Global Leadership Challenge

Promoting the next generation of responsible leaders

Join the Global Leadership Challenge –  a graduate conference on responsible leadership –  to develop your ideas for addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

From 9–15 December 2021, the GLC will convene to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time by integrating responsible leadership and practical actions to achieve the SDGs.

The Social Sciences Division (SSD), together with the Oxford Character Project, is partnering with St. Gallen Symposium to bring together 100 emerging leaders from around the world to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Throughout the week-long challenge, the participants will engage in cross-generational dialogues with senior leaders, learn from a diverse group of peers, and develop a wide range of SDG action projects that directly impact their communities around the world. 

The event is open to inspiring Oxford postgraduate students from all disciplines, and particularly from the social sciences, who are committed to responsible leadership and have a passion for engaging with complex challenges. Around 30 places are reserved for SSD graduate students and Grand Union DTP students (free of charge), and last year many students from across the Division participated. 


  • Earn a Certificate of Achievement: All active participants will receive an official Certificate of Achievement from the University of Oxford and the St. Gallen Symposium.
  • Attend the 51st St. Gallen Symposium: The winning team will be offered to join the 51st St. Gallen Symposium on 5-6 May 2022 as Leaders of Tomorrow. Their expenses for travel and accommodation are fully covered, and after the conference, they will join a global network of emerging thinkers and changemakers.
  • Receive mentorship from the Oxford Character Project: The top three teams will be offered to participate in a three-month-long, bespoke leadership development course, curated and facilitated by the Oxford Character Project. In addition, they will receive 1:1 mentorship from Dr Edward Brooks, Executive Director of the Oxford Character Project.


  • You are a student or young professional, aged between 21 and 30 years.
  • You have finished your undergraduate studies.
  • You have already demonstrated your commitment to responsible leadership through extra-curricular activities and/or work experience.
  • You are committed to investing around five half-days from 9-15 December 2021 in GLC.
  • You can apply as an individual or in a group of 3-5 individuals.
  • We welcome applications from all academic disciplines. Applicants will be evaluated on their commitment to responsible leadership and passion for engaging with complex challenges.

Contact if you need further information.  

The deadline to apply is 1 November 2021 at 12 noon.  

Apply now