Click to play the intro video for the KidSpirit Global Summit

Once a year, KidSpirit youth come together for the Global Summit and Awards. This unique pair of events allows them to forge lasting bonds, celebrate the writing and art that define KidSpirit, and lift up the voices of their peers from all walks of life.

KidSpirit's annual Global Summit gathers youth from around the country and the world to explore questions of meaning together and deepen their sense of community. During the full-day program, teens engage in large and small group discussions, create and share poetry or artwork, and develop transformative connections across boundaries. Adult thought leaders join the conversation, offering their unique perspectives and facilitating discussion.

Check back for more information about the next Global Summit here.

Kid Spirit Global Summit 2023

Past Summits

2023 Global Summit

On November 5th, 2023, KidSpirit contributors joined from around the globe to dive into the topic of Wellness and Creativity. The panels featured KidSpirit editors from the US, Rwanda and Pakistan as they engage with Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California and happiness expert and author of The How of Happiness, as well as Wendy MacNaughton, author and illustrator of How to Say Goodbye and illustrator of many other New York Times Best Sellers. The conversation is moderated by Lewis Dabney, mediator and conflict resolution expert, and Executive Director of the Key Bridge Foundation.

Watch Session 1 and Session 2 of the 2023 Global Summit!

Wendy MacNaughton

Wendy MacNaughton

Visual columnist for The New York Times and California Sunday Magazine
Illustrator of New York Times Bestseller Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D

Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside
Author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want Finally

2021 Global Summit

In 2021 participants explored creativity and our ability to effect change through artistic expression. Editors and contributors from Haiti, India, Jordan, Pakistan, Paraguay, Taiwan, Ukraine, the UK, and the US were joined by filmmaker Alex Krohnemer and slam poet champion Emi Mahmoud for a day of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and creative activities.

Watch Session 1 and Session 2 of the 2021 Global Summit!

Emil Mahmoud

Emi Mahmoud

World Champion Slam Poet and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

2021 Global Summit Facilitator

Alex Kronemer

Alex Kronemer

Co-founder and Executive Producer of Unity Productions Foundation

2021 Global Summit Facilitator

2020 Global Summit

In 2020, KidSpirit youth came together around the theme “From Inquiry to Understanding.” In large and small groups, they engaged with mediator Lewis Dabney and writer Emily Esfahani Smith about how cultivating curiosity leads us to deeper knowledge of ourselves and others. They also had the opportunity to write and share haiku inspired by KidSpirit art.

Emily Esfahani Smith

Emily Esfahani Smith

Writer, Editor, Speaker, Journalist

2020 Global Summit Facilitator

2019 Global Summit

The 2019 Global Summit, held at the Centre for Social Innovation in New York City, focused on the theme “Big Questions, Real Connections.” Led by neuroscientist Anil Seth and mediator Lewis Dabney, KidSpirit editors exchanged ideas about how our burning queries can guide us toward community and purpose.

Anil Seth

Anil Seth

Neuroscientist, Author, Speaker

2019 Global Summit Facilitator

KidSpirit Awards

Each year, KidSpirit’s network of youth editors around the world vote for the writing, poetry, and artwork they feel most represents our mission to explore big questions in an open spirit. From over 100 pieces published in the previous 12 months, they select those that are most thoughtful and inspiring to win a KidSpirit Award.

Each award winner is invited to New York City to attend the Global Summit and receive their award in person during a festive celebration with other editors and KidSpirit families. Their winning work is also featured in our yearly print compilation, The Best of KidSpirit.