About us

We're empowering the next generation of thinkers, doers, and leaders to create a better world.

Our mission

Our essay contest provides an avenue for high school students to explore these important challenges, and strive for novel answers. More than ever, the world needs thoughtful, critical thinkers. But, more than this, we want to create a genuine sense of compassion and hope for what humanity might be able to achieve.

Our mission is to empower the next generation, through fostering relentless inquiry and uncompromising originality, to shape the vast number of future generations to come.

Frequently asked questions

Have a different question and can’t find the answer you’re looking for? Reach out to our support team by sending us an email at support@pivotalcontest.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Are footnotes or bibliography or reference list counted towards the word limit?
No, footnotes, bibliography, and reference lists are not counted towards the word limit.
Can I receive feedback on my essay?
Due to the volume of submissions, we are unable to provide individual feedback on essays.
Can anyone apply, regardless of location?
Yes, the contest is open to all high school students worldwide. You are eligible to enter as long as there are no laws in your country that prohibit you from entering.
What can I spend the prize money on?
We recommend setting aside the funding for educational pursuits but there are no restrictions on how you spend the prize money.
Who is funding this contest and why?
Currently, Pivotal is funded by Open Philanthropy. They back our contest with the expectation that their support will enable us to equip young people to critically engage with the world's most pressing problems.
I'm entering/just graduated high school, am I still eligible?
Yes! As long as you have not yet attended university, and are between the ages of 13-19 at the time of the deadline you can participate.
When will results be announced?
Winners will be announced by the end of November 2023.
Can the essay be done in pairs or in group ?
No, the essay must be your individual work.

Contact us

We're here to help and answer any question you might have

Support for contestants

If you have any additional questions, please contact us.

Media inquiries

We have at your disposal a press kit with logos and other resources. We usually respond within a few hours.

Cheating & fraud

"If you have been approached by a contestant to write their essay, or by a service offering to write an essay, please contact us. We will investigate.

Enter Pivotal's Essay Contest
for High School Students