What is the Drucker Challenge?
The Drucker Challenge is an international essay competition held annually by the Drucker Society Europe, in conjunction with the Drucker Forum. The Challenge explores a current topic in management – typically related to the theme of the Forum – in the context of Peter Drucker’s human-oriented management philosophy.
What are the cash prizes in 2023?
The prizes are as follows:
First Place (Gold): € 2.000
Second Place (Silver) € 1.200
Third Place (Bronze) € 1.000
Can I participate?
The Challenge is open to students (Bachelor, Masters, MBA, and PhD) and young professionals, 18 to 35 years old (inclusive of both ages). Check your eligibility on the Guidelines page.
Are the benefits granted by the Peter Drucker Society Europe a scholarship or a fellowship?
A scholarship for students, a fellowship for managers/entrepreneurs
I’m 18 years old, but I’m a high school student and/or matriculated university student who hasn’t yet started their program. Can I submit an essay?
No. You must be a current university student in order to submit an essay to the Student category.
I just finished my last university degree, but I haven’t yet started my first post-degree opportunity. Can I submit an essay?
Yes. You can submit an essay to the Student category.
I’m a part-time student. Can I submit an essay?
Yes. You can submit an essay to either the Student or the Manager/Entrepreneur category, depending on your main occupation.
I’m a current university student, but I’m not studying business. Can I submit an essay?
Yes. The Challenge is an open competition. You can submit an essay to the Student category regardless of your academic major or focus.
I’m a young professional, but I’m not a manager. Can I submit an essay?
Maybe. If you manage people, processes, projects, and/or budgets, we consider you a manager. By this definition, more young professionals than not qualify as managers in some sense. We encourage you to reflect on your experience and use your best judgment in deciding whether to submit to the Manager/Entrepreneur category.
I don’t have any diploma or degree. Can I submit an essay?
Yes. The Challenge is an open competition. As long as you are 18 to 35 years old (inclusive of both ages) and you manage people, processes, projects, and/or budgets, you can submit an essay to the Manager/Entrepreneur category regardless of whether you have a diploma or degree or not.
I’m 35 years old. Can I submit an essay?
Maybe. If you will be 35 years old on the submission deadline, you can submit an essay. If you will be 36 years old on the submission deadline, you cannot submit an essay.
I’m a national of country XYZ. Can I submit an essay?
Yes. The Challenge is an open competition. You can submit an essay no matter what nationality you hold or country you reside in.
Please note that if you place in the top 10, you will need a current passport in order to travel to the Forum in Vienna, Austria.
Will the organizers cover my visa application fees if I win?
Visa application fees need to be covered by the participants themselves.
I was one of the winners/finalists in a previous year, but was unable to travel to Vienna. I want to travel to Vienna this year. Will my costs be covered?
All prizes are to be availed in the year of participation. We will not be covering travel costs for winners from a previous year.
I placed in the top 10 in a previous year. Can I submit an essay?
You must have been selected no more than once (or not at all) among the top 10 since 2010.
Is the Challenge a personal or analytical essay contest?
The Challenge is a personal essay contest, although narratives are often related to the topic in an analytical way and claims are supported by evidence.
Is it acceptable if I disagree with Peter Drucker’s thinking on the topic?
Yes. You can certainly disagree with Peter Drucker’s thinking on the topic. We welcome your interpretation of Drucker’s ideas in the context of your cultural environment and lived experiences.
Do you recommend any specific resources that can be helpful when writing the essay?
As the Challenge is a personal essay contest, we do not recommend any specific resource. However, we strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with the works of Peter Drucker, the Challenge topic and sub-themes, and reflect on how your personal experiences relate to them all.
Peter Drucker’s books are unavailable in my country. Can I still participate?
Yes. You can access many articles by and about Peter Drucker online, in addition to other resources. Please also visit this website’s Archives for previous editions of the Challenge.
Can I see examples of previous top 10 essays?
Yes. Please see the Archive section in the footer of this website.
Does the Challenge follow a single blind review procedure?
Yes. The Challenge effectively – although not officially – follows a single blind review procedure. You will know who the judges are, but the judges will not know who you are. We require you to omit your name from your submitted essay. If you forget or fail to do so, our judging coordinator will remove your name before providing your essay to the judges. The judges adhere to a common scoring framework in order to prevent reviewer bias.
The nature of the Challenge as a personal essay contest prevents us from being able to claim official adherence to a single blind review procedure, as you may share personal, potentially identifying details in your narrative and through your style of writing.
Fairness and impartiality are core values of the Challenge and we do everything we can to ensure a level playing field.
Can we submit an essay as a group?
No. All essays must be written exclusively by a single individual. Any essays that, in our sole judgment, have been written by a group will be considered null and void.
Can I submit an essay I’ve written that’s been published elsewhere?
No. All essays must be original and written for the express purpose of this contest.
What is the word limit for the essay?
The essay must be between 1500 and 3000 words, excluding footnotes and graphics. For more details, please see our Guidelines.
Can I make a submission in a different genre or expression? For example, as a video or infographic?
Presently, we accept essay submissions only.
Do I need to cite my sources?
Maybe. If you reference specific ideas, facts, and/or figures, you need to cite your sources. Please use footnotes in Chicago style.
Can I write in a language other than English?
No. At this time, we are only able to accept essays written in English.
English is not my native language. Will I be penalized for spelling or grammar errors?
No. While the judges do evaluate your “ability to express your thoughts in fluent English”, this is a simple “yes-no” check of an essay’s comprehensibility. Can we understand your essay? Is it clear what you are trying to express?
The judges are more interested in your thoughts, originality, and style. We welcome essays from non-native English speakers.
Do you offer certificates for participation?
No. But the top 10 essays will receive a certificate with ranking. Those who are not ranked but placed 11-15 (all equal) will receive a certificate as long-listed.
Will you accept my submission by email?
We cannot accept submissions by email. Please use the website form to send in your essay submissions. If you have any issues submitting your essay please take a screenshot and send us the same through the Contact form on our website.
I missed the deadline. Are extensions possible?
We do not allow individual extensions. Extensions made to the given deadline date (if any) will be communicated through our website and social media pages. We would encourage you to submit well before the deadline.
I have submitted my essay but I did not receive an acknowledgement. How do I know my essay has been received?
If you have successfully submitted your essay, you will receive an automatic email confirming receipt, and the submissions page screen will also also acknowledge your submission. We encourage you to please check your spam folder and also to take a time stamped screenshot of the submissions screen for your reference.
When will the Challenge topic be announced?
The Challenge topic is typically announced in March each year.
When is the submission deadline?
The submission deadline varies from year to year. Check the Guidelines page for the 2023 deadline
How will I know if I’ve won?
If you have won, you will receive an email notifying you by the end of July or early August.
When will the results be announced?
In 2023 the results will be announced on this website usually in early August and via Drucker Challenge Newsletter, and social media pages.
I’m a winner or ranked within the top 10. Can my essay be republished in a magazine or newspaper?
Maybe. To request permission for your essay to be republished – in part or in whole – in a magazine or newspaper, please contact us. Typically, as long as the magazine or newspaper cites and links to the Challenge website, republication is encouraged.