Competition Details


The Victoria Forum Essay Challenge is open to all students who are enrolled at least part-time at a nationally accredited university. Official verification will be requested for the top 10 entries. All authors must register and accept the terms of the contest prior to submitting final essays.

For essays with multiple authors, a least one author must register the team for the contest. Students can register as an individual or as a team. Teams must consist of one to three members.

All authors must register and accept the terms of the contest prior to submitting final essays. For essays with multiple authors, at least one author must register the contest and submit the names of other authors.

GBSN Membership is not required to participate. There is no charge to participate in the competition.

Optional Introduction Video

Authors can submit an intro video introducing themselves, up to one minute in length to accompany their essay. The video can introduce the author(s) and a brief of what you plan to talk about. Videos should include:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Institution
  • Sub-topic


Essay entries must be submitted as a both a PDF file and word document. Essays must be double spaced with the first line being the title, followed in subsequent lines with author names, and then the text of the essay. Formal citations are not required. However, authors should give appropriate credit for quotes and significant ideas within the text. 

Essays may be submitted in Arabic, English, French, or Spanish. Essays must not exceed the following word limits: Arabic (1500), English (1250), French (1450), and Spanish (1500). The Top 10 essays will be professionally translated to English and French for final judging and publication.

Entries submitted to any other channel other than the contest submission portal will not be accepted.

Creative Piece

Along with an introduction video, authors must submit a creative piece to accompany their essay. The goal is to leave room for your creativity. The creative piece should be formatted as an image or graphic and can follow different formats:

  • graphic
  • image
  • infographic

Images should be the formatted size of (1900×1080 px) and should be uploaded as a .png or .jpeg.


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Cash Prize.

The 1st place winning team will be offered a 5,000 USD prize, sponsored by the Victoria Forum, to be used towards continuing education or training.


All Top FIVE essays will be shared, highlighted and published at the Victoria Forum as well as GBSN Beyond, two international forums with an interdisciplinary and international audience. Top 10 essays will be professionally edited and published by the Victoria Forum.

Judging Information

Judging for the Victoria Forum Essay Challenge  will happen in two phases.  Firstly, a preliminary judging will determine the Top Five teams, and the final judging session will determine the overall winner and awardee. Preliminary judges will review all submitted deliverables to ultimately determine the following of the submitted essays.  Does the essay:

  • Share experiences and perspectives that inspire efforts to bridge existing divides?
  • Describe opportunities to drive change, as well as illuminate the faultlines dividing local and global communities?
  • Demonstrate richly contextualized and real components, including accounts of actual experiences and stories of courage, grit, and transformation?
  • Have the potential to shift the conversation in meaningful ways and foster collective action towards a more inclusive and sustainable world?

Once the preliminary round has been conducted, the Top 20 Essays accompanied by their creative images will advance to the Finals Round to then be judged by an international Final Judges Panel. The Top 5 Essays will be identified based on the deliverables stated above.

Finals Round Judges

Preliminary Judges

  • Deb Dalton

    Former Mediator & Trainer
    Environmental Protection Agency
  • Dr. Rima Helal

    Ethical Leadership, Visiting Scholar and Researcher
    ESA Business School
  • Shah Munir Khan

    PhD Student of Economics, Management and Accounting
    University of Naples Parthenope
  • Chesta Mehta

    PhD Student of Chemistry
    University College of Science, ML Sukhadia University, Udaipur, Rajasthan
  • Vasudha Saraogi

    Project Associate, Centre for Heritage Management
    Ahmedabad University
  • Dr. Sally Shamieh

    Instructor and Research Project Manager
    CRED Research Center, ESA Business School
  • Sam Sixpence

    Demonthforth University
    United Kingdom
  • Vivienne Spooner, PhD

    MPhil EBM Faculty Lead
    Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria
    South Africa