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. 

Take part in the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award to 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 decision makers
  • Share your thoughts 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
  • Become member of a truly unique and strong global community
  • EUR 20,000.– prize money shared by the three winners
  • Receive a Swiss luxury watch with personal winners' engraving
  • Broad media coverage of your winning contribution

The 2015 competition is closed. The St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2016 will be announced on this website in autumn 2015. You can pre-register for the symposium now to get regular updates on the competition.

Qualify with a great contribution.

For next year's competition, answer one of the competition questions from your own unique perspective on the annual theme of the St. Gallen Symposium to prove yourself as a true Leader of Tomorrow. We expect professional and thought-provoking work which could be an essay, a video or a multimedia presentation. Be unconventional, bold and constructive to convince the jury. The following criteria must be met:

 Form Essay (max. 2100 words), Video or Presentation (max. 15 minutes)
 Language English
 Deadline1 February 2016, 11:59 p.m. last time zone
 Anonymity Your name must not be mentioned anywhere in the contribution file
 Individuality Individual work expected, no group work allowed
 Citation All 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, entrepreneurs and politicians. The authors of the best 100 contributions will be invited to join the next St. Gallen Symposium, while the three best are bestowed with the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award.

Apply for the competition and compete.

The 2015 competition is closed. Topic and competition questions of the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2016 will be announced in autumn 2015. You can already pre-register here:

Students: Pre-Register now

The next competition for graduate and postgraduate students to qualify as Leaders of Tomorrow for the 46th St. Gallen Symposium (11–13 May 2016) will open in autumn 2015. Pre-register now to get the latest updates on the competition.


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