$25,000 for the best essays on global problems.

Pivotal is an essay competition for high school students with world-class judges and no entry fee.

Submission deadline
Pre-university students
Entry fee No fees

Essay questions that get you closer to changing the world.

Our questions are inspired by research conducted at Oxford University's Global Priorities Institute. We are excited to be partnering with them to judge your essays.

Should people who care about the long-term future focus on reducing the risk of human extinction, or instead on trying to make the world go better in futures where humanity survives a long time?
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What is a policy that today’s governments can implement to greater consider the interests of future generations?
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Suggest and explain one function that a national or international agency could perform to mitigate the existential risks from advanced artificial intelligence.
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We will award prizes worth a total of $25,000 for the top three entrants, along with access to the Pivotal Library for the top 50 finalists.

$15,000 — 1st place $7,000 — 2nd place $3,000 — 3rd place

$25,000 in prizes for the best essays.

Top 5%

of the participants will be invited to the Pivotal Circle.

Join the Pivotal Circle, a community of exceptional students.

Up to 10 books

for each finalist (top 50).

You will be able to choose 10 physical books that we'll ship to you for free from the Pivotal Library, a curated collection of books.

Pivotal is a prime opportunity for students to showcase their critical and creative thinking. I expect that it will help set up students on a trajectory to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Prof. William MacAskill
Co-founder and Senior Research Fellow
Global Priorities Institute, Oxford University.

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