Melbourne JD student a St. Gallen Leader of Tomorrow

Nominated as a "Leader of Tomorrow", Melbourne JD student Scott Colvin participated in the 46th St. Gallen Symposium in Switzerland last month, a global gathering that draws together students and top decision makers to debate contemporary economic and political issues.

Scott Colvin in Zurich

Mr Colvin was selected because of his contribution to the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence global essay competition. Graduate students from across the world were invited to submit an essay on the theme of alternatives to economic growth, and Mr Colvin’s ideas on sustainable degrowth earned him a place as one of 200 “Leaders of Tomorrow” in the Symposium, which was held from 11-13 May at the University of St. Gallen.

It’s a feat he’s now accomplished three times, having also won a place in the 43rd and 44th St. Gallen Symposiums.

Mr Colvin says he felt fortunate to again be among the students selected to participate in this year’s Symposium.

“Incredibly talented people from top universities from around the world apply. To be selected was really lucky. And to have gone three times is even more obscenely lucky,” he says.

“The so-called 'Leaders of Tomorrow' were interesting people of today; young, inspired, globally-aware citizens who want to affect a difference.”

The theme for the 46th Symposium was the future of economic growth. As a “Leader of Tomorrow”, Mr Colvin attended sessions and workshops led by international leaders and decision makers, including Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, the Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD Mari Kiviniemi and Emirates Foundation CEO Clare Woodcraft-Scott. Mr Colvin says interacting on a personal level with these key figures was a highlight of the Symposium.

“The best thing about the Symposium is because you’re there, it’s a given that you’re there to discuss and interact with them, so there’s no having to prove yourself when you get there. So they’re happy to sit down over lunch and talk to you about what their business is doing, their views on politics or the marketplace, and speak to you really honestly and candidly,” he says.

Scott Colvin pictured with James Chau at BBC World

Scott Colvin pictured with James Chau from BBC World.

Mr Colvin’s essay explored the subject of degrowth in the economy, as a way of attaining sustainable prosperity for all.

“My essay discussed a future in which ongoing economic growth may be inconsistent with our goals in regards to climate change and helping developing countries achieve a higher standard of living.

“I emphasised that if we are to make our practices more sustainable, we may have to start talking about a world in which economic growth by GDP is not seen as the aim and savior,” he says.

Mr Colvin says he recommends MLS to students who are considering law.

“If you want to take a degree that will challenge your critical thinking and allow you to enter the world of law, Melbourne Law School is the best choice.”

But for Mr Colvin, being a student at Melbourne Law School is not just about taking classes. It’s also an opportunity to embark on new challenges that will prepare you for life after graduation.  

“It's also important to think of the JD as a three year opportunity before entering the workforce to try different experiences and grow in various ways,” Mr Colvin says.

“The St Gallen Symposium is a good example of that, for me.”

You can read a version of Mr Colvin’s essay here.

By Roselina Press