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Aarhus Symposium

Aarhus Symposium is an annual leadership conference taking place at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. The aim of the event is to connect leaders of today with leaders of tomorrow. To do so, a wide range of key decision-makers are invited to share their experiences and engage in discussions with students from various universities. Hereby, the symposium allows students to relate their academic insights to the broader business society.

Four students at Aarhus University established Aarhus Symposium in 2011: David Scherer, Jens Riis Andersen, Kasper Vinther Olesen, and Andreas Emmertsen. They gathered support from other students to organise the very first Aarhus Symposium with the objective of building a bridge between students, i.e. the future leaders, and leaders in today's businesses and society.

Aarhus Symposium has grown through the years as a result of wide support from students, speakers, partners, and others. In 2012, the Organising Committee introduced Battle of the Economists; an event to take place on Monday in the week of Aarhus Symposium. It provided a national focus to the overall theme of Aarhus Symposium. The event was renamed Aarhus Symposium Focus in 2016 to broaden the possibilities for topics that exceed economic issues.

In 2013, Aarhus Symposium Challenge was established to strengthen the connection between students and the leaders of today. Aarhus Symposium Challenge is an essay competition in which selected speakers put forth a challenge for students to solve. Through their essay, students obtain a seat at both Aarhus Symposium and Aarhus Symposium Focus, and they potentially qualify for Leaders’ Forum. Since its initiation in 2013, an increasing number of students have participated in Aarhus Symposium Challenge, making it the primary sign-up for Aarhus Symposium and Aarhus Symposium Focus.

Leaders’ Forum is an exclusive and intimate session where selected students discuss their essay contribution with the leader that put forth the respective challenge. Only the best essay contributions under each challenge topic qualifies for this informal session.

Throughout the years, Leaders’ Forum has attracted much attention from the media inasmuch as it is unique in a Danish context and provides both the attending students and the top leaders the opportunity to learn from each other.