School students around the world are invited to describe what they believe are the characteristics of the best leaders, in a competition run by Chatham House and the Financial Times.
Applicants, who should be aged 16-18 and in full time secondary education, have until 12 March 2021 to submit responses of up to 500 words to the question: ‘What does it take to be a good leader?’
They may draw on examples of individual political leaders or identify the characteristics needed for roles such as directing an international organisation, driving a social justice movement or managing a global business in a world facing environmental, health and economic challenges.
The annual competition is the third run jointly by the FT schools programme and The World Today, the international affairs magazine of Chatham House. Previous ones have covered the impact of social media and being UN secretary-general for a day.
The best entry will be published in The World Today and the Financial Times. The winner will also be invited to take part in the 2021 Chatham House London Conference, where global leaders and foreign policy professionals will debate topical issues confronting the world — either in person or virtually as conditions dictate.
Entries, which must be submitted in English, will be judged by a panel including Chatham House and Financial Times staff. They will be looking for originality, clarity and strong ideas more than a fine writing style.
Applicants can find ideas in many recent articles on the FT including its section on leadership, its how to lead profiles and its Women of 2020 report, all of which are available through the free schools access programme.
Full details and the submission form are on the competition website.