International YPA

International Young Philosopher Awards 2023

This is the third year of our International Young Philosopher Awards and we are delighted to announce that this year’s theme is open to students from all around the world!

For 2023 we invite young thinkers from around the world to think about the theme of belonging.

Belonging seems to constitute a crucial aspect of our lives and has been related to a fundamental need for human interdependence or to be accepted as a valuable member of a group, for example, in terms of family, friends, colleagues, nation-states, the world, and so on. The topic of belonging becomes ever more important in the current time where people face sudden displacement because of war, poverty, and the climate crisis, or due to experiences of exclusion, or racism, gender and sexual discrimination, for example.

Throughout the years the participants of the IYPA 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 therefore confident that this year’s participants will help provide a better understanding of the role of belonging in our lives and especially 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:

  • What does it mean to belong?
  • Is belonging always positive?
  • How important is belonging in our lives?
  • Is there a relationship between loneliness and belonging?
  • Can belonging to one group limit our self-understanding?
  • Is the need to belong always a good thing?
  • Can belonging to a certain group have a negative impact in one’s life?
  • Can one belong in communities with conflicting values?
  • Do we always choose where we belong?
  • What kind of belonging is involved in the relationship between state and citizens?
  • Does belonging to a group cultivate an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ or ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ distinction?
  • Is there a relationship between identity and belonging?
  • Do you have to be the same as others in order to belong to a group?
  • What is the relationship between belonging and difference?
  • Do human beings belong to nature? If yes, do they have a responsibility to protect the environment?
  • Can we say that belonging to the human species is in tension with our belonging to nature?
  • Do animals belong to our world and in what ways?
  • How do we cultivate a sense of belonging to people that have suffered from massive displacements because of war, or social, economic and environmental factors?
  • What are the key ingredients of belonging?
  • What does it mean to belong to a community of young philosophers?
  • Can a sense of belonging be cultivated via social media?
  • Is there a difference between actual and virtual belonging?

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.
  • Films or podcasts should be no more than 8 minutes in length.

How do I submit?

All international entries should be submitted by Friday 31st March 2023.

Entries should be emailed to the IYPA email address:

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 all queries contact IYPA at:

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.