Our debates matter.

We live in times where healthy debates driven by tomorrow's generation are needed more than ever.

600 Leaders of Today will join 200 Leaders of Tomorrow to debate «Growth – the good, the bad, and the ugly» from 11–13 May 2016 in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Essay Competition

Seize your opportunity. 

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. 

  • Join the debate with 600 top global leaders and decision makers
  • Share your thoughts, ideas and visions with the global elite
  • Expenses for travel, board and lodging covered, travel service provided
  • Meet 200 of the world’s brightest young minds
  • Small and intimate gatherings with world leaders, exclusively for the Leaders of Tomorrow
  • CHF 20,000.– prize money shared by the three winners
  • Broad media coverage
  • Become member of a truly unique and strong global community

Qualify with an excellent essay.

Your essay must answer the following question: What are alternatives to economic growth? Leaders of Tomorrow have expressed scepticism towards economic growth as it stands today. We challenge you to develop your alternative guidelines to the concept of growth. Present your own idea to convince the jury. We expect a professional, creative and thought-provoking essay. Be bold and unconventional! The following criteria must be met:

 FormEssay (max. 2,100 words)
 Deadline1 February 2016, 11:59 p.m. last time zone (UTC-12)
 AnonymityYour name must not be mentioned anywhere in the contribution file
 IndividualityIndividual work expected, no group work allowed. The essay must be written exclusively for this contest
 CitationAll sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay

Check your eligibility and prepare documents.

To be eligible, you must fulfil 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 1986 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 enrolment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2016 (download sample document here)
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself

Impress the Jury.

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. You qualify as a semi-finalist to compete for the prestigious award 2016 if your essay makes it in the top 20. You will be asked by mid-March the very latest to pitch the essence of your essay in a 3-minute video presentation. Based upon the quality of both the essay and the video pitch, the jury selects the six finalists who will compete for the award against each other on the symposium’s big stage. The award will be bestowed to those finalists who show the very best performances both on the essay and on the stage in St. Gallen.

Apply for the competition and compete.

Take the following steps to maximise your chance of qualifying as a "Leader of Tomorrow" for the 46th St. Gallen Symposium (click here if the login does not display properly):

Students apply now

Compete until 1 Feb '16 for the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2016 to become a Leader of Tomorrow at the 46th St. Gallen Symposium (11–13 May 2016).


Meet this and previous year's winners and read their contributions.

Ideas that push boundaries

Learn about great ideas that have been presented by Leaders of Tomorrow on the big stage at the St. Gallen Symposium. Get inspired to be the next one to present in front of our global community!