Peter Drucker Challenge Essay Contest 2020 for Students and Young Professionals

Deadline: May 24, 2020

Applications are invited for the Peter Drucker Challenge Essay Contest 2020 on the theme Leadership and Critical Thinking. The aim of the Contest is to keep the human-oriented management philosophy of Peter Drucker alive in the minds of the young generation.

What makes someone an effective leader? For one thing, people look for leadership from those they trust to exercise good judgment. Not every decision can be simply data-driven; many involve difficult tradeoffs among competing priorities, or calls that must be made based on limited information (as in making plans for the future). Great leaders are able to objectively analyze these complex and often politicized situations and arrive at their own conclusions. They have a high capacity, in other words, for critical thinking.

Your essay should offer a point of view on whether the emerging generation of leaders is being sufficiently prepared to exercise the critical thinking required of them. What conditions of the twenty-first century are making this more difficult—or in what ways is critical thinking better supported than in the past?


  • The first prize winner will receive a cash prize of 1,500 EUR (to be handed over at Awards ceremony)
  • First to tenth place winners will have free participation and waived registration fee (regular fee +/- € 2,000) for the 12th Global Peter Drucker Forum to be held in Vienna on October 29-30, 2020 at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) (including conference bag and brochure, buffet lunches, and coffee breaks at the conference venue)
  • Invitation to pre-conference events on October 28:
    • Morning: Drucker Forum Specials (more to come)
    • Afternoon: Drucker Challenge Get-Together (with partner) – opportunity to network with peers, Drucker Challenge team and Jury in a Viennese cosy atmosphere!
    • Evening: Networking Reception at House of Industry (with partner) – opportunity to mingle with the Drucker Forum family
  • Invitation to the Gala event on October 29 with seated dinner and Awards ceremony (with partner)
  • Funding of travel expenses: Your international travel and accommodation costs for attending the Forum will be reimbursed based on the travel process & policy. If you need visa to travel to Austria, they will advise early travel arrangements.


All applicant must

  • Be 18-35 years old (inclusive of both ages)
  • Have been selected no more than once (or not at all) among the top 10 since 2010

Essay category requirements

You can submit one essay to participate as either a student or a professional
(please mention your main occupation in the submission form)

Student category

  • You are a part-time or full-time student (bachelor, master, MBA, or PhD) or you are seeking your first opportunity after the completion of your last degree

Professional category

You are a

  • manager of people, projects, budgets, and/or processes
  • an entrepreneur or business owner
  • licensed professional
  • social volunteer or community leader

Evaluation Criteria

The jury will assess your ability to analyze, synthesize and produce a coherent and impactful essay, specifically

  • Your personal insights and original thoughts about the topic
  • Your story-telling style and ability to communicate fluently in English
  • Your research and citations of primary and secondary sources
  • Your conclusions that could be drawn from Peter Drucker’s article on Managing Oneself


Click here to fill in the form and upload your essay

For more information, visit Drucker Challenge.


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