Friday, August 27, 2010

Deadline to submit to next Idebate magazine extended to September 1st

Have any IDEA news? The deadline to submit your event stories for inclusion in the next issue of Idebate Magazine has been extended to September 1st.

Remember that everything in Idebate is submitted by readers, so we need your content. We want coverage of programs in your countries, accounts of IDEA events, or anything else you think other debaters would be interested in reading. Even if you’re short on time, you can at least send us a photo!

This is going to be a very exciting issue, as we look back on events such as Youth Forum, kick off programs like The Global Debates, and provide coverage from countries all over the world. You will even get the chance to read top-notch opinions and journalism pieces and written by debate and media students.

If you have any ideas or questions, or you would like to submit an article, email me at

If I haven’t heard from you yet, I hope to soon,

Isabel Patkowski
Idebate Guest Editor

International Committee of the Red Cross launches young reporter competition

In an effort to give young people a stronger voice concerning today's most pressing humanitarian issues – from mass displacement caused by war to the lifelong and devastating impact of landmines – the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is launching a global "young reporter" competition, aimed at enabling people between the ages of 18 and 25 to better understand how violence affects young lives and share their views on armed conflict with others.
Each of the four winners of the competition will be invited to travel to a country that has been affected by armed conflict – Georgia, Lebanon, Liberia or the Philippines – where they will be able to talk with other young people who have lived through fighting or suffered its consequences. Each will be hosted by an ICRC delegation and will have the opportunity to see activities run by the ICRC and/or the National Red Cross Society in the country concerned. In addition, the young reporters will receive coaching on writing about humanitarian issues from ICRC experts.

At the end of their week-long visit, each winner will be expected to produce a "story from the field," which will be presented at a special event next year in Geneva on World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, which takes place every year on May 8th.

To be eligible, applicants must have strong communication skills. They should be interested in youth issues, have a desire to do something that will have an effect on people's lives, and have done voluntary work related to social or humanitarian services. Aspiring young reporters must submit an article, photo essay or short video on a humanitarian challenge of their choice. Entries will be judged on the basis of editorial quality, originality and relevance. Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 25, have a valid passport and should be available for travel in January or February 2011. Submissions are encouraged from young adults in all nations.

The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2010. The winners will be notified by November 1, 2010. For full entry details, please go to competition.

For further information, please contact Anna Nelson, ICRC Geneva, telephone: +41 79 217 3264.

National Debate Team of Romania shares their process of selection

The selection of the national debate is undoubtedly the most important event that a debater can attend. It takes place once or twice a year, with the purpose of selecting five team members to represent our country at the Worlds Schools Debate Championship.

For candidates to qualify for the selection, each is expected to send a researched document on a certain topic, a letter of intent and a CV. The files that the candidates send should contain information about themselves and why they would like to participate, as well a thorough analysis of a motion that is set roughly a week before the selection. This time, the motion was “This house believes that we should never negotiate with the leaders of Iran.”

The judges then narrow down the likely participates to 12, from which 5 will make up the chosen team. The candidates then compete against each other in several rounds of impromptu motions and are organized into randomly chosen teams A, B, C and D. Then, each team plays a match against each of the other ones, so in the end each team plays a total of three matches.

The two days of selection are full of emotion, tension, eagerness, frustration and even anger. But if you learn to bottle up these feelings, they will change into satisfaction and pride at the end, when you will hear your name called out among the winners! It takes some suffering to achieve satisfaction and that’s unarguably true, but I can promise you, it's worth it!

Theodora Dragan
Member of the Romania National Debate Team 2011

To read Theodora’s full description of the selection process of the Romania National Debate Team, click here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

2010 World Online Debating Championship progresses to second round

The second annual World Online Debating Championship is now underway! This week, sixteen teams from across the globe moved into the second round of the 2010 WODC as they debated several topics online.

Teams in the second round include USA 2 v Macedonia, Greece v Pakistan, Mexico v New Zealand, Australia v Botswana, Latvia v Canada, Colombia v India, Mongolia v Ghana and USA 1 v Czech Republic. Click on each team pair to view their debate.

Hosted by Debatewise and IDEA, the competition invites national teams from every corner of the globe to debate against each other about important issues facing the world today. For more information, visit the WODC website or Facebook page.

Complete list of Youth Forum winners released and 2011 location announced

Congratulations to all the winners at the 2010 IDEA Youth Forum tournaments! The full results, including tournament winners and best speaker awards, are listed here.

