Webinar Series: Essay Contest Winners Forum – August 2019

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Essay Contest for Youth People, we are excited to bring you a webinar series inviting First Prize winners from the last 20 years to join in a conversation on timely societal topics.

Since participating in our Essay Contest, many of the winners are pursuing various paths in life and are continuing to make a difference in the world. Everyone is welcome to join the webinar and listen to the inspiring stories and wisdom of these young leaders.


Theme: Towards Gender Equality – A Dream in the Making?

Based on their personal experiences, three female contest winners from different countries will share their views on gender equality/inequality as well as their visions to create a peaceful society where all genders will be treated equally.



Luciana Grosu (Romania)

Luciana Grosu was the Essay Contest First Prize winner (Youth Category) in 2006. She went on to study Journalism, Psychology and International Relations. Luciana is a feminist, a human rights advocate and a convinced supporter of global peace. She is an innovator and creative writer with an inquisitive mind, unafraid to challenge the status quo.
Her Winning Essay


Anne Elicano-Shields (The Philippines)

Anne’s essay “Amplifying Peace Across Borders” won the First Prize in the International Essay Contest for Young People (2007). She has gone on to be the World Bank’s Southeast Asia Online Lead, managing initiatives in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Singapore. From 2015-2018, Anne oversaw digital communications for the organization’s education portfolio (the largest financier of education globally). Anne has a Master’s degree in Journalism, with Distinction honors, from Sheffield University and was an Annenberg-Oxford University Media Institute Fellow (2014). Her articles have been published in the Guardian, BBC Radio Times, CNN Traveler, and more. She is based in London.
Her Winning Essay


Anjali Sarker (Bangladesh)

Anjali is a social innovation expert and development practitioner with seven years’ experience in leading projects that empower the underprivileged population, with a special focus on youth and women. Currently she is pursuing an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is an Atlantic Fellow at LSE, a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and is a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute. She holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka and a Diploma in Social Innovation from Lund University. Anjali was the Essay Contest First Prize winner (Youth Category) in 2012.
Her Winning Essay

Watch the webinar

Past Programs

Theme: Kindness – What is it anyway?

Theme: Peacemaking and Reconciliation in Post-conflict Societies

Upcoming Programs

Theme: Faith as a Peacemaking Force

Theme: Rising from Ashes – Turning Painful Experiences into Opportunities to Service Community

Theme: The Concept of ‘Family’ in Today’s Postmodern Society

Theme: Youth Innovating for a Better World

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2019 Essay Contest