What is the Drucker Challenge?
The Drucker Challenge is an international essay competition held annually, in conjunction with the Drucker Forum. It is the primary strategic initiative focused on youth engagement of the Drucker Society Europe. The Challenge explores a current topic in management, typically related to the theme of the Forum, in the context Peter Drucker’s human-oriented management philosophy. The Challenge is open to students (bachelor, master, MBA, and PhD) and young professionals, 18 to 35 years old (inclusive of both ages).

Is the Challenge a scholarship, fellowship, or grant?
No. The Challenge is an essay competition.



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.

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 preference.

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 regardless of your academic major or focus.  

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.

I placed in the top 10 in a previous year. Can I submit an essay?
Yes. You can submit an essay. You are eligible to place in the top 10 across the Student and Manager/Entrepreneur categories up to two times total.



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.

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. That is, entrants know who the judges are, but the judges do not know who the entrants are. We require that entrants omit their names from submitted essays. When an entrant forgets or fails to do so, our judging coordinator removes their name before providing the essay to the judges. The judges adhere to a common scoring framework in order to prevent reviewer bias.

However, the nature of the Challenge itself as a personal essay contest prevents us from being able to claim official adherence to a single blind review procedure, as entrants necessarily share identifying details in their essay and through their 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.

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 understandability. That is, 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 and we welcome essays from non-native English speakers.

Do you offer certificates of participation?