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McKinsey Global Institute “Opportunity for Europe” Essay Prize Rules


1.1 McKinsey Global Institute, the economic and business research arm of McKinsey & Company, organises an essay competition titled the ‘McKinsey Global Institute “Opportunity for Europe” Essay Prize’.

1.2 The prize will consist of a pool of €100,000 (one hundred thousand Euros) to be allocated in accordance with Clauses 6 and 8 to the authors of the best essays who answer the question: How could a pro-growth reform program be made deliverable by 2020, and appeal to electorates and decision makers alike at the national and European level? (each, an “Essay”).


The host, McKinsey & Company, Inc. Belgium (“McKinsey”) shall be in charge of the overall organisation of the competition as set forth under these rules (the Rules).


Each party submitting an Essay is an entrant (Entrant).

All references to the words “you” or “your” shall be references to an Entrant.


4.1 The competition is open to Entrants worldwide provided that they are aged 18 years or over as of the date of entry, except:

(a) Employees, associates, directors or agents of McKinsey or its holding or subsidiary companies
(b) employees of the Jacques Delors Institute; or
(c) direct ascendants, direct descendants, siblings, spouses or partners of (a) or (b) above.

4.2 McKinsey will not accept Essays that:

(a) are not drafted in English;
(b) exceed five thousand (5,000) words (including any exhibits);
(c) are submitted after the Closing Date (as defined under 5.1 below); 
(d) are not original, i.e., were not independently conceived by its author; 
(e) include material inaccuracies which are misleading as to the Entrant's compliance with the eligibility criteria set forth by this Clause 4;
(f) have been completed on behalf of a company, partnership or corporate entity;
(g) have been drafted by a third party other than the Entrant who is not mentioned as co-author in the Application Documents; or
(h) have been submitted prior to the Closing Date for publication or as an entry for another competition.

4.3 Each Entrant may submit no more than one entry, whether as sole author or as co-author (joint submissions).

4.4 McKinsey may require you and any co-author(s) to provide proof that you and your co-author(s) are eligible to enter the competition.


5.1 The Competition will run from 00:01 AM (GMT) on 18 March 2016 (the “Opening Date”) to 11:59 PM (GMT) on 31 July 2016 (the “Closing Date”) inclusive.

5.2 All Competition submissions must be received by McKinsey in accordance with Clause 5 by the Closing Date. Any competition entries received after the Closing Date will not be accepted.

5.3 To enter a submission you must:

(a) visit (the “Competition Website”) to download the application form.
(b) submit your Essay to (the “Competition Email Address”) in either Adobe pdf or Microsoft Word format, together with the following documents (the “Application Documents”) by the Closing Date: 
(i) a signed and completed application form confirming that you have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Rules; 
(ii) a colour photograph of each author in jpeg format; and
(iii) a short biography of each author, no more than two hundred (200) words.

Once you have submitted your Essay and Application Documents to the Competition Email Address you will receive confirmation of safe receipt by return email, provided that they have been submitted before the Closing Date.

Proof of transmission shall not be accepted as proof of receipt of entry to the competition.


6.1 By entering a submission under Clause 5, each Entrant:

  • enters the competition;
  • accepts to act at all times in compliance with these Rules; and
  • represents to be eligible under Clause 4 and, as the case may be, to be eligible to claim the prize under Clause 9.


7.1 The Essays will be reviewed by a panel of independent judges. All Essays will be judged using a double-blind review process.

In double-blind reviews, the identities of the authors (including personal information included in your Application Documents) are withheld from the reviewers in addition to the usual practice of having the identities of the reviewers withheld from the authors.

7.2 The prize winners will be selected at the sole discretion of the judging panel.

The key evaluation criteria are: (i) relevant and impactful topic, (ii) innovative and insightful proposal, (iii) fact-based and clear line of written argument, (iv) politically and economically feasible concept, and (v) mindful of growth impact as well as environmental and social implications.

The judges’ decision will be discretionary and final. No correspondence or discussions will be entered into with candidates.

7.3 The judges will select and short-list Entrants based on the above-mentioned criteria. Three prize winners will be selected by the judges among the short-listed Entrants: (i) the overall winner, (ii) the winner of the “under 30” age category and (iii) “special mentions”, i.e., strong contenders for overall winner.


8.1 The prize is a pool of €100,000 (one hundred thousand Euros) which will be apportioned to the overall winner, the winner of the “under 30” age category and special mentions as follows:

(a) €60,000 (sixty thousand Euros) will be awarded to the overall winner;
(b) €25,000 (twenty-five thousand Euros) will be awarded to the winner of the “under 30” age category; and
(c) €15,000 (fifteen thousand Euros) will be awarded to special mentions at the discretion of the judging panel.

8.2 For the avoidance of doubt, Entrants are only eligible to win one prize. A combined prize will not be awarded if the overall winner also falls within the “under 30” age category. In that situation, only the award for €60,000 (sixty thousand Euros) will be paid to the winner and the prize for the “under 30” age category will be awarded to special mentions at the discretion of the judging panel.

