All students studying on graduate level or higher are invited to contribute to the world’s most prestigious essay competition. The authors of the 100 best contributions qualify as Leaders of Tomorrow for an expenses-covered participation in the St. Gallen Symposium. Best contributions to be bestowed with the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award. In addition to the 100 essay competition qualifiers, 100 further young talents from academia and business would be selected  based on extraordinary achievements at their young age, to participate in the St. Gallen Symposium

The St. Gallen Symposium is a global gathering of Leaders of Today and Tomorrow that takes place annually in May at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. It is organized by the International Students’ Committee (ISC), a team of students from the university.The goal of the symposium is to provide a setting for relevant debates between Leaders of Today and Tomorrow on topics of management, politics and civil society.The 45th St. Gallen Symposium will take place from 7–8 May 2015 at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland.


Applicants must meet the following requirements

  • Enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate program (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university
  • Born in 1985 or later


  • Become a Leader of Tomorrow and get a chance to participate in the St. Gallen Symposium
  • EUR 20,000 – prize money shared by the three winners
  • Expenses for travel, board and lodging covered, travel service provided
  • Receive a Swiss luxury watch with personal winners’ engraving
  • Broad media coverage of your winning contribution
  • Meet 200 of the world’s brightest young minds
  • Share your thoughts and visions with the global elite

Application Process

  • Register for the competition, skim over the application form and read the terms and conditions of the competition
  • Answer one of three competition questions as outlined below. Be bold, creative and ambitious to surprise global leaders with novel thoughts, ideas and solutions
  • Hand in your contribution no later than 1 February 2015

Essay Requirements & Essay Questions

  • You can answer questions either as an essay (max 2100 words), video or presentation (max. 15mins)
  • Must be English
  • Your name must not be mentioned anywhere in the contribution file
  •  Individual work expected, no group work allowed
Question 1 – What is the next small BIG thing?

Think about unconventional ideas, undiscovered trends or peripheral signals that may turn into ground-breaking changes for societies. Present one idea which is not on the radar of current leaders yet but will change the game in business, politics or civil society – the best ones will be put to the test by the global audience of the St. Gallen Symposium.

Question 2 – Collaborative Small State Initiative 

Although small states lead the global rankings in international benchmark studies on competitiveness, innovation and wealth, they are often politically marginalised. Explore a common agenda for small and prosperous countries and identify one joint project that would increase the relevance of small states on the global stage. Go beyond politics and diplomacy by also including economic and civil players.

Question 3 – Elites: small but superior groups rule the world – at what price?
Human history shows that the world has been ruled by tiny but superior groups of people. It is the elites who have been controlling societies and the allocation of resources. Given the rise of inequality, a devastating level of famine that still exists, ubiquitous corrupt systems of government, limited access to education for the underprivileged, to name just a few of the world’s greatest problems, elites are challenged to redefine their roles and agenda settings. Share your thoughts on how elites are supposed to emerge and transform in the 21st century.

Application Requirements

  • Copy of passport or other identification (in English for non-Roman languages)
  • Confirmation of matriculation / enrolment from your university which proves your enrolment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2015
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself.

Tip: See essay review from previous symposium

Application Deadline: February 1,2015

For more information Visit Gallen Symposium or contact ISC-Team at

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By |2014-11-13T17:17:35+01:00November 13, 2014|Opportunities, Rise Networks Community, Youth Speak|0 Comments

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