Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Microsoft Student Essay Contest: Cyberspace 2025

Cybersecurity is a policy priority for many governments, yet there is limited understanding of how policy choices made today will impact a country’s cyberspace tomorrow. The growth in cyberspace predicted in the next decade is driven and shaped by a number of external factors, many of which can be amplified or influenced by public policy choices. Societal responses to immigration challenges, educational and workforce needs, trade liberalization, as well as international cooperation to resolve cyberconflict will shape the future of cyberspace across both developed and emerging economies. Successful policies must balance enabling innovation and advancing cybersecurity.
Microsoft seeks original research on the future of cyberspace and its associated cybersecurity policy challenges from university students at any stage in their educational development. What will be the main cybersecurity issues at stake, and what decisions can policymakers make today to ensure a robust cybersecurity landscape in the future?

Microsoft Student Essay Contest: Cyberspace 2015


Specifically, research should address one or more of the following questions.
  • What will be the priority cybersecurity issues in 2025, and why?
  • Who are the priority stakeholders in securing cyberspace (for example, industry, governments, NGOs, and so on)? What new entrants may there be? How will their roles evolve leading up to 2025?
  • What should be the primary objectives of these stakeholders? Where there are conflicting objectives, such as national versus international policies, how should they be reconciled?
  • What are the priority actions that should be taken by stakeholders to improve cybersecurity by the year 2025?
  • What impacts will ensuring or failing to ensure cybersecurity have on societies and economies in the year 2025?




We will award cash prizes for the top 3 essays according to the judging criteria:
1st place: $5,000 USD
2nd place: $3,000 USD
3rd place: $2,000 USD


15 January, 2015, 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time


  • Preference will be given to responses that integrate quantitative analysis using publicly available cybersecurity data, such as Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR). The ideal submission will leverage original research to inform policy analysis.
  • For more information please visit the  Official Rules and FAQ page.
  • You are eligible to enter this Contest if you are 18 years of age or older and are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution that grants college/university (or equivalent) degrees at any time between September 15, 2014, and January 15, 2015, OR you graduated from an accredited educational institution that grants college/university (or equivalent) degrees between September 15, 2014, and January 1, 2015
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. But if you’re at least 18b years but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Contest
  • Resident of any of the following countries are ineligible: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
  • To enter, send an email to with your essay in Microsoft Word format.
  • Entries must be received by 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time on January 15, 2015.


To ask a question, send an email to
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