McKinsey Global Institute Announces Essay Prize
New York, NY – The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company, today announces a major new essay prize that aims to stimulate thought and find solutions to one of Europe’s biggest economic conundrums.
The essay prize follows MGI’s study on the European economy in June 2015: A Window of Opportunity for Europe, and asks Europe’s best thinkers to come up with innovative, radical and workable new ideas of how to create and implement a pro-growth strategy across Europe.
The essay question released today is as follows: 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?
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 will award a prize pool of €100,000.00 to the best essays that answer the question.
- The winning submission will be awarded the first prize of €60,000.00
- A second award of €25,000.00 will be made to the best essay by an author under the age of 30.
- A further €15,000 will be awarded to runners-up at the discretion of the judging panel, which is being chaired by Pascal Lamy, former CEO, European Trade Commissioner and ex-Director General of the World Trade Organization.
- Other panel members include representatives from business, academia, labour organisations, civil society, and the media from all over the European continent. (The judging panel, as of 18th March 2016, is set out in ‘notes’ below).
Submissions are due by July 31 and the awards will be presented at a ceremony in Brussels in October 2016. Further details, and the rules and conditions can be found at www.essayforeurope.com and a social media campaign for the prize can be seen at #EssayForEurope
Contributions must be original and not previously submitted English-language essays of a maximum 5,000 words in length. The call for entries is being made on March 18, submissions are due by July 31, and the prize will be awarded October 12, 2016.
Pascal Lamy, Chairman of the Judging Panel, said:
“There is a long-standing idea in Europe that leaders know what policies are needed to boost growth and create much-needed jobs, but that governments think carrying out those policies would hurt their re-election prospects. This is the conundrum of the political economy in Europe today, and we hope that this prize will help to play a role in helping to resolve it. People talk about a disconnect between Europe-wide institutions and citizens, I believe the prize will provide an opportunity to hear voices that aren’t often heard in this debate – ideas about how to shape the future, how to revitalize the European economy, and, crucially, how do this in a way that communicates effectively and engages all citizens.”
The European public appears eager to break out of the current frustrating economic cycle: a survey and conjoint analysis MGI undertook of 16,000 Europeans in eight countries in 2014 showed a clear willingness to make tough trade-offs, including working longer hours or accepting some changes in social protection in return for improvements in incomes and better public services like healthcare or education.
Eric Labaye, Chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute, said:
“The McKinsey Global Institute’s research has shown that Europeans across all countries are eager for progress and are ready to make tradeoffs to achieve a better standard of living and better services such as health and education. Our in-depth analysis looked at the state of the European economy, and at the sort of reforms that are needed to raise Europe’s growth level and create millions of new jobs. This prize is about crowdsourcing the mechanisms that could lead to these policies being implemented, so that European leaders can meet the aspirations of the people. We hope to create momentum by focusing on the practical ways this could be achieved.”
Notes to Editors:
We are grateful for the Patronage of the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker. The McKinsey Global Institute Essay Prize ‘An opportunity for Europe’ is wholly funded by the Partners of McKinsey & Company.
- The Judging Panel
The judging panel will be chaired by Pascal Lamy, president emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute, former CEO of a French bank, former director general of the World Trade Organization, and former EU Commissioner.
As of March 2016, further members of the panel include:
- Etienne Davignon, Minister of State, Belgium, and former Vice President, European Commission (Belgium)
- Henrik Enderlein, Associate Dean and Professor of Political Economy, Hertie School of Governance (Germany)
- Reiner Hoffmann, President of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) (Germany)
- Eric Labaye, Chairman of the McKinsey Global Insititute (France)
- Andrew Palmer, Business Affairs Editor, The Economist (UK)
- Geneviève Pons, Director of WWF European Policy Office in Brussels
- Sven Smit, West European regional leader, McKinsey & Company
- Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz, CEO of Empik (Poland)
Biographies can be found at www.EssayForEurope.com
- Think Tank Partner
Our think tank partner for the MGI Essay Prize 2016 is Friends of Europe. Friends of Europe is a leading, Brussels-based think-tank that aims to stimulate new thinking on global and European issues that span political, economic, social and environmental challenges. More information at www.friendsofeurope.org.
- The McKinsey Global Institute
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company, was established in 1990 to develop a deeper understanding of the evolving global economy. Our goal is to provide leaders in the commercial, public, and social sectors with the facts and insights on which to base management and policy decisions
The partners of McKinsey & Company fund MGI’s research; it is never commissioned by any business, government, or other institution.
We are proud to be ranked the Number 1 private sector think tank in the world, according to the authoritative 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index; an annual report issued by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania.
For further information about MGI and to download all reports for free, please visit: www.mckinsey.com/mgi