The International Geography Bee was founded in 2016 to give primary and secondary students around the world a chance to compete at the regional, national, and global levels in a new academic competition testing comprehensive knowledge of world geography. Participating students are thus part of a community of young scholars who are all striving to improve their knowledge of the world and its peoples and cultures. The International Geography Bee is meant to be fair (through the use of well-constructed questions that all students play on simultaneously), exciting (through buzzer-based play at the Divisional Championship and World Championship levels), accessible (by allowing students to qualify for the National Championships at their own place of study if needed, affordable entry fees, and subsidies for the top students to attend the World Championships), and relevant (through questions that show how and why geography matters in at the local, national, and global levels).
Our hope is that through the creation of a new worldwide geography competition, students will further their knowledge of geography in an enjoyable way, and make friends with like-minded students from around their national and their world.
From a management standpoint, The International Geography Bee is overseen by the International History Bee and Bowl, (IHBB) which runs history quiz tournaments in over 25 countries. IHBB also organizes the International History Olympiad, with which the IGB World Championships are held in conjunction (both will next be held in Berlin in July 2018).
IGB’s USA Division is currently managed as a branch of the US Geography Olympiad at the regional and national levels (though the two competitions are distinct from a competition standpoint).
The International Geography Bee was founded by and is overseen by David and Nolwenn Madden, a married American-French couple who travel the world full time overseeing academic competitions for IHBB and IGB. Question production at the IGB Divisional and World Championships is overseen by Brad Fischer, of Rockford, IL, USA.