International Young Philosopher Awards 2024

“All hope concerns happiness”

(Immanuel Kant)

“Once we start to act, hope is everywhere. So instead of looking for hope, look for action. Then, and only then, hope will come”

(Greta Thunberg)

“In hope, the soul overleaps reality, as in fear it shrinks back from it”

(Hannah Arendt)

“We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope”

(Martin Luther King)

This is the fourth year of our International Young Philosopher Awards.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s theme for the International Awards is:


For the 2024 International Young Philosopher Awards we invite young thinkers from around the world to reflect on the theme of Hope. Hope is a topic that has interested philosophers since Ancient times. Throughout the history of philosophy one can find different approaches to the question of hope. While some philosophers consider hope as a means of overcoming the limitations of ordinary existence, others have rejected hope because it obstructs us from facing reality. Stoicism for example, understood hope as an emotion that obstructs us from focusing on the here and now. Immanuel Kant on the other hand, considered the question “For what may I hope?” as one of three fundamental philosophical questions along with the questions “What can I know?” and “What should I do?”

Throughout the years the participants of the Young Philosopher Awards have helped us understand how timely issues affect young people, but have also inspired us to focus on contemporary issues that might have escaped our attention. We are confident that this year’s participants will help us reach a better understanding of the role of hope in the lives of young people.

The international component of the Young Philosopher Awards aims at enabling young people from around the world to develop and express their thoughts about important issues. We strongly encourage you to come up with your own philosophical questions in relation to this year’s theme, but we have also created a list of possible start up questions for inspiration.

Please note that these are indicative questions and we are not asking you to answer all of these questions in your project!

  • What is hope?
  • Is hope a good or an evil?
  • Can hope make us better persons?
  • Can hope mislead us?
  • Is there a difference between hope and optimism?
  • Can one hope for something without believing that it will happen?
  • Is there such a thing as collective hope?
  • Can humanity hope for something collectively?
  • Can hope help us bring about a better future? How?
  • Can hope facilitate collective social or political action?
  • Can there be conflicts between what people hope for?
  • What is the relationship between hope and human agency?
  • Can hope motivate us to act in a certain way?
  • Can hope become a barrier for acting in difficult times?
  • Can hope make us blind to reality?
  • Can hope help us improve the world that we live in?
  • Can hope sustain human agency in the face of despair?
  • When is hope the most important?
  • What is the relationship between hope and religion or morality?
  • What differentiates hope from wishful thinking?
  • Is hope connected to happiness?
  • What is the relationship between hope and the future?
  • Does hope also relate to how we think about our past?
  • What is an empty hope?
  • Is there such a thing as hoping-well?
  • Can we distinguish between justified hope and unjustified hope?
  • Can hopelessness be a positive attitude?
  • Is hope essential to a flourishing life?

These are only indicative questions, and we encourage you to think your own philosophical questions on the topic of solidarity. After all, part of being a good philosopher is to raise questions that nobody else has raised.

The international Award is a topic-specific, school-based award, and it is limited to school-class or school-group projects. All second level students and 5th and 6th class primary level students from any country are eligible to apply.

All entries must be in English.

To participate you will need:

  • To secure the written support of your school and teacher.
  • Choose a philosophical issue that is relevant to the topic of belonging.
  • Create a specific philosophical question which will be the focus of your project.
  • Discuss your question with your families, friends, teachers and your class or group.
  • Find information about your topic in books, on-line articles, and magazines.
  • Examine the different views on the question that you have raised and keep notes.
  • Create a project in response to the question or issue you think is most important. Your project can be in the format of a blog post, essay, letter, short story, dialogue, comic, podcast, or film.
  • All entries must be in English.
  • If writing a blog or a written project you may include images to accompany your work. The length of written projects should be maximum 1500 words.

How do I submit?

All international entries should be submitted by Friday 22nd March 2024.

Entries should be emailed to the IYPA email address: youngphilosopherawards@ucd.ie

When you submit your entry, you must include the following information in the email you send:

  • A reference to the ‘International Young Philosopher Awards’ in the subject line of your email
  • A statement saying that the project is submitted for the IYPA International Award
  • A separate document of endorsement by your School Principal or Teacher on Letterhead (with contact details)
  • Names of all members of the Group or your Class Name
  • Name of the School, Country, and City
  • Year, Level
  • Email Contact
  • Teacher or Parent Name and Contact Details.

For more information on the Irish Young Philosopher Awards visit our website at https://youngphilosopherawards.ucd.ie/

For all queries contact IYPA at: youngphilosopherawards@ucd.ie

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870883. The information and opinions on this website and other communications materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission.