Global Leadership Challenge

Our week-long leadership challenge to develop a new understanding of responsible leadership through practical actions.

100 young leaders

Join a diverse group of leaders in a week-long leadership challenge, delivered in a hybrid format

4 challenges

Design impact projects in one of our four challenge areas, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

1 vision

Align your personal values and professional aspirations to fulfil your leadership potential

Programme overview

The Global Leadership Challenge is a joint initiative of the University of Oxford (Social Sciences Division and the Oxford Character Project) and the St. Gallen Symposium. Together, we aim to connect young leaders across boundaries to address sustainable development goals and enable them to become responsible leaders in their local contexts. GLC 2021 will take place from 9 - 15 December 2021 in Oxford, St. Gallen, and around the world.

How can we develop a deep sense of purpose that drives and directs our actions, leading to a sustainable future for all? How can we incorporate purpose in our actions, aligning our personal values and professional aspirations? To tackle these questions, GLC 2021 will convene 100 promising young leaders to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time by integrating responsible leadership and practical actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more about our four challenges for this year and the application process on the challenge website.

Application launch: 27 September 2021

Check out the challenge website and our four themes for this year.

Application deadline: 24 October 2021

Answer a few short questions and apply either as an individual or a team.

Decision announcement: In the week of 1st November

Applicants will hear from us about the outcome of their application.

Notification of acceptance: 7 November 2021

Successful applicants need to accept the offer to secure a spot in GLC 2021.

GLC week: 9 - 15 December 2021

Join us in Oxford, St Gallen, or virtually to tackle the challenge.

GLC 2021 themes

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SDG 3: Good health and well-being

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SDG 4: Quality education

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SDG 5: Gender equality

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SDG 13: Climate action

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How it works

During the GLC week, participants will engage with leading academics, industry experts, and practitioners in a series of dialogues, masterclasses, and workshops. To put the learnings into practice, they will collaborate in small groups to develop impact projects that address at least one of the four challenge areas, directly contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Upon completion, all active participants will earn an official Certificate of Achievement. The top three teams will be offered to participate in bespoke leadership training from the Oxford Character Project. Finally, the winning team will be invited to attend the 51st St. Gallen Symposium in May 2022 as Leaders of Tomorrow.

The annual theme of GLC 2021 is "The Power of Purpose". Throughout the week, participants will interact with senior leaders from across sectors, moving beneath their professional accomplishments to learn from their personal journey. They will explore how established leaders have navigated the highs and lows of their personal and professional lives and gain insight that will help them to live purposeful lives.

The GLC is a joint initiative of the University of Oxford (Social Sciences Division and the Oxford Character Project) and the St. Gallen Symposium, supported by the Lemann Foundation and The Templeton World Charity Foundation.