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Top 5 Victoria Forum Essay Contest Submissions Announced

GBSN and the Victoria Forum partnered to deliver a student essay contest in conjunction with the Victoria Forum 2022. Students from across the globe were invited to participate in the inaugural Bridging Divides Essay Contest. The essay contest searched for original, unpublished essays that share experiences and perspectives that inspire efforts to bridge existing divides. 

Through two extensive rounds of judging, the Top 5 submissions (including the essay and creative piece) were determined and the authors have been welcomed to join this esteem panel to discuss their stories and efforts when it comes to bridging divides. These authors will be joined on the panel by the second/final round judges who selected their pieces, and who will additionally discuss their comments and feedback from the submissions. The essays will be published for public viewing the week following the event.

The panel will be led by the Global Business School Network’s CEO, Dan LeClair as he navigates the conversation and storytelling as they are told by both judge and student. You won’t want to miss this enriching session on how students are striving to make intentional efforts and are tirelessly working to bridge so many divides.

Date & Time

Monday, August 29, 2022 from 6:30-8:00pm EST

Out of 347 students, 37 teams, 65 schools from 27 different countries, we are proud to announce the selection of Top 5 essay submissions!

Top Five Essays

(In no particular order)

These Top Five Submissions have been invited to join a panel of elite judges to discuss their essays at the Victoria Forum.

“Of Highways and Byways- How People Have Used Resources to Divide Africa”

Mufudzi Chihambakwe

University of Cape Town
South Africa

“The Plight of Hijab-Wearing Women”

Zainab Siddiqi

Institute of Business Administration, Karachi

“A Promising Heritage at the Age of a Divided but Interdependent World: Conversation”

Duygu Tan

Koç University Graduate School of Business

“Connecting Women to Abundant Education”

Panharoth Meas

University of Houston

“Personalized Experiences and Future Outlook of a Growing Problem in the Digital Age”

Anne Venema & Andrew Sahaydak

Johannes Kepler University Linz & University of Victoria
Austria & Canada


The Victoria Forum convenes evidence-based conversations and stimulates creative thinking to develop innovative ideas and actionable solutions to contemporary and urgent environmental, economic, and social challenges.

Bridging Economic Divides

Globalization has fostered economic integration through substantial growth of international trade and the free movement of goods, services and capital. At the same time, protectionism and trade barriers are challenging the modern global trading system. The degradation of social conditions for many and the impacts of a changing climate have contributed to economic instability. The Forum will discuss innovative solutions to foster inclusive and sustainable economic development and responsible business management.

Bridging Social Divides

Most people from around the world believe that their country is divided. Identity, territoriality, religion, race, economic opportunities, culture and politics have all been cited as root causes of increased divisions. Women, in particular, continue to face significant systemic barriers across sectors and the rates of sexualized and physical violence in our society are alarming. The Forum aims to create a space that enables people to connect across all boundaries. 

Bridging Environmental Divides

Humanity faces critical environmental problems, but political, social, and ideological polarization increasingly hinders our collective ability to address these problems. The burdens of climate change are disproportionately felt by the poor, the disempowered, the marginalized and Indigenous people. Increasingly, leaders recognize that sustainability is important to the future success of their organizations, and large investors are committing to climate change action. The Forum will connect different conversations such as human security and development through the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Final Judging Panel

Preliminary Judges

Many thanks to our Preliminary Judges for their continuous support and guidance during this phase of the contest!

  • 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

    Research Associate
    Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria
    South Africa
  • Vivienne Spooner, PhD

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

More Student Opportunities

This Fall, GBSN is offering the Social Logistics Challenge, a unique opportunity for business students to truly interact with other disciplines and use one another’s expertise to create business solutions with a focus on social responsibility and awareness. Through this Challenge, students will learn that social logistics aims to introduce a social (human) factor in the systems and to apply logistic principles and methods in solving the problems of society.

GBSN hopes to leverage the strengths of Social Logistics, which includes the traditional supply chain knowledge and humanitarian logistics, while also incorporating communication, programming, and technology.  The Social Logistics Challenge will continue the tradition of a team-based virtual competition, which encourages cross-disciplinary and multi-university collaboration. 

Register and submit a project by October 20th!