The champions of the Karl Popper Debate Championship are members of Team Lithuania, followed by the runner-up team from the UK. Also, congratulations to Steven Rajavinothan (UK), Jakub Langr (Desceptatio Incapax), and Daniel Bregman (UK), who won the top three KPDC best speaker awards.

The Mixed Team Track tournament was won by Mojmir Stehlik, Subhi Khoury, Bram Wasti and Alexander Bondarau from team Rh1nos. The best speaker award went to Diana Li (Team United), second place was awarded to Jihwan Chang (So Not Sarcastic team), and third place went to Emma Smith (Muffinsss team).

The British Parliamentary Tournament was won by Andrei Petre-Melinte and Ioan Nascu from Romania. The top three speakers of the tournament are Dovile from team Trotsky, Kaspar from team Trotsky, and Calin from team Lady and Tramp.

The Spirit Award, recognizing the participant that fostered a positive, encouraging and respectful spirit of the Youth Forum, was awarded to coach Radu Cotacea from Romania and debater Abdulkader Elyas from Botswana, with a special mention to Ethan Sheffield (USA).

From the Coaches and Judges Track, Mihail Fridman from Belarus was recognized for being proactive and involved and was ready to learn more at all times. From the International New Debaters track, Yordan Yordanov (Captain Jack’s team) was recognized as he ranked highest of all former IND track members in the Mixed Team Tournament best speaker results.

Also, the location of the 2011 Youth Forum has been announced! Next year’s forum will be held in Istanbul, Turkey July 19th - August 1st. For more information, visit the official Youth Forum website.

Register for the tenth annual International Public Policy Forum

The law firm of Bickel and Brewer and New York University proudly announce the tenth annual International Public Policy Forum (IPPF), the only contest that gives high school students across the globe the opportunity to participate in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.

This international contest is open to all public and private schools for free. High school teams compete for National Forensic League points and more than $50,000 in awards and scholarships. In addition, the top eight schools win all-expense-paid trips to the finals in New York City!

Interested in participating? Work with your debate coach or English teacher to organize your team. Go online to to register your team before October 13, 2010. Then, your team will prepare a qualifying round essay on the 2010-11 IPPF topic, “Resolved: NATO military operations in Afghanistan are not justified.”

The top 32 teams all earn cash awards, and will be announced on November 10, 2010. These teams will then compete in elimination rounds until the competition is narrowed down to the final eight teams. These teams will win trips to the IPPF Finals April 8-10, 2011 in New York City. The winning team will take home a $10,000 grand prize ($5,000 for the school and $5,000 for team members) and the “Bickel and Brewer Cup.”

For more information, visit the IPPF website.

Friday, August 13, 2010

IDEA seeks Southeast Asia Program Coordinator

The International Debate Education Association (IDEA) announces an open call for applications for a local full-time position of Southeast Asia Program Coordinator. The position is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand and begins immediately.

The Program Coordinator for this office will be based in Chaing Mai, Thailand, and responsible for:
  • Managing a regional debate program
  • Managing a grant-giving program called Youth Action Fund (Thailand)Organizing debate-related events
  • Making site visits to set up local infrastructures for programs
  • Coordinating debate workshops
  • Supervising the development and translation of debate education materials into local languages
  • Communicating with other IDEA offices and staff
  • Assisting with additional events when necessary
  • Thai nationality
  • Fluency in Thai (speaking and writing)
  • Fluency in English (speaking and writing)
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Strong public speaking skills
  • Debate training experience strongly preferred
  • Flexibility and willingness to travel on short notice
  • Excellent communication, networking, and social skills
  • Ability to work independently and in teams
Application Procedure
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Alisa Keetanitinun at We will begin considering a applications on 15 August 2010 and will until the position is filled.

IDEBATE Press releases first text in Spanish

This month, IDEBATE Press will release Tolerancia crítica y ciudadanía activa: una introducción práctica al debate educativo (Critical Tolerance and Active Citizenship: a Practical Introduction to Educational Debate), which offers educators a hands-on guide for implementing debate practices in classrooms and non-formal educational settings.

The work consists of a series of 15 sessions devoted to specific aspects of debating. Topics include: general characteristics of debate formats, public speaking, creating debate resolutions, argumentation, reasoning and fallacies, preparation of cases, taking notes, formulating questions, and judging debates.

Each session includes tips for facilitating introductory debate training and exercises to put learning into practice. The work includes activity and resource sheets for students as well as an appendix with a sample debate.

