Thursday, June 24, 2010

Registration deadline for 2010 WODC only one week away

There are now just six short days until registration closes on July 1st for the 2010 World Online Debating Championship. If you would like to take part in the WODC, but have not yet organized a team, collected the entrance fee, or applied for a bursary, time is running out!

The WODC organizing committee has made several technical changes to make participation in the online debate tournament easier. The WODC site is now more accessible to join, and a Google Calendar has also been added, which will display when teams will compete and which teams have won their debates. Also, the committee has established a 2,000 character limit on each point made, so that participants can efficiently make an argument and then more easily respond to other arguments as well.

With registration only a week away, and with new tournament improvements, what are you waiting for? This competition is like no other, and your chances to enter are are running out quickly. However, the WODC is not for everyone; only serious, smart, and hard-working debaters should apply.

For more information on the 2010 WODC, click here. To register or apply for a bursary, contact David Crane at

2010 IDEA/NJFL National Middle School Tournament kicks off this week

The fifth-annual IDEA and National Junior Forensic League Middle School Tournament kicked off yesterday, June 24th. A premier event hosted by IDEA and the National Forensic League, this tournament prepares young debaters for competition on the national level.

Participants traveled from around the United States to compete in different debate categories such as policy debate, public forum debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and congressional debate. Students also participate in speech divisions that include interpretations, original oratory, extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, or declamation. An exhibition division is also offered, in which students compete in storytelling and TV commercial events.

The 2010 National Middle School Tournament is being held at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa. The tournament will conclude on June 27th, after the winners from each category have been announced. For more information, visit the tournament website.

Advocacy Institute in China wraps up with new media projects

The China Advocacy Institute wrapped up this week as participants departed from Xiamen University on June 23rd with new skills in how to advocate for environmental and cultural sustainability.

While at the institute, university students took part in courses, cultural excursions and projects that were led by award-winning professors and instructors. The institute focused on sustainability, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, argumentation and debate, and new media. Before departing, the institute participants completed new media projects that exhibited what they had learned during their time at the Advocacy Institute.

Hosted by IDEA, Willamette University, and Xiamen University, the Advocacy Institute was a two and a half week program that took place from June 7th to 23rd in the city of Xiamen, in the Fujian Province of China. Participants came from around the globe, including Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, China, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, Mongolia, South Africa, and other countries!

For more information on the China Advocacy Institute, click here.

Debate takes place in Netherlands on housing for youth in Hoogvliet

On Friday June 18th, a debate concerning housing for young people took place in Hoogvliet, a municipality within the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Organized in-part by IDEA-Netherlands, several youth from the area hosted the debate to raise awareness about housing concerns for youth in the area.

Several issues about youth housing in Hoogvliet were discussed during the debates. One such problem was that many young people have to wait for long periods of time before they can obtain a proper apartment, and that allocation preference is often given to other groups of the population. Poor quality housing and a lack of information about available housing was also discussed. Another major issue addressed the municipality's decision to replace existing housing with more expensive houses.

Although the organizing youth members have had problems themselves, they know many others with housing difficulties as well. One youth commented, "Some youngsters move from friend to friend because staying with parents is just not possible anymore."

Local politicians and representatives of the housing corporations were invited to the debate, and were already aware of these problems. However, after attending and participating in the debate with local youth, they were impacted by the severity of this situation. Erwin Zwijnenburg, the Director of Woonbron Property Company, came up with a solution for the near future, which entails making a flat, that was soon to be demolished, into appropriate housing for young people. He also agreed to meet with youth again, to make further improvements in the next few months.

Hot off the's the 10th anniversary issue of Idebate Magazine!

The newest version of IDEA's exclusive magazine, Idebate, has just been released. This issue is particularly significant because it is the 10th anniversary issue for IDEA-Netherlands and it's member organizations!

This issue of Idebate includes special reports from each of the member organizations, which detail their growth and events throughout the last decade. The publication also includes information about the 2010 IDEA Youth Forum, which will be held July 22 through August 4th in the Netherlands. Order this issue, or an Idebate Magazine subscription here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Teaching Opportunity in Vietnam for US and Canadian Citizens

IDEA is currently recruiting for a new debate trainer position in Vietnam for a new campus of the Korea Poly School (KPS). KPS is seeking Canadian or US citizens to teach debate to elementary and/or middle school students for at least one academic year. Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree and be willing to work in Korea for one academic year. The ideal candidate will be comfortable working in an international educational environment and will have some experience doing so. Click here to learn more about KPS.

While IDEA is assisting KPS in recruiting trainers, as well as providing technical support to them, the instructors will be KPS employees. IDEA will, however, provide pre-departure orientation as well as teaching and curriculum materials.

The Debate Instructor shall perform the following duties:
1. Plan and conduct debate and argumentation classes in levels assigned
by employer;
2. Conduct a small number of classes in subjects outside of debate with provided teaching materials;
3. Assist with and participate in activities related to the instructional programs of employer, including, but not limited to, departmental meetings, general faculty meetings, and special presentations and events;
4. Assist employer in organizing debate clubs at KPS schools;
5. Assist employer in facilitating KPS debate events
6. Assist employer with out-of-classroom activities related to the regular curriculum of employer, including, but not limited to, field trips and school-wide assemblies, as well as other extracurricular activities;
7. Assist with the development of teaching materials, supplementary materials, tests, evaluations, and other programs related to English language teaching;
8. Assist or conduct teacher training in debate for new DIs under the direction of employer;
9. Assist, monitor, and supervise DIs in their teaching methodology and implementation, and classroom conduct under the direction of employer;
10. Perform other duties as designated by employer.

Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits are yet to be determined but will be similar to the debate instructor position in Korea, which are outlined below:
1. Free furnished single housing (rent is paid for, but utilities and maintenance fees will be the trainers' responsibilities);
2. Free roundtrip airfare;
3. Contract completion bonus (severance pay) after one year;
4. 50% of national health insurance paid for by the school;
5. 50% of national pension premiums paid for by the school (They will also be eligible to petition for their pension refund from the Korean pension board before departing the country);
6. Monthly Salary - 3.1 million Korean Won (roughly 3,000 USD).

Applications should include a current CV, a cover letter, and the contact information of two references. Please send your application to Lin Lu,, immediately. We will accept applications until the position is filled. Selection is dependent on applicant's ability to qualify for Vietnamese-issued work visa.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Registration deadline nears for 2010 World Online Debating Championship

It is now exactly two weeks before registration closes for the second-annual World Online Debating Championship. One thing that lead to the success of the first WODC was the quality of the adjudicators. Two judges were World Champions, one was a European Champion, three had chaired the Worlds Council and two had been Worlds Council Chief Adjudicators.

In order to secure a similarly stellar line-up for this year's WODC, the Chief Adjudicator, Neill Harvey-Smith has recruited three deputies to aid in judging the debates. All three broke Worlds as judges and include Fred Cowell, a Europeans finalist, Loke Wing Fatt, a professional debate coach, and Rose Hellens-Hart, a debate coach at the University of Honolulu.

These judges will be dedicating their time to judge a difficult competition, and the judging team you'll face will ensure you'll benefit regardless of how the debates turn out. The World Online Debating Championship begins in August and ends in September, and each debate lasts five days, although participants don't argue for all of them. Participating in the WODC requires hard work and dedication to win, but remember, there is no great reward without great effort!

To secure your place in the one and only World Online Debating Championship, please send $20 per person or $100 per team to through PayPal. Each team may have an unlimited number of members, although six members are recommended per team. Bursaries are also available for qualifying participants, which can be applied for at the same email address.

The WODC is hosted by Debatewise, IDEA, and the OSI Youth Initiative. For more information on the 2010 World Online Debating Championship, click here.

Documentary film about the 2009 IDEA Youth Forum now available online

"Debate will change your life, I promise you." This is a quote from a film that was created at the 2009 IDEA Youth Forum in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and captures the different folds of the event through the eyes of participants. The young documentary flimmaker, Bas Voorwinde, is a Dutch debater, the Kosovar coach, the US trainer who is also teaching the International New Debaters track of the Youth Forum, and the Polish Executive Director of IDEA.

The film not only covers topics such as the debaters' motivation to attend events and the perspectives of participants about the Youth Forum, but the film also shows the impact that debate has on the lives of people who become involved with it. This impact is shown both immediately when individuals improve their debating and public speaking skills, and on a larger level when individuals become social activists and improve their surrounding societies.

To check out the 2009 IDEA Youth Forum movie, click here.

The 2010 Youth Forum will host 260 individuals that are debaters, coaches and trainers. These participants will travel from 38 different countires, which include Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana,Bulgaria,Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, India, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Palestinian Territory, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA and Zimbabwe. For more information on the IDEA Youth Forum, click here.

Idebate Press releases new book, "Inclusion for ALL"

Idebate Press has recently added "Inclusion for ALL: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" to its list of debate publications. The book unites a wide variety of perspectives on the issues and controversies surrounding the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society.

The collection provides readers with an understanding of the historical perspective on human rights; the critical nature of inclusion; the Convention provisions; the necessity of honoring family culture and values; and the need for reducing poverty and social exclusion, guaranteeing deinstitutionalization and ensuring the provision of education, independent living, employment, and self-determination.

Editor Deborah A. Ziegler, is the associate executive director for policy and advocacy at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), one of the world's premiere education organizations. Dr. Ziegler serves on the board and works with several international disability organizations, including CEC, whose focus is the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

To order your copy today and browse other publications of Idebate Press, visit the IDEA Store.

Debaters discuss Google in China and child labor at national tournament in Turkey

Last weekend the Turkish Debate Association and Doga Colleges organized a debate tournament, which was one of the first high school national debate tournaments to be held in Turkey. The tournament was hosted on the premises of Doga Colleges in Istanbul and gathered sixteen teams and their coaches from around the country.

Prior to the tournament, the representatives of the Turkish Debate Association, one of the youngest member organizations of IDEA, visited debate teams to give workshops on the debate format and the role of presentation, argumentation and strategy in debate. At the tournament, debaters discussed Google's presence in China and child labor. Veronika Vlckova, the Director of the IDEA Youth Forum, also gave a short workshop on argumentation to the participants while they waited for the results and pairing for the next rounds.

Doga Colleges and its partner, the Turkish Debate Association are one of the bidders for hosting the 2011 IDEA Youth Forum. The host of the 2011 Youth Forum will be announced at the finals of the 2010 Youth Forum, which will be held in the Province of Zeeland from July 22nd to August 4th.

Congratulations to IDEA-Netherlands Executive Director, Marcin Zaleski

Congratulations to Marcin and Maria Zaleski on the birth of their brand new baby girl, Maria Lara Gillian Murphy Zaleski, who was born just this week. Marcin Zaleski is very active in the debate community and serves as the Executive Director of IDEA-Netherlands.

Best wishes to Marcin, Maria, and Maria, (M&M&M)!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Advocacy Institute begins this week in Xiamen, China

The China Advocacy Institute kicked off this week when university students from around the world arrived in Xiamen, China on June 7th. Participants traveled from Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, China, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, Mongolia, South Africa, and other countries to take part in this unique event!

Hosted by IDEA, Willamette University, and Xiamen University, the Advocacy Institute is a two and a half week program that lasts from June 7th to 23rd. The institute will prepare the next geneartion of leaders with the necessary tools to advocate for environmental and cultural sustainability. Throughout the institute, courses will be taught by award-winning professors and will focus on sustainability, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, argumentation and debate, and new media.

For more information on the China Advocacy Institute, click here.

Climate Advocacy Institute graduate organizes first debate club in Nepal

Last summer, IDEA co-hosted the Climate Advocacy Institute, which brought together more than 80 youth climate activists from around the world. Since then, many graduates of the institute have been involved in several campaigns and movements that involve youth in both climate change awareness and debate. One graduate, Abhishek from Nepal, has recently organized the first youth debate club in Nepal, the Nepali Youth Debaters Club (NYDC).

The debate club's motto is "Debate to Learn:Learn to Debate" and its mission is to spread debate to all youths, ages 12-25 years old, in Nepal through organizing debate workshops and tournaments in different regions of the country. The NYDC has already organized several debate matches and one debate workshop. The club's next debate workshop is slated for Saturday June 19th and will also include a screening of the movie, "The Great Debaters." The NYDC has also put together Team Nepal for the upcoming World Online Debating Championship (WODC).

For more information on the Nepali Youth Debaters' Club, click here. Also find the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

IDEA helps youth organize debate over housing concerns in Hoogvliet, Netherlands

On Friday June 18, 2010, a debate concerning housing for young people will take place in Hoogvliet, the Netherlands. Organized in part by IDEA-Netherlands, this event will involve a debate between local youth, who have growing concerns about housing for youth in the area, and the representatives of the housing associations. Dutch politicians will also be in attendance, including Jacqueline Cornelissen (IBP) and Cor van Hulst (PVDA).

This public debate is unique in that it is organized by and for young people. In addition, the housing problem for young people in Hoogvliet is so urgent that the involved youth took the initiative into their own hands. First, they participated in a short debate training hosted by IDEA, and then took the knowledge they learned from the training to organize their own public debate. The youth invited politicians, helped prepare the flyers, took charge of publicizing the event, and are now helping to prepare other youths for the debate.

The issues for the debate will focus on the following questions: What is the current situation? How do young people live? How many stand on a waiting list? Are the houses honestly assigned?

The debate was organized primarily by Jalal Mouloudi and Patrick Ribeiro. The debate will be organized by JF Kids, U2 Events, and sponsored by VROM, Youth in Action and the International Debate Education Association.

Canteen debates held on elections in the province of Zeeland, Netherlands

On June 8, 2010, the third and last canteen debate took place at the ROC School in Goes, Netherlands, where several representatives from political parties attended and shared their vision about how the country should be governed. Sponsored by IDEA-Netherlands, the canteen debates were held during lunchtime at the school and were always well-attended by students. Inspired by these debates, the ROC School in Vlissingen also organized a debate with help from IDEA's own Doutsen Langhout.

Several topics were addressed during the debates, including “Student financial aid must be abolished” and “Soft drugs should be legalized completely.” Another topic that became one of the biggest discussions for the youth, especially in Vlissingen, was “Immigration has to be stopped.” Many youths were concerned about immigration because of job competition, while some from ethnic backgrounds expressed that immigration was also important because of the political situation.

From the canteen debates, students felt that they received important political information from different major parties in the Netherlands. The students also expressed that after the debates, they recognized the importance of voting and of being well-informed about elections. These debates were especially effective for those who were old enough to cast their ballots in the national elections on June 9th.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

IDEA's debate topic resource, Debatabase, returns online

Debatabase, IDEA's database of hundreds of debate topics, has now returned better than ever to! Debatabase is a high-quality topic research resource highlighting the major pros and cons of many global issues. This resource helps users find arguments for and against hundreds of debating topics written by expert debaters, judges and coaches. Also included are background summaries, links to websites of interest and recommended books, examples of motions and comments.

What are you waiting for? Go to Debatabase today and get ahead of the game for your next debate event! While you're at it, check out Debatewise and Debatepedia, two other IDEA webistes that are excellent pro and and con debate topic resources.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Over one hundred teams participate in first-annual IDEA China Open

The first annual IDEA China Open took place this past weekend from May 28th to May 30th on the beautiful campus of Xi'an Jiaotong University in Xi'an, China. The tournament included 116 participating teams with university students from China, the United States, Australia and the Philippines.

The tournament implemented Four-Team Parliamentary Debate format in both English and Mandarin divisions, in which 80 teams debated in the English division and 36 teams debated in the Mandarin division. The first place winners of each division have received the grand prize, which includes a debate tour of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

Congratulations to the following 2010 China Open English Division winners:
First Place- Zhang Xinyi (Xi'an International Studies University) and Ciaran Downey (Palomar College)
Second Place- Tang Xiaojiao and Zhang Yiming (Fudan University TZ)
Finalists- Yang Zhen (Dalian Nationalities University) and Joe Provencher (Willamette University); Annie Berry and Jacob Crooks (Azusa Pacific University)

Congratulations to the following 2010 China Open Mandarin Division winners:
First Place- Xun Taihao (Peking University) and Li Yanran (Xi'an Jiaotong University)
Second Place- Yan Xueling and Zeng Qingxi (Sichuan University ZY)
Finalists- Wang Jianan and Zhang Shujie (Xi'an Jiaotong University ZW);
Wei Li and Huang Yizhi (Xi'an Jiaotong University HW)

A Moot Court division was also added to the tournament, which introduced students to the rule of law, legal representation, court etiquette, techniques, strategies and competition in a simulated courtroom atmosphere. For more information on the 2010 IDEA China Open, click here.

The Open Society Institute calls for applicants for Policy Fellowship 2010/2011

The Open Society Institute is now accepting applications for the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative (LGI) Policy Fellowship 2010/2011. This program supports policy research aimed at stimulating innovative and practical policy reform in areas that LGI is interested in exploring further. This year's program will run from October 2010 to November 2011.

Each year candidates are chosen from different country groups from Central, East and Southeastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to participate in the fellowship program. Accepted fellows are generally policy researchers, policy advisors, civil servants, and members of NGOs, advocacy groups or professional associations.

The Fellowship Program LGI explores emerging policy issues relevant for the regions where it works. Fellows will work in small teams under the guidance of well-respected mentors to produce policy-oriented studies on a given topic. In addition, the LGI provides fellows with training on how to write effective policy reports, how to identify and analyze available policy options, how to formulate an effective advocacy campaign, and how to deliver a persuasive policy presentation. The conclusion of the program works with fellows to determine what steps it can take to support the proposed recommendations in the completed studies.

For a complete description of the LGI Fellowship Program and to submit your application, click here.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

2010 IDEA Youth Forum participants selected!

We have received applications from 300 interested participants but we unfortunately have space only for 226 debaters and coaches. The criteria for the selection have been publicized at the General Assembly meeting of IDEA NL in December in London as well as on the YF website. This is the ranking the Participants Selection Committee used in order to determine the final list of participants:

1. diversity: at least one team per country (individuals in some cases)

2. cap on 20 individuals per country: there will not be delegations larger than 20 individuals (this number includes debaters, coaches, observers, but excludes staff, board members and trainers)

3. preference will be given to the individuals coming for the whole event: KPDC students will have lower priority than students who want to attend the entire YF.
example: if there are two teams from country A and only one comes for KPDC only and a team needs to be eliminated, it will be the one coming only for KPDC. The rule 1 still takes precedence, meaning if country A brings teams only for KPDC, then one has to be accepted.

4. three teams per institution: if there are still teams that need to be eliminated, then the institution that brings more than three teams will be stripped off of a team.
So if Country A Debate Association or Debate Club registered 4 teams and we still had to eliminate teams, one of the teams from Country A Debate Association would be placed on waiting list.

The above mentioned criteria weren't enough to make the final list complete, so the Participants' selection committee had to evaluate the remaining applicants based on the following criteria:
- motivation and impact that the participation of the given individual is going to bring to the YF and his/her home environment
- opportunity for the individual to take part in and international event (competition and/or workshop) in his area

There were a few exemptions that took precedence over all of these rules:
• The People Speak teams - if interested to come 10 winning delegations have to be accepted
• early registrants have been granted spots irregardless of these criteria (only criteria 1, 2 have been applied)
• participants from institution that attended in the past are granted one place if they register within deadline
• for the KPDC - judges/coaches are exempt from the elimination criteria

List of partcipants' countries selected to attend YF 2010

Here is a list of countries that made it through the selection this year: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana,Bulgaria,Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Palestinian Territory, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA, Zimbabwe.

The waiting list now entails names of 34 individuals who will be asked to participate in case a team or an individual drops out. We are looking into possibilities of enabling more participants to attend at least the KPDC, by providing alternative venues outside of the Navy Facility (sleeping venue) and close to Hogeschool Zeeland (debating venue). If this is possible we will inform all the persons on the waiting list, however it is likely that it will increase the costs of the fee for participation for these individuals, as we received generous support from the Ministry of Defense and we stay in the Navy Facility for only service costs.

If you have any questions or comments to these criteria or their ranking, please do let us know!

On behalf of the Participants Selection Committee

Forum Director