Young people from all over the world met from 23 July to 1 August 2019 at the International Economics Olympiad in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Swiss team, consisting of four former participants of the Company Programme, wins a bronze medal.

130 young people from 24 countries took part in the 2nd International Economics Olympiad, among them four Swiss young people:

  • Marco Abbatecola (Kantonsschule Büelrain Winterthur, ZH)
  • Delina Maliqi (Kantonsschule Zürich Nord, ZH)
  • Jonas Zaugg (Kantonsschule Büelrain Winterthur, ZH)
  • Michelle Stoffel (Kollegium Spiritus Sanctus Brig, VS)

Jonas Zaugg received one of the 31 bronze medals at the closing ceremony. A total of 65 medals were awarded. The best teams were the ones from China and Brazil.

Advising investors, finding approaches for drug policy

The competition challenged the young people with three exams. A simulation game tested how well they can deal with their own budget. The exam in economics was varied: the tasks ranged from working out a drug policy, to calculating the market balance, to questions about unequal opportunities. The third test consisted of a team case study; the solutions had to be presented to an international jury. The aim was to advise investors wishing to invest in the Hyperloop - a high-speed transport system - in Russia.

Practicing skills for studies and professional life

"The case study was challenging", explains participant Jonas Zaugg, "because you had to think in larger contexts and act as a team". Team leader Thomas Schneiter adds: "Networked thinking and the ability to work in a team are very important for studies and professional life".

Sharpening cultural and professional images

In addition to the willingness to perform, the Economics Olympiad also promotes exchange among young people. An important aspect, according to the Swiss young people. Initially the participants tended to be rather shy, but as time went by, they started discussing about economy, politics and personal matters more and more. "Some of my ideas about other countries were wrong", says Marco Abbatecola. “Other ideas, on the other hand, were more likely to be confirmed”, adds Michelle Stoffel. The Economics Olympiad was also a good opportunity to sharpen the picture of the economy. "The subject and the people who are interested in it are more diverse than how it is sometimes presented in schools or society", says Delina Maliqi.

The next International Economics Olympiad will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, probably in July 2020. Participants in the Company Programme from YES who have made it into the top 25 can apply. The International Economics Olympiad is a joint project of the YES and Science Olympiad organizations. The aim is to promote talented young people in business, finance and entrepreneurship and to network them with each other. UBS and the Institute for Business Education - School, University and Vocational Training at the University of St. Gallen have been won as partners.