Campus - 13.05.2011 - 00:00 

Wings of Excellence Award 2011

Three out of 100 students received the “St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award” at the St. Gallen Symposium for their essays on the topic of “Just Power”. The prize is worth EUF 20,000.


13 May 2011. About 100 students from all over the world qualified for participation in the 41st St. Gallen Symposium with their essays on the topic of “Just Power”. On 12 May 2011, the authors of the best three essays received the “St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award”. The winners are students in the USA, Argentina and India. The jury was chaired by Prof. Dr. Georg F. von Krogh (ETH Zurich). One of its members was the radio presenter Dr. h.c. Peter Day (BBC News) an.

The prizes were awarded to Marcelo Ber from Argentina (1st place), the Indian Kanan Amal Dhru (2nd place) and María de los Ángeles Lasa from Argentina (3rd place). Marcelo Ber is studying Public Administration at the Master’s Level at New York University in the USA. Kanan Amal Dhru is matriculated at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, India, and is studying for a Master’s degree in Public Administration. María de los Ángeles Lasa is studying at the Institute of Human Sciences at the Universidad Nacional de Villa María in Argentina.

Fighting against the pollution of the environment in Argentina

The students dealt with various aspects of the topic, “Just Power”. María de los Ángeles Lasa presented her concept of leadership based on the power holders’ sense of responsibility. She developed her ideas with the help of the example of power relations in Argentina, which owing to their corrupt structures do not allow people to fight against urgent environmental problems. Thus it has been impossible to combat the pollution of the Riachuelo River ever since the 1990s although resources would be available. A way out of these muddled circumstances would only be provided by responsible action on the part of the political and economic elite, said the student in her presentation.

Network against nepotism in the legal system

As a law graduate, Kanan Amal Dhru campaigns for the rights of poor people in her native country, India. The young lawyer was disappointed to find out that the Indian legal system only ensures justice for people with the right family connections. The nepotistic conditions prompted her to establish a network with other young lawyers who champion the rights of disadvantaged people. Her think tank, Research Foundation for Governance in India, conducts research in the field of legal sciences and governance. The network provides lawyers with backing when they support disadvantaged clients against power relations that are influenced by family connections.

Young entrepreneurs as “agents for change”

The Argentinian Marcelo Ber is a programme leader of Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. Ashoka guides global initiatives in order to provide needy people with access to financial services such as savings accounts and micro-insurance policies. As executive officer of the association’s youth programmes in Argentina, Chile and Washington DC, Marcelo Ber was able to help more than 5,000 newly established companies and entrepreneurs to launch their own products. “I’m convinced that there will be more enterprises and entrepreneurs in the social field if more teenagers experience in their youth that it is possible for them to improve social conditions”, said Marcelo Ber at the award ceremony.

The documents for the “St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award” of the 42nd St. Gallen Symposium will be posted at from autumn 2011.

Discover our special topics