St. Gallen Symposium Global Essay Competition 2020, Switzerland

Publish Date: Oct 06, 2019

Deadline: Feb 01, 2020

Essay Competition

Compete in our Global Essay Competition, get the chance to win 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.

Meet 300 of the world'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

Celebrate our 50th anniversary with us

Win prize money of CHF 20,000 split amongst winners

Essay 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 defense of established freedoms, others call for a 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 defense 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 defense 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.

Qualify with an excellent essay

We expect a professional, creative and thought-provoking essay. 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
Deadline 1 February 2020, 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)
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.

All sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay. All contributions will be tested for plagiarism.

Check your eligibility and prepare documents

To be eligible, you must fulfill 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 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 program 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

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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