Friday, July 30, 2010

First week of Youth Forum keeps participants busy with competition and activities

The 2010 IDEA Youth Forum in Zeeland has officially opened! We are happy to announce that all 275 participants from 42 countries arrived safe, sound, and bright eyed for their debates. A shout out to the Dutch Naval Facilities for putting up with a couple hundred unruly students and coaches.

The epic two weeks kicked off with Dutch-Zeeland culture night in the Naval Facilities. Following words of wisdom and warm wishes to enjoy by Veronika, participants were privy to a parade of traditional Dutch aesthetics in a traditional 19th century Dutch fashion show. As with any party, we munched on blocks of cheese, sausage, fried balls of potato stew (Bitterballen) and other traditional local products of the Netherlands.

Also adhering to tradition, the Karl Popper Debate Competition kicked off with its opening highlight: the demo debate (watch it here). This year, trainers from countries of Southeast Asia, Greece and South Africa soundly schooled the European team of trainers. Debating on the motion, “Parents should be allowed to pay for international adoptions,” the debaters engaged in a heated discussion of whether or not the current adoption system would be worsened or helped by adding payment for the child in various adoption steps. When asked, the last speaker on the negative side, Manos said, "yeah, I'd probably vote for the affirmative. But, you know, I haven't seen the debate".

On Friday July 23rd, the Karl Popper Debate Championship kicked off with the two rounds that dealt with the extended preparation motion which was, “Countries should ban the import of goods produced by child labor.” All teams debated both sides of the motion that was given to them in February. As a result of their preparation, the debaters used facts, research and statistics to make their arguments stronger. However, they were then required to debate the two limited preparation motions for which they had only 45 minutes to prepare. These were, “Teachers should be allowed to use physical force to discipline their children” and “Parliaments should reserve 10 percent of their seats for people under 30.” These motions were selected by the tournament motions committee led by the Chief Adjudicator Andrej Schulcz. After the first four rounds, teams debated the second extended preparation motion that was “In some cases, juveniles should be tried as adults.”

The debates were adjudicated by the trainers from the Youth Forum and the coaches of the participating teams. When asked what makes a successful tournament, Andrej told us that “the discussion between adjudicators and the exchange of opinions about our format, our expectations and our judging standards are the basis of a quality adjudication pool for every debating tournament, and I am very happy with the way our judges have performed their role in the preliminary rounds of the tournament”.

On Saturday July 24th, students and coaches kicked it in downtown Vlissingen in reward for their hard work. Some let their hair down at the amusement park, some braved the cold Dutch summer nights at the beach, and some just parked it at the bars.

If you are interested to see more, check out the picture section. If there are debates in progress you can watch them live via our livestream channel. To watch the videos later, go to the Blip TV channel to watch them later. You can follow the latest updates on IDEA Youth Forum by following the official hashtag #IYF10 or by becoming a fan of IDEA’s Facebook page.

Last of all - the suspense is off now - the 2010 Youth Forum theme song is the notoriously known Captain Jack by Captain Jack! Stay tuned for stories from the first night out in the next newsletter...

~Organizational Committee of the 2010 IDEA Youth Forum in Zeeland

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