We have a range of awards to recognise the best contributions from young people across each Topical Talk Festival.

Global Discussion Awards


Leaderboard students | Leaderboard classes

When young people make high-quality contributions to the Festival Student Hub that demonstrate the Topical Talk skills, they win stars.

At the end of a Festival, the students and classes on overall leaderboard, area, age and class-size leaderboards will receive Global Discussion Awards to recognise the impact they’ve had on the conversations.

Standpoint Awards


5 x students

Students submit their Standpoints at the end of a Festival. This is their final say on a topic and gives them a chance to share their opinion in writing, film or audio. A shortlist of the best Standpoints is judged by senior editorial staff at The Economist and five winners are chosen.

See the T&Cs for this award here.

The Alastair Burnet Award


1 x class

One class is awarded the prestigious Alastair Burnet Award, named after a former editor of The Economist newspaper. This award goes to the class which has shown an outstanding commitment to the Festival and made exceptional contributions throughout.

The winning class receives £1,000 which they can spend however they choose, as long as it builds on their achievements in the Festival. For example, a school may choose to buy recording equipment to set up a journalism club or give students a budget to take action on one of the issues they were passionate about.

See the T&Cs for this award here.