is stronger.

While there are guidelines and descriptions of expectations, Future Problem Solving evaluation is based on subjective scoring. Because there is no single “right” answer, varying interpretations of student work are possible. It is the decision of each evaluator to determine the points that will be awarded for each section of a scoresheet. For more information and a sample scoresheet, see the how evaluated article.

FPS Online

Using FPSOnline

Each student has a unique username and password to access FPSOnline. Sharing this information with other competitors is not allowed.

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are the recommended browsers for the FPSOnline system. Other browsers have not been tested and may not provide the best user experience. FPSOnline is designed for access via a computer, though successful tests have been made using an iPad. No other devices – tablets or smartphones – have been successfully tested. Use of a non-preferred device is not recommended.

Students may use a collaborative writing platform, but only work entered directly in FPSOnline will be scored. Typed booklets may not be submitted as an attachment.

The FPSOnline system does not support formatted text. Any pasted tables, bulleted lists, or rich text will not be supported.

International Conference staff will be present to monitor the competition. They will not be able to provide technical support. In the event of device failure, the timer will not be stopped. Students will be provided with paper to continue their work.

FPSOnline Practice Session

There will be a Practice Session in FPSOnline, which will open by noon EDT Friday, May 17, and close at 8pm EDT Wednesday, May 22. FPSOnline login information will be sent to coaches no later than Thursday, May 16. Future Problem Solving will not review any work submitted during the practice session. A future scene connected to the topic will be provided.

The goal is to assist students in becoming familiar with the FPSOnline system.

  • Logging in
  • Accessing the future scene
  • Entering text

There are also instructional videos available for using FPSOnline.

There will be two options available during the practice session. Both options will be
available to all students:

  1. Option 1 will have no timer, unlike the official competition window.
  2. Option 2 will mimic the official competition with a two-hour timer.

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April Michele

April Michele Bio

Executive Director

A seasoned educator, April Michele has served as the Executive Director since 2018 and been with Future Problem Solving more than a decade. Her background in advanced curriculum strategies and highly engaging learning techniques translates well in the development of materials, publications, training, and marketing for the organization and its global network. April’s expertise includes pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and providing quality educational services for students and adults worldwide.

Prior to joining Future Problem Solving, April taught elementary and middle grades, spending most of her classroom career in Gifted Education. She earned the National Board Certification (NBPTS) as a Middle Childhood/Generalist and later served as a National Board Assessor for the certification of others. She was trained and applied the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities, which helped widen the educational scope and boundaries beyond the U.S. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for state level certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the University of South Florida with a master’s in Gifted Education, April’s passion is providing a challenging curriculum for 21st century students so they are equipped with the problem solving and ethical leadership skills they need to thrive in the future. As a board member in her local Rotary Club, she facilitates problem solving in leadership at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.