St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award - Leader of Tomorrow at 2019 St. Gallen Symposium


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Location (s):

  • Online
  • Switzerland


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. 


What is the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award? 

The St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award is a global student essay competition, offering students who study at graduate or postgraduate level around the world the opportunity to apply for participation at the St. Gallen Symposium.

Your gateway to St. Gallen, and much more.

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
  • CHF 20,000 prize money shared by the three winners
  • Small and intimate gatherings with world leaders, exclusively for the Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Broad media coverage
  • Become member of a truly unique and strong global community

Leaders of Tomorrow

200 inspiring young minds.

Leaders of Tomorrow are a carefully selected, global community of the most promising young talents. Each year, 200 academics, politicians, entrepreneurs and professionals around 30 years or younger are invited to challenge, debate, and inspire at our conference. By questioning the status quo and representing the voices of the next generation, the Leaders of Tomorrow are at the very heart of the St. Gallen Symposium, making our conference a unique experience.

Leaders of Tomorrow qualify either through our global essay competition aimed at graduate students, or they attend based on their professional or academic merit through a strict hand-selection process. After the symposium, they join our Leaders of Tomorrow Alumni Community counting over 2000 members worldwide.

100 outstanding essays.

The St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award is the world’s most prestigious essay competition aimed at graduate students. It requires bright ideas, excellent writing skills, and a critical mind to impress the jury. The top 100 contributors are selected by an independent jury to attend our symposium, while the finalists have to take to the symposium’s big stage to defend their ideas in front of the jury and the Leaders of Today. The six finalists will have defend their ideas on the symposium’s big stage in front of the jury and the Leaders of Today. Finally, the three winners will receive CHF 20’000 in prize money and benefit from high exposure.

100 hand-selected talents.

We invite 100 emerging talents from business, politics, and academia based on extraordinary achievements and impact. These young professionals are hand-picked in a careful and rigorous selection process. We are supported by referrals from our Advisory Board as well as our global network.


We firmly believe in the power of the young generation. Through the generous support of the Circle of Benefactors and Patrons, we can ensure that all candidates qualifying as Leader of Tomorrow are able to attend the St. Gallen Symposium, regardless of their economic background.

Qualify with an excellent essay.

We expect a professional, creative and thought-provoking essay. Be bold and unconventional! 

The following criteria must be met:

  • Form - Essay (max. 2,100 words) 
  • Language - English 
  • Deadline - 1 February 2019, 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 
  • Citation - All sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

Who can compete for a participation as a Leader of Tomorrow at the St. Gallen Symposium?

Students enrolled at a regular university, who are matriculated in a graduate or postgraduate programme.

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 1989 or later

Impress the Jury. 

All contributions will be evaluated according to specific criteria by an independent jurycomposed 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 2018 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.

Can Bachelor students participate?

Unfortunately, students on bachelor level do not fulfil the eligibility criteria and therefore cannot enter the competition. There is no other way to apply for participation and we, therefore, encourage all students to join the competition once they pursue with their studies at graduate level. You may, however, be eligible if the level of study in your current year is equivalent to international graduate level which must be confirmed in writing by your university.


Deadline: February 01, 2019

Cost/funding for participants:

How much does it cost to participate? 

The participation in the symposium is free for all Leaders of Tomorrow. Moreover, expenses for travel, board and lodging are covered by the ISC. However, we recommend bringing a small amount of pocket money for your convenience.

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