Sunday, February 15, 2009

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In this week's issue:

Note from the editor
The results of our Big IDEA survey are in: Out of the 52 people who made a few decisive, survey-completing mouse clicks, exactly 30 wish to see The Big IDEA every week. So they win!
I have another survey for you, one that will help shape the future of What do you like about the site? How would you improve it? What features would you like to see? In just a few clicks, if you haven’t already, take the second survey!
Crystal (Phillips) Jeffers, Communication Director, IDEA Willamette University

IDEA opens CafePress store
Support a good cause, and order an awesome IDEA logo item from IDEA's new CafePress store! We're offering T-shirts of every fit, color and style (including ringers and raglans), as well as mugs, mouse pads, and more. Shop IDEA!

President Abe Lincoln and the Spring Global Debates
Thursday was Lincoln’s birthday, Monday is President’s Day, and on March 1, The People Speak Global Debates begin. It’s never been a better time to ask the question: given this spring’s Global Debate topic, “Developed nations have a higher obligation to combat climate change,” what case for the proposition would the late President Lincoln devise? Honor a great US president by researching his moral and political beliefs, and speculate what he would have done.
What is your obligation to combat climate change? To answer this question, register and compete in The People Speak Spring Global Debates! High school students in more than 80 countries participate. Overall winners of the 2008-2009 Fall and Spring Global Debates receive a trip to the Youth Leadership Summit in NYC, July 2009!
Find out more!

Registration opens for the 2009 Turkey YouthCamp
YouthCamps connect youth who have goals and ideas for a more open society, with youth wishing to contribute to these goals, in collaborative, inspirational projects. These collaborations empower youth to become active citizens willing and able to influence public life, and they promote open society ideals. Join the April 2009 YouthCamp in Istanbul, Turkey, to guide this new effort by sharing your ideas and experiences.
Visit the site to learn more.

IDEA Youth Forum registration is about to begin!
The Forum is accepting up to 200 participants, or 50 Karl Popper Debate Championship teams. Every institution that participated in past Forums has 1 place granted automatically. After that it’s first come, first served!
Participation in the IDEA Youth Forum is conditional. All participants will be reviewed and invited to attend the IDEA Youth Forum by the Participants’ Selection Committee. The only exceptions are individuals coming for the Karl Popper Debate Championship (KPDC), and observers.
The Forum will take place in the Olympic Center, Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina from July 23 to August 5. The cost for the whole Youth Forum is 600 EUR per person. Some participation fee waivers are available. Registration opens soon and will close on April 30, 2009. Applicants wishing to apply for a fee waiver have to submit their application by March 31, 2009.
For more information please go to the Youth Forum website or download the invitation letter!
Veronika Vlckova, Forum Coordinator, IDEA Netherlands

Forum topic library coming soon!
We will start an article library for the 2009 Youth Forum KP and MT topics! Each week, I’ll post an article pertaining to each of the topic sets. Each article will include an accompanying synopsis that gives you a brief look into what the article deals with and what it says. Also look for contributions from this year’s YF trainers on articles that are essential reading on the forum topics. Simply access the Youth Forum website.
Bill, Forum Curriculum Director

Debatepedia launches debate article on US stimulus package
Debatepedia recently completed a comprehensive debate article on the $800 billion US economic stimulus package. Even after the passage of the stimulus legislation through the Senate on February 10th, 2009, the debate over the package continues, particularly with so many important philosophical questions at stake. Can the government have a significant impact in stimulating the economy? What does history tell us, particularly with examples such as the impact of the New Deal on the Great Depression? Is spending a better way to stimulate the economy than tax cuts? Is deficit-spending to fight off recession necessary and tolerable? What are the consequences of adding to the national debt?
View the arguments underlying these questions on Debatepedia.
Brooks Lindsay, Debatepedia

Join IDEA on Facebook
Please join 1,300 IDEA members on Facebook, and get up-to-date IDEA news as it happens. Join the Youth Forum and Debatepedia there too!

IDEA member countries: submit content for Idebate Magazine by February 20th
The next issue of Idebate Magazine is set to mail at the end of March. Do you have an exciting, brief debate report to share from your member country? Email it to by Friday, February 20.

HWS / IDEA Round Robin field announced
The following teams will compete at the 2009 Round Robin in April:
Babes Bolyai
Hart House (Ferris/Jorgenson)
Hart House (Freeman/Lizius)
Loyola Marymount (Kiley/Schwab)
Loyola Marymount (Aguilera/Molison)
National Law School of India
Tel Aviv
Judge selections will be made soon. Anyone interested in adjudicating should contact Eric Barnes at: barnes (at) hws (dot) edu.
Just a few selected accomplishments of these teams includes: - 3 Quarterfinalist teams at the World Championships - Semi-finalists at the World Championships - 2 Finalist teams at the Canadian National Championships - Finalists at the US National Championships - Finalists at the North American Championships - Finalists at the Southern African Championships - Finalists at the Oxford IV - The second breaking ESL team at Worlds - The ESL World Champions - Finalists at the World Championship - The Canadian National Champions - The US National Champions - The All-Asian Tournament Champions
Eric Barnes, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

NPDA teams welcome at US Universities Nationals
NPDA teams and adjudicators are welcome to join us and debate in the WUDC format, at the US Universities Debate Championships. While foreign teams can win the tournament, the highest-ranking US team will be named national champion. The championship is hosted by the University of Vermont and sponsored by the International Debate Education Association.
All of our information is online.
We are expecting 100 teams and are at over 50 now. We already have a strong entry, with many overseas teams, and I was contacted by Middle Temple and a team from India today.
Our chief adjudicator, Neill Harvey-Smith, president of World Debating Council, will announce his DCAs at any moment, and promises a well-run and adjudicated event.
Please joins us! Contact me at
Alfred C. Snider aka Tuna, University of Vermont

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