2016 Nextgen Essay Contest

News | July 01, 2016

Launched by the EastWest Institute (EWI) in 2010, Nextgen is a platform that connects the next generation of foreign policy professionals with today's renowned experts in the field. Nextgen gives you the opportunity to engage and learn about today’s leading global issues and to voice your views and ideas.

We are excited to announce the 2016 Nextgen Essay Contest, and we invite you to participate.


This year, we are admitting essays on one of four important topics. Each participant is requested to select one of the topics and prepare a single essay. This year’s topics to select from are the following:

  1. In recent years, new points of contention have continued to emerge between the West and Russia involving military buildup, conflict resolution and territorial disputes. Are we entering a new Cold War?

  2. From cyber soldiers knocking out the power grid in Ukraine to hackers compromising American dams to foreign agents stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies and federal computers. These actions in the last several years have kicked off a new modern arms race. Who wins or loses in this cyber war?

  3. The veto power of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council has long been a fodder for criticism. How would you reform the Security Council?

  4. In many parts of the world, new conflicts break out to grab control over natural resources and some could eventually turn into full blown wars. What concrete steps would you recommend to policymakers to help preserve and sustain natural resources?

Eligibility and Submission:

This contest is open to students or recent graduates under 30 years old. Essays must be a maximum of 800 words in length.

The deadline for submission is Friday, August 19, 2016.

Judging Process:

A qualified panel of EWI experts will select 10 finalists. Three judges will then select winning papers for first, second and third place.

This year, our highly-esteemed panel of judges includes:

  • Maria Livanos Cattaui - Former Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Andrew Nagorski - Former Senior Editor for Newsweek
  • Ambassador Kanwal Sibal - Former Foreign Minister of India

The winning essays will be judged using the following criteria:

  • Argument is well supported, 30%
  • Originality and creativity of ideas, 30%
  • Viability of ideas, 30%
  • Popularity of entry among EWI Facebook fans, 10%

The winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 14, 2016.


The first place winner will be invited to attend EWI’s Annual Awards Gala at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, where he/she will be presented an award during the official part of the program.

In addition:

  • Each of the three winners will receive an Acer Chromebook R 11
  • The winning essays will receive prominent placement on the EWI website and will be disseminated to a global audience via EWI’s social media channels

So, start writing, be published and be heard!

Click here to submit


LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. By competing in this Contest and/or accepting a prize, entrants release EWI and contest sponsors from any and all liability for any loss harm, injuries, damages, cost or expenses arising out of or relating to participation in this Contest or the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize(s). UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL THE RELEASED PARTIES BE LIABLE FOR INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, ATTORNEYS’ FEES, OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES.

Have a question? Email Alex Schulman at aschulman@eastwest.ngo.