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Deadline: February 1, 2019 00:00 (GMT-1200)| Apply here
Eligibility: Enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate program (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university; born in 1989 or later
Dates: May 8-10, 2019

St. Gallen Essay Competition 2019

Compete for the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award and qualify for participation as a Leader of Tomorrow in the world’s premier opportunity for intergenerational debates, The St. Gallen Symposium.

Your gateway to St. Gallen, and much more

  • Join the debate with 600 top global leaders and decision makers
  • Share your thoughts, ideas and visions with the global elite
    Expenses for travel, board and lodging covered, travel service provided
  • Meet 200 of the world’s brightest young minds and become a member of a truly unique and strong global community
  • CHF 20,000 prize money shared by the three winners
  • Small and intimate gatherings with world leaders, exclusively for the Leaders of Tomorrow

Qualify with an excellent essay

A professional, creative and thought-provoking essay is expected. Be bold, unconventional, and distinctive on the competition question.

The following criteria must be met:

  • Form: Essay (max. 2,100 words, excl. bibliography & footnotes)
  • Language: English
  • Anonymity: Your name must not be mentioned anywhere in the contribution file
  • Individuality: Individual work expected, no group work allowed. The essay must be written exclusively for this contest. The idea must be the author’s own.
  • Citation: All sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay. All contributions will be tested for plagiarism.

Impress the Jury

All contributions will be evaluated equally according to a specific set of criteria by an independent jury composed of professors, corporate executives, and entrepreneurs.

The authors of the best 100 contributions qualify as Leaders of Tomorrow and will be invited by the ISC to the next St. Gallen Symposium.

The very best competitors will have the chance to present and discuss their ideas on the symposium’s big stage and also in other conferencing formats. The award will be bestowed to the three best competitors, the selection will be based upon the quality of the essays only.

Essay question

Is it as good as it gets? – What approach would you suggest to change the current purpose of capital?

Political volatility, environmental issues, precarious labour markets, technological monopolies, managerial and investment short-termism are only a few challenges we face.

The time has come to counter excessive short-termism and start doing business as unusual. Think about the status quo and its implications. What would be an idea to change it?

Develop projects or actions you would trust in to bring new and expanded purposes to capital and aim for a long-term positive impact. In your essay you should consider how the use of capital (financial, human, social,…) can solve complex challenges and address substantial changes, be it by individuals, civil society, businesses or governments.

Your idea must inspire leaders worldwide to take on responsibility and put it into practice. Be bold and develop a truly impactful concept to win the prestigious award.

Interested in attending the St. Gallen Essay Competition 2019? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.


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