Credit Suisse Research Institute Challenge 2019

Compete for the Chance

to Join Credit Suisse

at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos

Photography © Destination Davos Klosters/Stefan Schlumpf

Topic 2020

“Pensions, as our parents know them, are dead.”

Making reference to the circumstances of at least one country, can a new intergenerational settlement be reached that will secure pensions for the next 50 years? If so, what is the basis of the deal? If not, why not?

Academic Review Board Guidance

Before submitting your answer, you should take a look at the submission prep notes found here.

When preparing your submission bear in mind that the logic and empirical support for your argument will be evaluated. To that end, we recommend that you, first, identify each major claim you make and, then, the convincing argument that supports each claim. The evaluators of your answer are not looking for a specific line of argument—the evaluators do not have a pre-defined idea of what constitutes “the correct answer.”
In Stage Two the evaluators expect points to be more developed than Stage One and there may be more opportunity for a greater number of points to be made.

Notice the problem statement has a number of features that your answer should address including (a) the provocative quotation at the beginning, (b) the requirement that you specifically refer to the circumstances of at least one country and (c) the time interval (50 years). Before you start writing or typing think hard about an argument that relates to these features and to other matters that you think are of first order. The evaluators encourage participants to set aside between 20-40% of their text or time to identifying and defending creative solutions.
Before submitting your answer, you should take a look at the submission prep notes found here.

Submissons for stage 1 (UTC-12 TIME ZONE)

Max 400 words or 2 min video

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Online Submissions

Closes October 20 2019

Present your thoughts on the Future of Pensions by submitting either:

A one page extended abstract, max 400 words or a two minute video

Idea Development

November 4 - 24 2019

The authors of the top 20 submissions will be invited to further develop their submissions into either:

A 1,500 word essay or a 5 minute video

Davos, Switzerland

January 20 - 24 2020

Be part of a select Credit Suisse Event at the 2020 edition of the World Economic Forum. Join the panel to discuss the Future of Pensions with world renowned thought leaders.


2020 onwards

Collaborate and research with the CSRI as well as Academy Challenge peers to co-author on future CSRI publications.

About the Credit Suisse Research Institute Academy

The Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) Academy has been launched to build a network of bright minded students and recent graduates to foster their knowledge, develop fresh perspectives and showcase their skills to the CSRI.

Do you like exploring answers to the most pressing global issues? This is your opportunity to engage with some of today’s most prominent thought leaders on issues of the day and earn global recognition for it.


*Project Firefly and the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI) will look to identify any outstanding candidates that could be interesting for Credit Suisse to engage with.

CSRI Winner

Attend the exclusive Credit Suisse Event at the 2020 edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Chances of collaborating with the CSRI
co-authoring future publications.

Recieve expert career guidance.

TOP 20

Work together with select members of the ARB.

Earn a certificate detailing your achievements. Opportunities to co-author papers with the CSRI.

Join the CSRI Academy Network and benefit from exclusive opportunities.


Diversity of opinions matter to us. The CSRI encourages degree students and recent graduates from any higher education institution and discipline to share their opinions

All Current Bachelor Students, Master Students or PhD Candidates

(Full or Part-time Students)

Studying any discipline

Participants should not have completed more than 3 years full time professional employment

All Current MBA Students

(Full or Part-time Students)

Studying any discipline

Participants should not have completed more than 5 years full time professional employment

All Recent Graduates

(Graduated in 2016 or later)

Studied any discipline

Bachelor and Master graduates and Doctors should not have completed more than 3 years full time professional employment. MBA and PHD students should not have completed more than 5 years full time professional employment

World Renowned Thought Leaders

The winner will earn the opportunity to participate in the Credit Suisse Event at the World Economic Forum in Davos. They will have unprecedented access to interact with world renowned Thought Leaders. Past attendees include:

Urs Rohner

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Credit Suisse Group AG

Prof. Joseph Stiglitz

Columbia University

Dr. Francis Fukuyama

Stanford University

Sir John Major

Former British Prime Minister

Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.)

Secretary of State (2001 - 2005)

Hear from Past Winners

Academy Winners


    Winning CSRI Academy Challenge and getting to go to the World Economic Forum in Davos to be on a panel was an invaluable experience for me. I had never been on a panel before and found the media training I received a day before the event to be immensely helpful.

    We discussed the topic of digital currencies and how Switzerland’s public and private players could encourage digital transformation moving forward. Aside from getting to meet and network with these amazing panelists, I also spoke with several other business and non-profit leaders at the event, expanding my network and potential future career opportunities.

  • Sergey

    The CSRI Academy Challenge boosted my professional network and career outlook beyond business and finance.

    The importance and relevance of international relations and future of politics are at all-time high. Having successfully participated in the 2017 Challenge, I am much more competent in this field than before which perfectly complements my finance education and experience.

    The events coming out of the Challenge gave me an incredible opportunity to meet with and learn directly from the world-renowned experts in an exclusive setting. Getting to know those people and subsequently staying in touch with them was, until recently, unimaginable to me.

    Exposure to the Academy Peer Network led me to discover valuable, talented connections with whom I continue to collaborate on interesting, long-term projects.

  • Stefani

    The Challenge was a keystone of my career path. Through it, I met people who inspired me and helped me, and I also had the opportunity to become a more aware and confident person. Additionally, I believe that my experiences with Credit Suisse and at the WEF have helped me immensely when interviewing in professional and academic settings alike and have been instrumental in helping me get where I am now.

Academy Members

  • Nicolas

    The creation of ideas can be promoted by offering platforms and opportunities to express them and discuss them with others. This is the case with the CSRI Academy where I could express my views and receive valuable feedback, across generations.

  • Julian

    As a CSRI Academy Member, I had the valuable opportunity to lead a working group that co-authored a chapter in the report published by Credit Suisse Research Institute on the “Future of GDP”. Working on this project helped me to further develop my research, writing, and leadership skills. I am thankful for this unique opportunity to share my ideas about economics, politics, and ethics in a publication from a major international bank that will inform and stimulate discussion and debate. I am very grateful for the guidance and encouragement I received from the Credit Suisse Research Institute team and am thankful to the other Academy Challenge Members I have worked with and learned from.

Submission Prep

Project Firefly’s ARB has provided guidance for the CSRI Academy Challenge 2019. We would recommend that you review the guidance however, its use is optional and, as always, each submission will be evaluated on its merit.

How to Submit

To help you avoid any issues when making your submission, please find a set of instructions to guide you through the submission process. We would always recommend you to check out the process in advance to ensure you experience a smooth submission process.

You can submit a video for one or both stages of the Challenge, don't forget to submit your script and your references!

You can submit an essay for one or both stages of the Challenge, don't forget to submit your references!


Before participating in the Credit Suisse Research Institute Academy Challenge, you should read the official rules in their entirety. By submitting you unconditionally agree to all of the terms and conditions of these official rules.

Terms & Conditions

Project Firefly is not only about meeting the world’s leading employers but also about interaction between Corporate Sponsors, professionals and the Contributors. For example, Project Firefly aims to provide the Contributors the opportunity to interact with professional advisers on topics such as preparing for entrance exams, career advice and networking.

If you have more questions, please contact us at


Stage 1 submissions close on October 20, 2019

Competition Order: