Friday, April 02, 2010

Over one hundred participants attend 2010 IDEA Exchange in Vilnius

On March 27-28, IDEA and the Informal Education Debate Centre organized the 2010 IDEA Exchange in Vilnius, Lithuania. This event brought together over 130 youth activists interested in the promotion of democratic values, historical memory of their countries and regions, and the use of debate and new media. The IDEA Exchange utilized the BarCamp principle, which allowed participants to exchange ideas, present their work and projects, and discuss ways for future cooperation. Through this style, over forty presentations were given in English, Russian, and Lithuanian.

In addition to presentations, the Exchange also included a teacher training in debate and a workshop and mini tournament in British Parliamentary debate, as well as three public debates in English, Russian and Lithuanian, and a panel discussion on historical memory.

The Introductory Debate Seminar for teachers, "covered a variety of topics during eight lectures such as the nature of debate in exploring controversial issues, specific skills which can be developed, and rewards debate offers students in enhancing critical thinking and public speaking," said Ronna Liggett, an IDEA Trainer. "We were privileged to watch the final British Parliamentary debate and observe much of what we had discussed in our time together."

"Abortion, space exploration, organ donation, arts funding and wearing religious symbols in schools- these were the varied topics discussed by students at the British Parliamentary debate mini-competition. More than thirty participants, some of whom had never debated before, took part in intensive workshops as well as the tournament. Congratulations to Stockholm School of Economics, Riga, who won the final," reported coach Neill Harvey-Smith, a former Worlds Council chair and chief adjudicator of the 2008 European Championships. Other coaches included Worlds Masters finalist Beth Connor, Baltic Open champion Mihhail Jevdokimov, and Lithuania's own Monika Bukelskyte.

For more information on the events of the 2010 IDEA Exchange, click here. For information in Russian, click here, and in Lithuanian, click here. To view pictures of the event, visit To get involved or submit your ideas for the next IDEA Exchange in Spring 2011, contact Marcin Zaleski at

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