Spirit of Competition

Spirit of Competition examined five core elements of competition: civility, rivalry, innovation, passion and failure.

Spirit of Competition

We all engage in competition every day – whether it’s through sports, business, politics, the arts, etc. Competition affects us all and contributes to our individual character, local communities and overall culture.

That’s why we chose Spirit of Competition as a theme for our programs in 2012 and 2013. Like Food for Thought before it, this theme was designed to celebrate, examine and question the role something plays in our daily lives. However, this time, it was competition. Through the lens of athletics, politics and economics, we examined five core elements of competition: civility, rivalry, passion, innovation and failure.

Here’s what the theme included:

An interactive traveling exhibit

This experience included short films and interactives and engaged visitors across the state in thought-provoking conversations about the core elements of competition. Featuring Indiana stories about well-known and lesser-known competitors, this exhibit was designed in partnership with the Indiana Historical Society and visited locations such as the Indiana State Fair, the Indianapolis International Airport and small museums and libraries.

Teacher toolkits

Designed by a curriculum advisor, these resources help educators encourage students to think, read and talk about elements of competition through lessons integrated with social studies, English, civics and physical education curriculum.

Blog Posts

A central hub for conversations online, our blog integrated essays, short stories, videos and social media.

Before the Big Game: Lessons learned — so far

This pre-Super Bowl breakfast panel featured:

  • Allison Melangton, President and CEO, 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee
  • John Lechleiter, Ph.D., Chairman, President and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company; 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee Board Member
  • Carolene Mays, Commissioner of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission; 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee Division Chair of Administration.

The discussion, moderated by journalist, writer and speaker Anne Ryder, centered around lessons learned during the planning process and opportunities for Indianapolis after the crowds disperse. (See pictures.)


Super Kids, Super Welcome

This humanities-inspired project with the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee encouraged Hoosier kids to create a “welcome card” for 18,000 hotel rooms in Central Indiana. We exceeded our goal, and collected more than double that amount. National journalists and visitors have been complimenting the effort, as in this New York Times blog post.

Our Food, Our Farmers essay contest

Students in grades 4-12 participated in the 2nd Annual Ag Essay Contest titled “Our Food, Our Farmers: Feeding the World.” This year’s contest explored Indiana’s role as a global agricultural leader. Sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanities, the essay contest encouraged students to recognize and share all the ways Indiana agriculture plays a positive role in their own lives – as well as in the lives of those around them.

INconversation with Will Allen

The perfect transition from Food for Thought to Spirit of Competition, this event featured Will Allen, a former Miami Hurricane basketball star who has become an influential and inspiring urban farmer. The son of sharecroppers and the first African-American to play college basketball for the University of Miami, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. On Jan. 13, he received the NCAA’s top honor to his long list of accolades: the prestigious Theodore Roosevelt Award.

Watch our Spirit of Competition video!