St. Gallen Global Essay Competition

Compete in our Global Essay Competition and qualify for participation as a Leader of Tomorrow in the world’s premier


opportunity for cross-generational debates: The St. Gallen Symposium.

Meet 300 of society’s brightest young minds. Present and debate your ideas with 600 senior leaders. Be inspired by some of the world’s most impressive speakers. Gain a unique and new perspective on this year’s topic. Become a member of a unique global community. Participate in the symposium with us. Win prize money of CHF 20,000 split amongst the three winners.

Topic Question

The best or worst legacy from previous generations: How to preserve or replace it?

A great deal of our lives is influenced by when we were born. As those currently alive, we have inherited the world which previous and older generations have built. We owe a great deal to the efforts of our forebears, but we also inherit problematic legacies.

For this year’s St. Gallen Symposium Global Essay Competition on the theme «A New Generational Contract», we are calling for students worldwide to provide their perspective on one of the following two questions:

A) What’s the best legacy your generation has inherited from those before you? And how can we preserve it?

Choose and briefly describe a major accomplishment which has only become possible through the efforts of older and previous generations. This can be from the realm of political governance, economic development, social norms and ethics, education, health, technology, ecology, arts or any other area you deem relevant. Of particular interest are ideas, institutions, technologies or norms which you believe are challenged by current developments. Describe how current developments challenge this major achievement by older and previous generations and offer a concrete and actionable idea of how it can be preserved for your generation as well as future ones.

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B) What’s the worst legacy your generation has inherited from those before you? And how can we replace it?

Choose and briefly describe a major problematic legacy which has been passed on from older and previous generations to yours. This can be from political governance, economic development, social norms and ethics, education health, technology, ecology, arts or any other area you deem relevant. Of particular interest are ideas, institutions, technologies or norms at the core of how our world currently works. Describe a concrete and actionable idea of how we can get rid off this problematic legacy left by older and previous generations and what should replace it.

Prerequisites

Qualify with an excellent essay

We expect a professional, creative and thought-provoking essay. Be bold, unconventional, and distinctive on the competition question.

For your contribution to be valid, the following criteria must be met
Form Essay (max. 2,100 words, excl. abstract, bibliography, and footnotes)
Language English
Deadline 1 February 2023, 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)
Anonymity Your name, e-mail address, university, or any identifying details 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.
Template Download Template for the Global Essay Competition

Check your eligibility and prepare documents

To be eligible, you must fulfill 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 1993 or later
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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 2023 (download sample document here)
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself
Apply now!

If problems occur during registration, please clear your cached images and files in your browsing history or consider using the browser Google Chrome. If you still cannot apply, use the following link. For any unanswered questions please contact us via e-mail at leadersoftomorrow@symposium.org

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