The McKinsey Global Institute has launched a global essay contest aimed at crowdsourcing solutions to one of Europe’s biggest political and economic conundrums: how to implement a pro-growth economic strategy that is both effective and that appeals to voters and policy-makers.
The essay prize is a follow-up to the MGI June 2015 report, A Window of Opportunity for Europe, which identified policy measures that could double GDP growth in Europe in a sustainable manner and create more than 20 million jobs in Europe. While that report identified the “why” and the “what,” it did not focus on the “how.”
The contest is being held under the patronage of European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Juncker, a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, himself articulated the dilemma that the essay is hoping to resolve, when he said back in 2007 “we all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.”
MGI’s “Opportunity for Europe” Prize will award a prize pool of €100,000 to the best essays that answer the question: How could a pro-growth reform programme be made deliverable by 2020, and appeal to electorates and decision makers alike at the national and European level? Contributions should be original and not previously submitted essays of maximum 5,000 words in length. They should:
- Propose tangible reform programmes, where the focus is on whether, how, and why they are politically feasible within three to five years and appeal to public opinion
- Propose mechanisms, communications, packaging, institutions, or other ways that help build trust and avoid moral hazard.
The winner of the essay contest will receive a prize of €60,000. A prize of €25,000 will be awarded to the best essay written by an author under the age of 30. A further €15,000 will be awarded to runners-up at the discretion of the panel of judges, which is chaired by Pascal Lamy, a former European Trade Commissioner and ex-director general of the World Trade Organization. Submissions are due by July 31 and the awards will be presented at a dinner ceremony in Brussels in October. The rules and conditions can be found below.