How to win awards

There are three ways to win Festival awards for you and your class!

Global Conversation Awards for stars

13 students and 13 classes will be awarded a Global Conversation award at the end of the Festival.

These awards are based on how many stars you receive over the Festival. If you end up on the overall leaderboard, area, age or class-size leaderboards then you will win an award.

We’ll award stars based on the quality of your contributions and how well you have shown the Topical Talk skills. Often, we'll award stars based on what we know about your class. For example, a student aged ten might win a star more easily than a student who is 16. This is because there are different expectations for different age groups. We hope that this means everyone is rewarded for work that is to the best of their ability. Find out more about the skills.

You can get stars for different things on the Student Hub...

  • Star 1

    1 star

    A comment linked to the discussion with good reasoning

  • Star 2

    2 stars

    A high-quality comment with strong reasoning

  • Star 3

    3 stars

    An outstanding comment with new ideas that are backed up with facts and examples from your Topical Talk classroom lesson

  • Star 3

    3 stars

    Winning the weekly competition

  • Star 5

    5 stars

    Having a suggestion you’ve made for a new discussion published

You can keep track of how many stars you have in "My Profile" and you can see the leaderboards here.

Standpoint Awards

From March, you’ll work on creating your own posts about the topic that has interested you most. This will be your final say on the topic and give you a chance to share your opinion on it having joined the discussions and learnt about the topic.

We call this a Standpoint.

Standpoints will not win you stars but they are your chance to enter something even more special - the shortlist for the Topical Talk Standpoint Award. If your Standpoint is really high-quality, we’ll make it an ‘Editor’s pick’. We’ll send you a certificate and your Standpoint will be shortlisted.

Five winning Standpoints will be selected by senior editors at The Economist. If your Standpoint is a winner, you’ll receive a Standpoint award, a video message from one of our judges and a goodie bag of prizes! We’ll also share your work on the website.

Find out how to submit a Standpoint

The Alastair Burnet Award

This award is named after a former editor of The Economist newspaper. It goes to one outstanding class who've shown an impressive commitment to the Festival and made exceptional contributions throughout – for example, by joining discussions regularly, reporting on their Topical Talk classroom lessons and learning from other students.

The winner of the Alastair Burnet Award might not be the class with the most stars.

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  • To secure awards in the Tropical Talk Festival, actively participate in discussions, share insightful perspectives, and contribute meaningfully to the topics. Engage with fellow participants, showcase creativity, and demonstrate a passion for learning and exchanging ideas. Being constructive, respectful, and enthusiastic can enhance your chances of standing out and being recognized for your valuable contributions.