Project Firefly: A great opportunity for economics/foreign policy students

Prof  Simon Evenett of St. Gallen University alerts me to this wonderful initiative for students called Project Firefly.

The idea is to bring talented minds in the field of economics/business/foreign policy together on a common platform.

This initiative creates value in three ways: to allow ambitious students and recent graduates to distinguish themselves by publishing thought leadership pieces that have been evaluated by top faculty; to allow enlightened sponsors (firms, universities, governments, NGOs) to locate more and better talent drawn from all over the globe; and to allow established thought leaders to identify and deliberate with the next generation of leaders, helping identify solutions to pressing contemporary problems. To that end, Daniel and I have created a platform to facilitate this three-way engagement. Merit, openness, independence (of the platform from its sponsors) and pluralism are the four principles underlying Project Firefly. In this manner, university students who did not go to first tier schools get the same chances as those that did–merit being the only criteria for recognition on Project Firefly.
Ultimately, the Project Firefly initiative is motivated by two serious real world problems. First, in an age of grade inflation, how can university students credibly distinguish themselves in the eyes of employers? In the age of the perfect CV, how much extra costs are incurred by firms to sort out the applicants they want from the rest? Second, at a time of diminished career and economic prospects, how can the next generation of thought leaders be better motivated to contribute high quality thought leadership on contemporary problems? The alternative is disengagement and societal fragmentation, which cannot be healthy over the longer term.
 The first project under this is an essay competition sponsored by Credit Suisse:

The Emerging Leaders Competition is Project Firefly’s first competition and is sponsored by Credit Suisse. This marks the launch of the Project Firefly concept, and a unique way to develop your network and to distinguish yourself. Winning the Emerging Leaders Competition will also give you the chance to be part of the premier Credit Suisse thought leadership conference in Hong Kong in March 2012.

Project Firefly enables emerging thought leaders from around the world to share their insights about contemporary challenges with Professors, sponsors and established thinkers. It is also an opportunity to grow your network internationally. The Emerging Leaders Competition aims to reach university students and graduates within five years of graduation. Essay submissions should consist of 800 -1500 words. There are four topics and you can submit one essay per topic.

Essays will be reviewed by an established scholar. Reviewers will not know any features about your background, including your education.  All that matters is the quality of the ideas expressed. The winners will be travelling to Hong Kong in March. If you don’t win the competition there is still an opportunity your essay will be published on the Project Firefly website in March.

There are 4 topics:

  • Is monetary policy alone enough to stimulate economic recovery?
  • Is it inevitable that the Renminbi will become the next reserve currency? Would this development be in China’s interests? What circumstances need to be in place for this to happen?
  • Will the outcome of 2012 US presidential election really affect US foreign policy priorities?
  • Is local municipal government debt a serious threat to the Chinese state? Explain your answer making reference where relevant to other pertinent country experience.

Very interesting topics. Deadline is 19th Feb 2012. Do participate and pass on the information to interested students..

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