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Winners of the St.Gallen Global Essay Competition Announced at 2021 St.Gallen Symposium

The three students from the Philippines, Kenya and Germany represent the diversity found in this year’s entrants, who focused their arguments on issues involving trust.

6 May 2021. On Thursday May 6th, 2021 the St.Gallen Symposium announced the winners of their Global Essay Competition, which focused on the topic of trust. Entrants to the competition had to be enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate programme (master level or higher) to be eligible. 450 essays from 74 countries globally were judged for the competition and the top three finalists were chosen by an academic jury.

Third place went to Karl Michael Braun who lives and works in Salem Germany. He is an aspiring teacher and writer. He studied Latin, History and Ancient Greek at the University of Freiburg and Durham University and currently works as a pedagogue at Schule Schloss Salem, a multinational boarding school located only 90 KM from St. Gallen.

His essay, entitled “Rebuilding mutual trust – a trans-communication platform” deals with establishing trust through media and communications. With his argument, he seeks to get people out of their bubbles and echo chambers and to expose them to opposing views and facilitate a process-oriented discourse particularly among those who disagree with each other.

Second place went to Joan Nyangena who wrote an essay titled, “The Pursuit of a more Equitable, Multilateral & Collaborative Belt and Road Initiative”.

Born in Kenya and currently living in Toronto, Canada, Joan holds a master’s degree in Real Estate and Infrastructure from York University and aspires to continue to grow as a global thought leader in the development, investment and financing of real estate and infrastructure projects with an emphasis on sustainability, affordability and innovation in both developing and developed economies.

Her focus on the Belt and Road Initiative looked specifically at trust and how China needs to build trust with its partners in order to achieve success. Even though the plan will touch 138 countries and benefit some 4.6 billion people, it has many people asking if it is to good to be true?

Janz Irvin essay was recognized as the St.Gallen Global Essay Competition 2021 winner. His essay “Rebuilding Trust in Algorithm-driven Public Services” deals with building a fairer society through better algorithms.

Janz is from the Philippines and currently studies and works in China. Currently, he is an analyst at Trivium China, where he is responsible for researching and analyzing developments in politics, economics, and green finance.  His essay was recognized not only for its insight into the use of algorithms in our society but also for its deep understanding of computer science.

The 50th St.Gallen Symposium took place from 5-7 May 2021. The theme for this year’s gathering was “Trust Matters”. This student-lead initiative calls on participants to reflect, discuss and seek solutions to societal challenges involving both leaders of today and leaders of tomorrow.

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