The Swiss Philosophy Olympiad (SPO) is open to all high-school students who are attending a Swiss school and are younger than twenty years old. The SPO is organized since 2006 by the confessionally and politically neutral non-profit organization SwissPhilO. The goal of the SPO is to foster the intellectual development of young people. The SPO consists of three stages:
At the qualification stage of the SPO, the participating students write a philosophical essay at home or at school whereby they are given the choice between four topics. Each submitted essay is anonymized and refereed by an independent jury composed of philosophy teachers and academic philosophers. The authors of the best essays advance to the semifinals.
The semifinals of the SPO are one-day events which take place at different schools and universities in Switzerland. At each such event, the students participate in a philosophical workshop and write a philosophical essay about one out of four topics (under supervision and within two hours). The essays are assessed by an independent jury. The authors of the best essays advance to the national final.
3. National final
The national final of the SPO is a three-day event taking place at a university in Switzerland. The students defend their earlier essay, take part in numerous philosophical workshops and discussions, and get a chance to befriend young people from all over Switzerland. Furthermore, the students write a philosophical essay about one out of four topics (under supervision and within four hours). An independent jury reviews the essays and awards medals (gold, silver and bronze). The two winners of the national final represent Switzerland at the International Philosophy Olympiad.