The Negotiation Challenge 2022

The Negotiation Challenge is a negotiation competition that brings together international students from the best graduate business and law schools across the world.

Past participants have included, inter alia, Harvard Business, Law and Kennedy Schools, University of Cambridge, University of California Hastings College of Law, Washington College of Law, Georgetown University, University of St. Gallen, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, ESSEC University, King´s College London, IESEG, Athens University of Economics and Business, University of Connecticut, NUCB, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, National Law School of India, Nanyang Technological University,University of Cape Town, University of Twente, ESMT and Imperial College London.

This year we hope to host even more institutions including your own!TNC 2022 will start with three online qualification rounds on March 11-12, March 18-19, and March 25-26 including all teams registered for the competition.

The best 10 teams from the qualification rounds will advance to the final event, which will take place in Athens, Greece, in April 29-30.
During the final event, the teams will negotiate face-to-face in three or four additional rounds. 

What is TNC?

The Negotiation Challenge was founded in 2007 as the first international negotiation competition in Europe and one of only few international negotiation competitions in the world.  The primary idea behind The Negotiation Challenge (TNC) is to gather world’s best student negotiators and allow them to compare their negotiation skills and by doing so prepare for the complex negotiations they will face after graduation.  During the event, the students from world’s leading universities compete with each other in realistic negotiation situations.  Participating in TNC offers a great opportunity to experience diverse ways of negotiation and to meet and network with students from various countries with different backgrounds and cultures all sharing the passion for negotiation.

The Founders

The Negotiation Challenge was founded by Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski and Dr. Peter Kesting and started as a joint initiative of their students at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Harvard Negotiators. Dr. Smolinski and Dr. Kesting share the passion for theory and practice of negotiation. They have researched and taught negotiation courses at various institutions in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland, USA, UAE and China. They regularly conduct executive training and advise top managers on negotiation and conflict resolution. Dr. Kesting is a negotiation professor at Aarhus University.  Dr. Smolinski is professor at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. 

Prof. Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski

Negotiation Professor at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

Prof. Dr. Peter Kesting

Negotiation Professor at Aarhus University


The Format

Through compelling negotiation methods and strategies, the participating teams must prove their skills and compete through qualification rounds. The best teams advance to the final event, during which they compete face-to-face in front of an international jury composed of lawyers, business leaders and professors. The best team wins a trophy and a title of The Great Negotiator.  

Due to its highly competitive character combined with rigorous scientific approach, winning The Negotiation Challenge can be compared with winning the World Championship in Negotiation.  All negotiation simulations used during The Negotiation Challenge are exclusively prepared for this purpose and tested by senior academic faculty affiliated with International Negotiation Teaching and Research Association.  The scientific and pedagogical value of the competition is guaranteed by their personal involvement in the preparation phase as well as together with seasoned practitioners as judges during the negotiation rounds. 

The Evaluation Criteria

The Negotiation Challenge has been developed to identify and recognize world’s best student negotiators who can prevail in diverse negotiation situations.  To successfully master this challenge, the students must be able to apply the appropriate methods from the whole spectrum of their negotiation skills in the right negotiation situations or in other words demonstrate their negotiation intelligence.  Next to formal negotiation skills, the judges evaluate also the participants’ communication skills (e.g. active listening, convincing argumentation, communication within the team), their contribution to understanding the interests and identifying issues as well as their ability to create AND to claim value.  In some negotiation rounds, the students are evaluated based on the instrumental and/or relational outcome of their negotiations.

Competition Schedule

The competition will start with three online qualification rounds including all teams registered for the competition. The best 10 teams from the qualification rounds will advance to the final event.

The final rounds of The Negotiation Challenge 2022 will take place in Athens, Greece. During the final event, the teams will negotiate face-to-face two or three additional rounds. 

The structure of The Negotiation Challenge is also reflected in its schedule.  The qualification rounds are scheduled to take place on three consecutive Fridays/Saturdays in March. Following the qualification rounds, the best teams will have a few weeks to prepare for the finals. The final negotiation rounds take place, as always, on the weekend directly after Easter, this time Orthodox Easter.

Round 1 (online) | March 11-12

50 teams and 150 students representing some of the best business and law schools from nearly all continents will compete for the title of The Negotiation World Champion. Good luck to all teams!

Round 2 (online) | March 18-19

This time the participating teams have 48 hours to maximize their profits and lay the foundation for long-term profitable relationships between ancient Greek and Egyptian merchants they represent.
Big thanks to Joana Matos for preparing and introducing the simulation!

Round 3 | April 28-30

The Negotiation Challenge 2022 | The Finals 

The ten finalist teams competed in Athens on April 29 and 30, representing Universities from all over the world: University of California, Berkeley - School of Law, McGill University, American University Washington College of Law, William & Mary Law School, UiT- The Arctic University of Norway, University of Twente, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Luiss Guido Carli University, Charles University, National Academy of Legal Studies & Research (NALSAR) University Hyderabad, Athens University Of Economics & Business

Congratulations to all the talented Negotiators!

We want to thank: 

Director of the MSc in International Negotiations, Associate Prof. Spyros Blavoukos, Prof. Remigiusz Smolinski, Prof. Peter Kesting and all the professors and negotiation professionals for their excellent job and support.

Our volunteers for their important help.

Impact Hub Athens and Papagiannakos Winery for hosting the events.

Eurobank, LAMDA Development S.A.,, and Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy for their support.

Press Release