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St. Gallen Symposium Leader of Tomorrow Essay Competition 2019 (CHF 20,000+Funded to Switzerland)

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.  

Application Deadline: 1st February, 2019 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)

Offered annually? Yes

Essay: Your essay must answer the following 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 our prestigious award.

  • Form: Essay (max. 2,100 words)
  • 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
  • Citation: All sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay. All contributions will be tested for plagiarism.

Eligible Countries: All

To be taken at (country): St. Gallen, Switzerland.

About the Award: Join the debate with 600 top global leaders and decision makers. Become a member of a truly unique and strong global community by sharing your thoughts, ideas and visions with the global elite. The St. Gallen Symposium presents small and intimate gatherings with world leaders, exclusively for the Leaders of Tomorrow. Young leaders from around the world get the chance to meet 200 of the world’s brightest young minds and participate in an exciting essay competition with broad media coverage. CHF 20,000 prize money will be shared by the three winners and expenses for travel, board and lodging covered, travel service to be provided for finalists.


Type: Essay Contest

Eligibility: To be eligible, candidate must fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • 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

Selection Criteria: All contributions will be evaluated according to specific 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.

Number of Awardees: 3

Value of Award: Expenses for travel, board and lodging covered, travel service provided. The award is endowed with a total prize money of CHF 20,000

Duration of Program:8–10 May 2019

How to Apply: Apply here

Make sure you can provide the following documents:

  • Copy of passport or other identification (in English for non-Roman languages)
  • Confirmation of matriculation/enrolment from your university which proves your enrollment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2019 (download sample document here)
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself

Visit Award Webpage for details

Award Providers: 35 students from the University of St. Gallen, working on an honorary basis and supported by over 350 partners.

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