Bracken Bower Prize 2021: the finalists


The 2021 Bracken Bower Prize finalists address cybercrime, the future of higher education, and the stories of seven change actors fighting to stop climate change, in their proposals for new business books.

The £ 15,000 prize, first awarded in 2014 and supported by the Financial Times and McKinsey, recognizes the best business book proposal from an author under 35 and has become a powerful springboard for many. young writers looking for a publication.

This year’s finalists are:

Manuel Hepfer for The cybersecurity wake-up call

Ines Lee and Eileen Tipoe for Class failure

Mélissa Zhang for Trail Blazers

Hepfer is Research Analyst at ISTARI Global and Affiliate Researcher at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Lee and Tipoe are respectively Junior Research Fellow in Economics at Homerton College, Cambridge University and Senior Lecturer in Economics at Queen Mary University, London. Zhang is an MBA / MPA student at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Kennedy School.

A panel of expert judges selected the three entries from a shortlist of entries, drawn from the range of titles submitted for this year’s award. Longtime panelist Jorma Ollila, former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell and Nokia, described this year’s list as one of the best he has reviewed.

Judges are looking for a proposal that offers a compelling and pleasing insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management. You can read excerpts from the 2021 finalists’ proposals here. The winner will be announced on December 1 at an online event, where the 2021 FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year award will also be presented.

The other judges this year are: Stephanie Frerich, editor-in-chief at Simon & Schuster editions; Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School; and Andrew Leon Hanna, who won the award in 2018 and recently signed a deal with Cambridge University Press to publish a book based on his proposal, 25 million sparks, on the rise of entrepreneurs in refugee camps and cities.

All finalists will be invited to a virtual masterclass with representatives from the publishing industry, who will advise them on how to get their business ideas into libraries.

Last year’s winner was Stephen Boyle with his timely proposal New money, on how central bank digital currencies could reshape the economy. Jonathan Hillman won the 2019 Bracken Bower Award with his proposal, titled The sinolarity, for a book on the US-China battle for control of the next generation of technology, recently published under the title The digital silk road.

Other winners and finalists also saw submissions picked up by editors.
Saadia Zahidi, the first winner of the Bracken Bower Prize, saw Fifty million up, a book based on his winning proposal, is on the long list for the FT / McKinsey Book Award 2018. collapse, by Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik, who won the Bracken Bower Award in 2015, received the Canada’s National Business Book Award in 2019.

The Bracken Bower Award is named after Brendan Bracken, former Chairman of the FT, and Marvin Bower, former CEO of McKinsey.