The Kids Philosophy Slam is a philosophy contest designed to make philosophy fun and accessible for kids of all ages and abilities. Each year a philosophical topic is chosen and students from 1st grade through 12th grade express their views on the philosophical topic posed.

The Philosophy Slam is non-profit and relies on donations and sponsors to support its programming. The community of Lanesboro is the host of the event for 2003. For information about sponsorship opportunities contact us at: info@philosophyslam.org

 Where did the idea come from?

The idea behind the Kids Philosophy Slam came from John P. Davis, who created The Great American Think-Off in 1993. The Great American Think-Off was designed to make philosophy accessible to the everyday person, in a fun sports type format. The Think-Off posed a philosophical question each year and contestants would answer the question in a 750 word essay. 4 finalists were selected to then debate the question in front of a live audience who voted on the winner. The Think-Off has received national press, including The Today Show, CNN, NPR, USA Today and the NY Times. Davis selected the question "Is honesty always the best policy?" in 1998, and C-SPAN covered the Think-Off live.

There have been two finalists for the Think-Off that have been teenagers, and hundreds of entries from kids of all ages. John Davis wanted to expand upon the idea and create a new forum just to showcase kids philosophy. Thus, the Kids Philosophy Slam was started.

Davis moved to the small town of Lanesboro Minnesota in July of 2000 to be the Executive Director of Cornucopia Art Center. The first Kids Philosophy Slam was a tremendous success, with over 4,300 entries received from across the nation and around the world. The 3rd annual Kids Philosophy Slam debate will be held in Lanesboro, Minnesota on Saturday April 26th, 2003.

Previously Mr. Davis had lived in the small town of New York Mills Minnesota, where he founded the NY Mills Arts Retreat and Regional Cultural Center as well as the Great American Think-Off. NY Mills has been recognized as a national model for innovative rural arts and economic development, and has been twice listed as one of the top 100 small art towns in America.

Lanesboro is the official site of the 2003 Kids Philosophy Slam, and is a small town of 758 people in Southeastern Minnesota. Lanesboro has also been twice named as one of the top 100 small art towns in America.

For more information about Lanesboro.