The Winners of the First HFPO Prize Competition 2020-2021

May 24, 2022

On the day of our foundation’s inauguration, October 25, 2019, we launched our first essay prize competition concerning the question “How Does the Digitization of Our World Change Our Orientation?” Now, after a 2-stage review process, we have determined our winners! Altogether $55,000 will go to five awardees from three different continents, including established professors as well as doctoral and undergraduate students.

In our essay prize competitions, we seek to continue a tradition of the Enlightenment and philosophically confront the most pressing reorientations humanity faces in the 21st century. The current digital transformation has certainly led to manifold fundamental shifts in our world that are still difficult to grasp. The five finalists provided the most convincing and insightful philosophical contributions to our prize question while creatively employing the terms, concept, and method of the philosophy of orientation.

After we initially launched our HFPO prize competition on the day of our foundation’s inauguration, we extended its deadline in the midst of the pandemic by another year to October 25, 2021. The winners were determined via a two-stage review process, first by selecting the best essays and second through a debate on Zoom, where the five finalists defended their contributions against questions and counterarguments from each other as well as from the HFPO advisory council and board.


And here are the winners of our first prize competition:

The 1st prize award of $25,000 goes to Prof. Hans-Georg Moeller and Prof. Paul D’Ambrosio’s essay “How Does the Digitization of Our World Change Our Orientation? A Discussion of this Question through the Lens of Profilicity (Profile-Oriented Identity).”

The 2nd prize of $15,000 is awarded to Samantha Sprole’s contribution “Meet the Moment: An Inventory of Experience in the Digital Era and the Call for Orientation Virtues.”

The 3rd prize award of $10,000 goes to Dr. Christoph Durt’s text “How Does the Digitization of Our World Change Our Orientation”

Our special student award of altogether $5,000 will be divided and $2,500 will go to the two best contributions in the student category: Abigail Bergeron’s essay on “The Question Concerning Our Technologies: Considerations of Orientations” and Paul Stephan’s contribution “How Could and Should Digitization Change Our Orientation? On the Use and Abuse of Digitization from a Utopian Perspective.”


We are looking forward to publishing the best essays, to having the top three prize awardees join our advisory council, and to launching a new prize competition by October 2022.