Now in its fourth year, the Charles Street Symposium is an annual forum and essay contest for the world’s leading young researchers. It aims to give younger people a voice, and to bring together the best and brightest young thinkers to address issues of relevance to public policy that are inadequately addressed and understood in existing research.

The 2015/16 Symposium, hosted in partnership with AIG, invited applicants to submit essays that explained how changes to current policies—or the introduction of new ones—could help our ageing societies prosper. The contestants were competing to win the inaugural AIG Legatum Prize.

Shortlisted Essays

The authors of the shortlisted essays pitched their ideas to a panel of esteemed judges at the Legatum Institute on Thursday, 17 March 2016, at which point the winner of the AIG Legatum Prize was announced.


An ageing population is one of the most challenging issues facing global policy-makers. If we are to build prosperous ageing societies, we have to find new and innovative ways to ensure the very people who supported earlier generations continue to thrive.

The number of people aged over 65 will become an increasingly significant proportion of the population. The prosperity of all generations is under pressure: tax revenues are being stretched to support greater societal needs, bigger pensions are needed if people are to enjoy retirement, buying homes is proving expensive for younger generations as available housing stock reduces and, increasingly, people are having to find ways to fund their own care should they need long-term assistance.

This is why the AIG Legatum Institute Prize is so important in the debate about society’s future, and how we ensure ageing societies are prosperous societies. The thought-provoking essays submitted by our shortlisted entrants offer solutions to societal pressures but also challenge us to ask more questions.

I would like to thank everyone who submitted ideas and engaged in the discussion about how we strengthen societies. Empowered and fulfilled societies are those which support each other and continue to ask how we provide for tomorrow.

Adam Winslow, CEO, AIG Life Limited


  • Winner of 2015/16 AIG Legatum Prize Unveiled, Press Release, 21 March 2016 [View]