Congratulations to Our 2021 Round 2 Comment & Win Responders!

by Diana Drake

Shout-out to all of the nearly 70 commenters in Round 2 of the Wharton Global Youth Program 2021 Comment & Win contest. While “listening” to your peers has taken on new meaning in a pandemic, relegated to daily Zoom breakout discussions and deliberately muting your own voice more times than you can even count, your ability to learn from and expand on others’ perspectives has clearly not suffered. Our Wharton Global Youth team has spent the past several days immersed in your ideas, opinions and, most importantly, responses to other commenters on our business journal articles. Again, your provocative and rich comments have made evaluating this competition extremely challenging.

At times we found ourselves happily “lost” in your persuasive arguments and information, from Mehtaab B’s discussion of the Hedonic value of non-fungible tokens and Jason S.’s college-bound pressures at 16 (“I barely know the difference between jam and jelly”), to Leo L’s passion for decentralized currency and Alfred S.’s observations about lithium mining operations. This is really good stuff!

In the end, though, the top commenters honored the Round 2 theme. So, you read another commenter’s perspective, reflected, and provided a response that recognized his or her points, provided feedback, and possibly offered a counter argument or related insights. Lots of you acknowledged the commenter to whom you were responding (great comment, Joe!), and then proceeded to offer your detailed perspective on the article topic, rarely pausing to refer back to Joe’s points. While these comments were expressive and insightful, they didn’t always qualify as responsive commenting. Tone, directness and authenticity especially counted in this round.

“Growing up as an Asian child in America, I was always subject to micro-aggressions, as you were when you evacuated to the United States at the start of this pandemic.” — Claire L., Winner, Round 2

And with that, we congratulate our 2021 Round 2 top winner, Claire L. Claire, a rising senior from New York, U.S., had a bit of a competition with herself for the top spot with two stellar responses in this round. While her reply to Dhiya J. on the Jordan Williams interview was strong, she emerged victorious with her response to Claire S. on the 2020 article Take 5: The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus. We felt connection and reflection, and appreciated Claire speaking respectfully and intentionally to her peer, while also expanding on ways in which they were like-minded.

Of course, not all responders respectfully agreed. Our First Runner-up in Round 2 is Avinash T., a rising sophomore from West Grove, Pa., U.S., for his reply to Edward C. on the Epic Games vs. Apple article. Avinash provided a great balance of support, pushback and personal insight to Edward’s perspective.

Our Round 2 Second Runner-up is Tiffy L., 16 and a high school junior in Hong Kong SAR, China, for her response to Harry X. on the 2017 article Do You Agree with This Image of Generation Z? We loved Tiffy’s energy and tone, as well as how she stayed right with Harry’s original ideas throughout her response. Incidentally, Harry was our 2018 Comment & Win Grand Prize winner.

Through our partnership with Wharton School Press, Claire, Avinash and Tiffy will get to choose from among several business and leadership e-books written by Wharton and University of Pennsylvania faculty.

We would also like to acknowledge the following Round 2 Honorable Mentions, all of whom left behind beautiful responses that are worth a second and even third read (in no particular order):

  • Max G., a rising senior from Massachusetts, U.S., for his response to Round 1 winner Caroline G. on the Future of the Business World podcast episode featuring Moniola Odunsi.
  • Hexuan W. for her response to Sahithy P. on You’re on Mute: Inside the Online Video Communications Market
  • Vincent Y., a rising sophomore from New York, for his response to Ananth R. on The National Debt: What’s Behind All those Zeros?
  • Emily C., a rising junior from New York, for her reply to Leo L. on the Future of the Business World podcast episode featuring Naomi Porter.
  • Andrey L. a rising senior from New York, for her response to Zach U. on The Mask Challenge: Lessons from the Pandemic’s PPE Shortage
  • Caroline G., a rising senior from California, for her reply to Richard L. on Exploring the Balance Between Business and the Environment
  • Raymond L. for his response to Abigail C. on Take 5: The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus
  • Valerie N., a rising senior from New York, for her response to Aravind K. on What’s Your Climate Career Ambition?
  • Desmond N., a rising senior from New York, for his reply to Lisa Z. on 5 Ways the World Will Look Different in 2030

Congratulations to our Round 2 winners! You will all be receiving digital badges to share on social media and include in your résumés.

Round 3 of the 2021 Comment & Win kicks off on Monday, July 12 and runs through July 23, 2021. The theme for Round 3 is “Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit.” Find a story on the Wharton Global Youth Program online business journal that relates in some way to entrepreneurship and express your thoughts about the related innovation(s). We hope to see commenters taking a clear stance, connecting the content to their own experiences, taking your responses beyond “because it’s a good or bad idea.” What value can you add to your chosen innovation conversation, without writing an essay? Do you support or challenge the idea or ideas set forth in the article? You might comment on a story about a specific entrepreneur and his or her business, or possibly an article that relates to other aspects of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. You have lots of flexibility in how you respond as long as you are exploring a dedicated entrepreneurship theme. The Entrepreneurs and Leaders content category features hundreds of related articles, essays and transcripts, and you can also check out the Comment & Win contest page for direct links to entrepreneurship-related articles. Few restrictions, as long as the content relates in some way to entrepreneurship. Good luck!