2023 St. Gallen Symposium – Global Student Essay Competition (Prizes available including fully funded trip to Switzerland)

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Application Deadline: February 01, 2023

Compete in our Global Essay Competition (GEC) 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. Finally, you can win prize money of CHF 20,000 split amongst the three winners.

The Global Essay Competition is an initiative of the St. Gallen Symposium and invites graduates and postgraduates from around the world to submit an essay on core cross-generational issues. The St. Gallen Symposium is the world’s most relevant organisation and platform for cross-generational dialogue and collaboration. The 100 winners of the GEC will have the opportunity to participate at the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium, taking place from 3 – 5 May 2023 in St. Gallen, Switzerland under the topic of “A New Generational Contract”.

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. 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.

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. 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.

In case that you qualify as one of the 100 Leaders of Tomorrow, you will enjoy an all-expenses-covered participation at our conference. The program starts on Tuesday with the Touristic Day during which you will visit a Swiss company and enjoy a touristic program. On Wednesday, the Leaders of Tomorrow Day will offer you the opportunity to get to know the other Leaders of Tomorrow and engage in various workshops.

On Thursday and Friday, the conference will take place and you will have the chance to challenge Senior Leaders from business, politics, and academia. A selection of the upcoming speakers includes; Friedrich Merz (Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Germany), Daniel Grieder (CEO of Hugo Boss), and Minouche Shafik (Director of London School of Economics). All active participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement and be part of our Global Community.


  • Qualify for an all-expenses-covered participation in the 52nd St. Gallen Symposium
  • Become part of a diverse global network of emerging thinkers and changemakers
  • Earn an official Certificate of Achievement
  • Challenge Leaders of Today and present your own ideas
  • Win a prize money of CHF 20,000 split amongst the three winners

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate programme (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university upon the submission deadline
  • Born in 1993 or later
  • Your essay must answer one of the questions stated above in 2000-2100 words (excl. abstract, bibliography, and footnotes) and must be written in English following academic standards
  • Essay must be submitted until 1 February 2023, 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)

The International Students’ Committee wishes you the best of success and hopes to welcome you in St. Gallen in May!

Visit the official website for details and application

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