St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award (Win All-Expense Paid Trip to Switzerland + Cash Prize)

St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award (Win All-Expense Paid Trip to Switzerland + Cash Prize)

Deadline: February 1, 2017

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.

Essay Prompt

Your essay must answer the following question:

Breaking the status quo – what’s YOUR disruptive idea?

The notion of disruption captures today’s innovation zeitgeist. Nowadays, it seems everyone claims to be a disruptor – particularly young people with an entrepreneurial mindset. Let’s think beyond disruptive innovation in management and look at disruption more generally as something that breaks the status quo – be it in business, politics, science, or society. Pick the one of these four fields you are most passionate about, identify a problem of greater magnitude and come up with a disruptive idea to solve it. Your idea must aspire to inspire top-notch leaders worldwide. Do not free ride on the buzzword “disruption” but rather be bold and develop a truly novel and radical concept to win our prestigious award.


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 1987 or later


  • 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.

How to Enter

Apply for the competition here.

Documents Required

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 enrollment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2017 (download sample document here)
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself

Essay must be in English and must not be longer than 2100 words. All sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay. Only Individual work will be accepted.

  • If the jury selects your essay in the top 100, you qualify as a Leader of Tomorrow for an expenses-covered participation in the 47thSt. Gallen Symposium (3–5 May 2017).
  • The results will be announced via e-mail by mid-March 2017. You qualify as a semi-finalist to compete for the prestigious St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award 2017 if the jury selects your essay for the top 20.
  • You will be asked mid-March to pitch the essence of your essay in a 3-minute video presentation. The jury selects you as a finalist if your essay and your video presentation makes it in the top 6.
  • You will be invited to present and defend your idea on the big stage of the 47thSt. Gallen Symposium. The award is endowed with a total prize money of CHF 20,000.

Please forward any inquiries to  ISC-Team at [email protected]

For more information, visit St. Gallen Symposium Essay Competition.