Charles Street Symposium

The Charles Street Symposium is an annual forum for the world’s leading young researchers. Its aim is 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.


Life starts at 70

How can we ensure that ageing societies are more prosperous societies?

17 March, 2016


Since 2012 the Charles Street Symposium has been an annual essay competition for the world’s leading young researchers and policy-makers. The goal of the Symposium is to generate ideas for how people can lead more prosperous lives and how countries can become more prosperous.

2015/16 Symposium

In late 2015, the Legatum Institute in partnership with AIG, issued a call for applications, inviting contestants to submit an essay for the 2015/16 Symposium. Candidates were asked to explain how changes to current policies can be enacted to help ageing societies prosper. The contestants were in competition to win the inaugural AIG Legatum Prize (£3,000), as well as prizes for second (£1,500) and third (£500) place.

On 17 March 2016, the authors of the five short-listed essays pitched their policy ideas to a panel of expert judges at a 'Dragons' Den'-style public panel, where the winning essay was announced.

Kyle Moore, an undergraduate student at the National University of Ireland Galway, was awarded the AIG Legatum Prize for his essay 'Caring Credits for the European Union', in which he called for a re-design of the EU's healthcare systems to incorporate time banking, and a common system of caring credits for the Union.

Shortlisted Essays

The Judges

The 2015/16 judges include Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, broadcaster, journalist and Chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Julia Manning, founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, Rudi Westendorp, Professor of Old-Age Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, Adam Winslow, Chief Executive Officer of AIG Life Limited and Jeremy Cliffe, Bagehot Columnist, The Economist.


Follow the 2015/2016 Charles Street Symposium on Twitter #CharlesSt and @LegatumInst


  • Britain's Ageing Population Could Be An Opportunity—Not Just a Disaster, by Stephen Clarke, City A.M. [View]
Past Symposiums

2014 Charles Street Symposium

The 2014 Symposium addressed the question of, 'Why do societies prosper?'. Applicants were asked to reflect on the successes and failures of traditional economic models in explaining growth and prosperity; the role of the state in encouraging social and individual flourishing; and the relationship between prosperity and morality. Speakers included Martin Vander Weyer (The Spectator) and Victoria Bateman (University of Cambridge)

More information about the Symposium available here.

2013 Charles Street Symposium

The 2013 Symposium brought together leading young economists to discuss the relevance—or irrelevance—of Austrian economist Friedrich August von Hayek's thought for today. Prospective participants were invited to submit an essay discussing the links between Hayek’s scholarly work and contemporary policy. Speakers included Esca Hayek (daughter-in-law of the late economist), Pascal Salin (Université Paris-Dauphine) and David Skarbek (King's College London)

More information about the Symposium available here.

2012 Charles Street Symposium

The inaugural Charles Street Symposium focussed on issues of economic risk and uncertainty. The Symposium brought together an outstanding group of young scholars, who were joined by a selection of leading senior economists as keynote speakers and mentors: Tyler Cowen (George Mason University), Randall Kroszner (University of Chicago) and Peter Lewin (University of Texas).

More information about the Symposium available here.