America’s Greatest Thinker for 2021

Playing by the Rules WINS! Dan Tschida of Minneapolis, MN wins 28th Annual Great American Think-Off philosophical debate in New York Mills, MN Tschida defeated AJ Gil of Atlanta, GA in the final round of debate on Saturday, June 12, 2021, successfully arguing his...

2021 Think-Off Finalists Announced

28th Great American Think-Off Philosophy Essay Contest Live Debate June 12, 2021 These four writers were selected as the top essayists answering the 28th annual Think-Off question, “Which is more important: to win or to play by the rules?” These four...

2021 Great American Think-Off Question

28th Annual Think-Off Question Announced January 1, 2021 The Great American Think-Off, now in its 28th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once...

Think-Off Documentary Virtual Watch Party June 11, 2020

Great American Think-Off Virtual Documentary Film Watch Party Thursday, June 11, 2020 Begins at 7:00 p.m. In honor of the 2020 Great American Think-Off, which was postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19, we are hosting a virtual watch party on Facebook to view the Think-Off...

2020 Great American Think-Off Postponed to 2021

2020 Think-Off Debate Cancelled Submitted Essays Valid for 2021 Essays Accepted Until 4/1/21 2021 Think-Off Debate June 12, 2021 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Great American Think-Off debate has been cancelled. This year’s question, “Which is more...

2020 Great American Think-Off Essay Deadline Extended

28th Annual Great American Think-Off Essay Deadline EXTENDED to April 15, 2020 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect daily lives, the Think-Off Committee announces the extension of this year’s essay deadline to April 15, 2020. It is our hope that while...

2020 Great American Think-Off Question

28th Annual Think-Off Question Announced January 1, 2020 The Great American Think-Off, now in its 28th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once...

2019 America’s Greatest Thinker Goes to…

Jennifer Nelson is the 2019 America’s Greatest Thinker! 27th Great American Think-Off Held June 8, 2019 Debate Details Follow Jennifer is a native of Morris, MN who currently lives in the Twin Cities where she works as a research consultant for the DFL Caucus at...

2019 Think-Off Finalist Essays

27th Great American Think-Off Congratulations to all 4 finalists! Read the winning essays below The four finalists for the 2019 Great American Think-Off are (in alphabetical order): Rick Brundage of St. Paul, MN; David Lapakko of Richfield, MN; Louise Mengelkoch of...

2019 Think-Off Honorable Mentions Essays

27th Great American Think-Off Announcing Honorable Mentions Read Essays Below Read the 2019 Honorable Mention Essays Below, OR you can: 2019 Think-Off Results 2019 Think-Off Finalist Essays Michael Denny, Journalist from Staples, MN No Voting does not matter. It...

Philosophers and Artist Reception

Celebrating Philosophers & Artists We are making yet another connection by hosting both the Great American Think-Off Reception and the Distinctly Minnesota Artist Reception as one big party! Help us Kick-Off the Think-Off in style! Join us June 7th at 6:30-8:30pm...

Think-Off Debate June 8, 2019

27th Great American Think-Off Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 7pm Held @ NYM School Auditorium Reception to follow @ Cultural Center The 2019 Think-Off debate will be held at the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts (Auditorium) at the New York Mills School on Saturday,...

2019 Great American Think-Off Finalists

Final Four Announced “To Vote or Not to Vote: Does it Matter?” Essay Finalists to Debate Topic June 8, 2019 @ 7pm The Cultural Center in New York Mills announces four finalists from the essay contest portion of the 27th Annual Great American Think-Off....

2019 Great American Think-Off Essay Deadline Extended

You heard right, folks! The new deadline to enter your opinion essay for the Great American Think-Off is April 15th, 2019! To vote or not to vote: does it matter? Historically, groups of citizens have fought hard for the right to vote, only to have more than half of...

2019 Great American Think-Off Question

UPDATE! Essays are now due April 15th, 2019! The Great American Think-Off, now in its 27th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once again...

America’s Greatest Thinker for 2018 is…

Anthony Berryhill of Austin, TX! Runner-up Armchair Philosopher, Mark Bland of Virginia Beach, VA, out-argued Rudy San Miguel of New Orleans, LA to advance to the final round of debate, wherein Anthony Berryhill took the prize! Before debating Bland, Berryhill first...

2018 Great American Think-Off Question

An entrepreneur’s new business fails.  A 7th grader receives the “most valuable player” award for basketball.  A recovering addict fails to abstain.  A singer auditions for and wins a role on Broadway.  Everyone experiences some successes and failures in life, but...

Pamela Lewis is 2017 Greatest American Thinker!

2017 Think-Off Question Answered: 2016 Election DID Change Our Perception of Truth New Yorker Named Greatest American Thinker in New York Mills Saturday, four armchair philosophers faced off in the Great Debate portion of the Great American Think-Off philosophy...

Great American Think-Off 25th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

2017 is a special year for the Great American Think-Off, as it marks the 25th annual philosophical debate. Because of this milestone, the Cultural Center is hosting several weekend events; see the schedule below. Friday, June 9 6-9pm Think-Off Kick-Off at the NYM...

2017 Think-Off Question Announced

“Has the 2016 election changed our perception of truth?” The Great American Think-Off committee announced this, the 25th annual Think-Off question, today, January 1, 2017. The Think-Off is a philosophy competition held each year in tiny New York Mills, MN....

2016 Great American Think-Off Topic Announced

Topic for the 2016 Great American Think-Off is “Income Inequality Threatens Democracy” After much discussion, and appropriately, some healthy debate, the Great American Think-Off committee has decided on this year’s topic for the annual debate: “Income Inequality...

2016 Think-Off Topic Announced

Topic for the 2016 Great American Think-Off: “Income Inequality Threatens Democracy” After much discussion, and appropriately, some healthy debate, the Great American Think-Off committee has decided on this year’s topic for the annual debate:...

23rd annual Great American Think-Off

Think-Off Saturday June 13th @ 7pm The Center is bustling with activity this week as we prepare for the 23rd annual Great American Think-Off.  The Great Debate will take place on Saturday, June 13th at 7:00pm at the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts at the New...