8.3 The prize will be paid to the winning Entrant who submitted the Essay to the Competition Email Address. Joint Entrants must indicate on their application form the name of the person who will act as the “lead author”, whom the prize will be administered to. Joint Entrants will be responsible for sharing the prize among themselves.

8.4 The winners will also be offered a maximum of 250 (two hundred and fifty) bound copies of their Essay for promotional purposes only. No substitute prize will be made available if a winner chooses not to accept this offer.

8.5 The prize is not negotiable. Any applicable taxes are the responsibility of the prize recipient. The prize recipient is responsible for the availability of a bank account with a reputable bank to which McKinsey can, subject to applicable sanctions regimes or applicable restrictions, pay the prize funds. Bank and transfer fees must be borne by the prize recipient.


9.1 McKinsey will contact the respective prize winners personally as soon as practicable after the Closing Date, using the telephone number or email address provided within the Application Documents.

9.2 In order to claim the prize you must respond to McKinsey’s notification that you are a prize winner by telephone or by email and comply with all identity checks within fourteen (14) days of receiving such notification. If the prize recipient does not comply with such identity checks, McKinsey may decide to withdraw his or her prize pursuant to Clause 14.2 and to offer the prize to another short-listed Entrant based on the criteria and the process set forth in Clause 6.

9.3 McKinsey will make all reasonable efforts to contact the prize winners. If any prize winner cannot be contacted or is not available, has not responded in compliance with Clause 9.2 or has not responded to McKinsey within fourteen (14) days of being notified by McKinsey, McKinsey reserves the right to offer the prize to another short-listed Entrant based on the criteria and the process set forth in Clause 6.

9.4 McKinsey does not accept any responsibility if you are not able to collect or accept the prize.


10.1 The prize winners will be formally announced at an award ceremony with senior societal leaders to take place on 12 October 2016 in Brussels, further details of which will be communicated to the short-listed Entrants after the Closing Date.

10.2 The prizes will be presented to the respective winners in the form of a cheque at the award ceremony subject to the conditions under Clause 9.2 above having been satisfied.


11.1 Insofar as is permitted by law, McKinsey will not in any circumstances be liable to compensate any Entrants or third parties for any and all losses, expenses or claims arising as a result of this competition.

11.2 McKinsey will not accept liability for Essays that are lost, corrupted or delayed in being emailed, regardless of the cause, including, for example, as a result of any equipment failure, technical malfunction, systems, network, server, computer hardware or software failure of any kind.

11.3 You acknowledge that you and any co-author(s) are solely responsible for the content of your Essay and the consequences of your Essay being published by McKinsey and/or any third party with whom McKinsey wishes to share your Essay via any media in any form. You will, to the extent required, fully indemnify McKinsey against any liability in connection with your Essay.


12.1 McKinsey does not claim any rights of ownership in your Essay.

12.2 By entering the competition, you thereby grant McKinsey an irrevocable, fully sub-licensable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence for the full duration of any intellectual property rights in the Essay, to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish (on media owned and controlled by McKinsey and/or third parties), translate and publicly display your Essay in whole or in part, and to incorporate such Essay into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed for any and all commercial or non-commercial purposes.

12.3 Notwithstanding Clause 12.2, you may not publish, or allow to be published, your Essay either as a summary, as an edited version or in full on any publicly accessible media prior to announcement of the Winner (as detailed in Clause 10.1) without the prior written consent of McKinsey.

12.4 You warrant and represent that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to your submission including, but not limited to, all the rights necessary for you to provide, upload or submit the Essay. To the extent that the Essay submitted contains images, photographs, pictures or graphical representations in whole or in part (“Images”), you warrant and represent that (a) you are the copyright owner of such Images, or that the copyright owner of such Images has granted you permission to use such Images or any Essay consistent with the manner and purpose of your use and as otherwise permitted by these Rules, (b) you have the rights necessary to grant the licences and sub-licences described above, and (c) that each person depicted in such Images, if any, has provided consent to the use of the Images. You will, to the extent required, fully indemnify McKinsey against any liability arising out of a breach of this Clause 12.3.

12.5 McKinsey reserves the right to access, disclose and use any information in the Essay that you submit without prior notice to you, and to review and edit such Essay as appropriate.

12.6 McKinsey is under no obligation to post or use any Essay submitted.


13.1 You agree that by entering the competition, McKinsey may process and disclose certain information about you in connection with the submission, including your name, previous and current place of employment, job title or position, educational background, colour photograph and other general biographical information.

13.2 By entering the competition, you agree that any personal information provided by you with the competition entry may be held and used only by McKinsey (and its group companies) or its agents and suppliers to administer the competition. You also agree that McKinsey (and its group companies) may use your personal information to contact you to inform you about job opportunities at McKinsey.


14.1 If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these Rules, McKinsey may, at its sole discretion, reserve the right to exclude you from participating in the competition or withdraw your prize.

14.2 McKinsey reserves all rights to cancel or suspend the competition or withhold or substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value at its absolute discretion.

14.3 These Rules shall be governed by Belgian law, and all disputes regarding the competition shall be submitted to Belgian courts.