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St. Gallen Symposium Leader of Tomorrow Essay Competition 2020 (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, 2020 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)

Offered annually? Yes

Essay: Your essay must answer the following question:

Freedom Revisited: Which aspects of freedom need to be defended, or recalibrated, to meet the challenges of our time?

Domestically and on the international stage, values of individual, economic, and political freedom are subject to critical inquiry or outright attack. Diverse phenomena such as populism, global power shifts, climate change, the digital revolution, and global migration call for a reflection on the value of freedom for the way we live, do business, and organize politically in the years ahead. While some call for a defence of established freedoms, others call for recalibration of our concept of freedom, or the balance we strike between freedom and other values, such as equality, sustainability, and security. Where do you stand in this debate? Choose one of the following positions as you develop your essay:

In defence of freedom: Choose an area in the realm of business, economics, politics, or civil society where current concepts of freedom are under pressure and where they need to be defended. Describe the problem and offer a concrete and practical proposition of how established concepts of freedom should – and can be – defended. Describe its impact for the future.

In defence of recalibrating freedom: Choose an area in the realms of business, economics, politics or civil society where current concepts of freedom are unsuitable for the challenges we face and where they need to be recalibrated. Describe the problem and offer a concrete and practical proposition of how established concepts of freedom should and can be recalibrated. Describe its impact for the future.

  • 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 programme (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university
  • Born in 1990 or later

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 2020 (download sample document here)
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself

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: 7–8 May 2020

How to Apply: Apply here

In addition to your contribution, make sure to upload

  • a copy of your passport (or any other official government ID but no driver’s license) to verify your age
  • a confirmation of matriculation from your university confirming your graduate or postgraduate student status as of February 2020
  • a short abstract (200–300 words) which can be entered in the registration form directly

in the applicable field of the registration form.

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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