2019 Peter Drucker Essay Challenge for Students and Professionals

Deadline: June 24, 2019.

Since the late Middle Ages, the notion of the “Renaissance Man” has celebrated those people who are well-rounded, broadly knowledgeable and capable across the arts and the sciences, and able to approach problems holistically. This year marks the five hundredth year since the passing of the world’s most famous Renaissance Man: Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian polymath who simultaneously excelled as scientist, engineer, writer, artist, and musician.



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

For Student Category:

  • Either 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

For Professional Category:

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



  • 1500 to 3000 words (excluding footnotes and any graphics)
  • English language
  • Entries must be produced exclusively by you (no group work) for the specific purpose of this competition, and must not have been published elsewhere

Writing Prompts (these are not questions or titles, but are meant to trigger the thinking process):

  • How can the spirit of the Renaissance improve the practice of management?
  • Do we still need polymaths? What will their value be in the twenty-first century?
    What will be the role of specialists?
    How would you define a “Renaissance Manager”?
    Given the variety of possible learning and teaching approaches, what should be the main focus in developing tomorrow’s leaders, as learners go from kindergarten all the way to business school and beyond?
  • Is the “tech” side of the business world sufficiently in touch with the human side, and how could Drucker’s notion of management as a liberal art strengthen that connection?
  • What knowing-doing capacities, personal traits, and social skills are required today to lead organizations successfully?
  • Just as the notion of the “Renaissance Man” emerged in Europe, other compelling ideas arose elsewhere. How might they inform the practice of management?
  • What synthesis happens inside your brain as you work to realize your dreams, and your career path? Have personal experiences taught lessons in how to think more holistically reflective of your own culture, gender, age, parenting, schooling, or occupation.



  • Free participation and waived registration fee (regular fee +/- € 2,000) for the 11th Global Peter Drucker Forum to be held in Vienna on November 21-22, 2019 at the Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
  • Funding of travel expenses: as a winner, your international travel and accommodation costs for attending the Forum will be reimbursed based on our travel process & policy
  • Invitation to pre-conference events on November 20: Drucker Challenge Get-Together at Kabarett Simpl and Speakers Reception at House of Industry
  • Invitation to the Young Generation Luncheon events at Hofburg
  • Invitation to the Gala event on November 21 with seated dinner and awards ceremony
  • Certificate with ranking
  • Ranking list and publication of essay on website
  • Invitation to join the exclusive Drucker Challenge Alumni Community on social media networks
  • One-year-all-access subscription to the Harvard Business Review




Click here to apply

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