Tolerancia is available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available in the store soon.

Contribute to the next idebate magazine

Hello readers!

It’s been a little over a week since the Youth Forum ended, which means that it’s time to put together IDEA’s semiannual publication, idebate.

I'm writing now to remind you that everything in idebate is submitted by readers, and that we need your content! Many of you who were at Youth Forum have submitted accounts of your time there. Please, please, please continue to do so (photos, embarrassing or otherwise, are welcome). However, we also want to make sure that we report on all the important events that occurred this year, and that we also have submissions from individuals who did not attend the Forum. Whether you want to share reflections on The Global Debates, an account of the World Online Debating Championship, or an update on debate in your home country, we want to hear about it. Most importantly, we want to share it with everyone else in IDEA.

But we need your contributions soon. Submissions for the next issue of idebate are due in a little over a week, on Sunday, August 22. If you have any questions or want to discuss ideas, you can email me at Also, if you’re a Youth Forum participant who would like to contribute but is worried about meeting the deadline, let me know, and you can participate in an exclusive interview (!) about your time there.

Please submit anything you would like to see in the magazine to the same email address,

I hope to hear from you soon!

Isabel Patkowski, idebate Guest Editor

Friday, August 06, 2010

Participants depart from the Netherlands as another successful Youth Forum concludes

This week, the sixteenth-annual IDEA Youth Forum came to a close in the Province of Zeeland in the Netherlands. On the evening of August 3rd, the 260 participants, which included debaters, coaches, and trainers, all said farewell to each other at the 2010 closing ceremony.

The 2010 Youth Forum began on July 22nd, and for the two and a half week duration of the event, students and educators developed their debating and public speaking skills through a series of classes about debate and this year’s forum debate topics. Debaters then utilized their new skills and knowledge to compete in debate tournaments. And, as another Youth Forum has concluded, the winners of this year’s tournaments have also been recorded in history.

The Karl Popper Debate Championship (KPDC) finals took place on Monday, July 26th, as debaters vigorously competed for the prestigious traveling KPDC trophy. The UK team on the affirmative and the team from Lithuania on the negative debated the topic, “In some cases juveniles should be tried as adults.” In the end, Lithuania won the debate, and took home the tournament trophy. Congratulations Lithuania! Click here to see the full results. Watch video coverage of the KPDC final debate here.

The Mixed Team Tournament (MTT) finals took place on the last day of the forum, which was followed immediately by the closing ceremony. The elimination for the Quarterfinals came down to four fun team pairings: MIBU vs. Muffinssss, So Not Sarcastic vs. UKAR, Team United vs. Kings, and USK vs. Rh1nos. These teams debated the topic, “Governments should preserve rural life.” Look for the finals results and video coverage of this tournament to be posted soon!

The 2010 IDEA Youth Forum was co-organized by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) and Zeeland’s Institute for Social and Cultural Development (Scoop), in cooperation with the municipalities of Middelburg and Vlissingen, the Hogeschool Zeeland and the Roosevelt Academy. The forum is organized in a different country each year and since its first edition in 1995, it has provided an unforgettable educational experience to over 2,000 students from over 40 countries. For more information, visit the Youth Forum website.

Winner of the Debatabase survey announced this week!

Congratulations to the winner of the Debatabase survey drawing, a university student in China, who won a $50 giftcard to And thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. Your input will help us improve Debatabase, making it more accessible and interactive.

More next week on the results of the survey!

Democrats vs. Republics, just one of the many topics on Debatepedia

For the past week, we’ve been working on the debate article, Democrats vs. Republicans. It’s pretty good, as in excellent. I’ll also be doing a couple of YouTube videos on this soon. As with every new topic on Debatepedia though, it could use further development, especially the introductory “background” section. Have a look, enjoy, give an edit and leave some feedback!

Also, have a look at the Debate Digest Cue to see some upcoming topics that we’ll be working on that currently have very little or no content. Topics on Debatepedia range from categories of politics, morality, law, economics, culture, the environment and more.

Debatepedia is the “the Wikipedia of pros and cons.” Its mission is to “clarify public debates and improve decision-making globally.” Debatepedia is a project of the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) and is also endorsed by the National Forensic League. It utilizes the same wiki technology powering Wikipedia to engage you and other citizen editors in clarifying public debates by centralizing them into a single pro/con encyclopedia.

~Brooks Lindsay, Founder of Debatepedia