Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WODC semi-finals results

Results are in for the semi-finals of the 2010 World Online Debating Championships. New Zealand beat Greece 3-1 and Czech Republic beat Canada 4-0.

The motions were Patents On Life-Saving Drugs Should Be Bypassed and Minors Should Be Able To Obtain Abortions Without Parental Consent. Despite the apparently clear margin of victory, both debates were very tight affairs.

The final, between Czech Republic and New Zealand, will begin on Monday 27th September. You can follow the debate, vote and comment here: http://debatewise.org

WODC semi-finals results

Results are in for the semi-finals of the 2010 World Online Debating Championships. New Zealand beat Greece 3-1 and Czech Republic beat Canada 4-0.

The motions were Patents On Life-Saving Drugs Should Be Bypassed and Minors Should Be Able To Obtain Abortions Without Parental Consent. Despite the apparently clear margin of victory, both debates were very tight affairs.

The final, between Czech Republic and New Zealand, will begin on Monday 27th September. You can follow the debate, vote and comment here: http://debatewise.org

World Debate Forum

Registration for World Debate Forum now open!

Every year debaters and enthusiasts from far corners and dense centers of the world converge in one spot to compete, debate and celebrate their community. In the short period of time dedicated to determining champions, debaters also explore other challenges - like how to improve adjudication, how to develop debate, sharing methods to raise funds.

There are also those who are use debate outside of tournaments - teachers, advocates, community workers, budding politicians; who look to improve what they do by interacting with other debaters. Given there isn't even enough time during Worlds to fully discuss how to improve Worlds, there definitely isn't enough time to talk about how debate can improve the world we live in.

A few interested people, with the co-operation of Botswana Worlds and IDEA, are organizing the Worlds Debate Forum. It will take place immediately after Botswana Worlds, from the 4th to 7th of January and will be held at a hotel or resort close to the University of Botswana.

The World Debate Forum aims to bring together 3 distinct but related debate communities - the competitive debaters, debaters in advocacy and debaters in education - with the hope that together they will make each other and debate stronger.

The goal is not to run an academic conference and the emphasis is not on publications or journals. The idea is to make easy for people to share ideas, find other people who are interested in the same ideas. To dedicate time to solving problems and finding people who can help you solve problems.

You can also participate online, suggest topics for discussion and register for the forum at www.worlddebateforum.org. Go there now to find out more! Email questions to info@worlddebateforum.com.

EurOpen 2010

A final reminder - you only have until October 1st to register for the EurOpen 2010. The fee is 130 Euro per participant, for a week including not only great debates, but tours and time to explore Tubingen and Stuttgart.

The registration cap is 40 teams so don’t be late. More information on www.europen2010.com.

Announcement : Bickel & Brewer Cup

Calling all international debate teams:

The Bickel & Brewer Foundation and New York University invite you to participate in the 10th annual International Public Policy Forum - the only competition that gives high school students across the globe the opportunity to participate in written and oral debates on issues of public policy!

The IPPF is a free competition for public and private school students. Students compete for more than $50,000 in awards and prizes, and the chance to be one of the final eight teams invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to IPPF Finals Weekend in New York City!

Registration for the 2010-11 IPPF is currently underway. To register, visit www.bickelbrewer.com/ippf.

The registration deadline is October 13. Then begin writing your qualifying round essay on the topic, "Resolved: NATO military operations in Afghanistan are not justified." Essays can be written in the affirmative or the negative, and may be no more than 2,800 words in length.

Essays must be submitted to ippf@bickelbrewer.com by October 27.

The Essay Review Committee will select the top 32 teams. Those teams win cash prizes and immediately begin a single-elimination, written debate round. Teams volley papers back and forth via e-mail, with one team affirming the topic and the other negating it. Judges review the essays in the order they were received and vote for the winning team. This continues for several rounds until the final eight teams emerge.

The final eight teams win an all-expenses-paid trip to IPPF Finals Weekend in New York City for three students and two coaches. There, teams compete in oral debates in front of a prestigious panel of judges. The winning team takes home a $10,000 (USD) grand prize and the "Bickel & Brewer Cup".

Want to learn more? Visit www.bickelbrewer.com/ippf to register, view contest rules, a topic primer and more.

This is your chance to take on the world. Register today!

Feature: Changing Minds

Academia de Dezbateri (The Debate Academy) put The Economist, The European Voice, and Foreign Policy editorials under intense scrutiny, testing what difference public debate can create in the attitudes of an audience.

80 students took part in two online debate rounds and over 5000 visitors took part on the website. After an online debating selection round, the remaining students learned how to depict errors in international journals editorials, one of the primary sources of public information.

In two public debates held in Bucharest, students paired with civil society representatives to argue on two motions :

* New media empowers the citizens of a democracy

* It is justified to invoke tradition in conflicts involving the violation/infringement of civil rights.

“I learnt how to recognize context, premises, the main arguments and, more than anything, to see the sophisms, to de-construct and to reply to them.” said student Maria Tereza Antica. “Now I pay more attention to the articles’ sources and structures and feel more comfortable knowing how to read them.”

Using a voting system similar to that of Parliament, the audience was asked to vote for/against the motion prior and post-debate, to see what difference the exercise had made. Under the slogan “in arguments we trust”, see what a true public exchange of ideas can do: here and here.

“This is just the beginning” says Raluca Bogdan, from ARDOR. “From October 2010 to June 2011, ARDOR will multiply this pilot program fourfold. Students from Timisoara, Iasi, Cluj and Bucharest will debate online, be trained in critical reading procedures and provoke public debates.”

Check out the next Big Idea for more about the craze for online debate - not just in Romania but all over the world.

“The Debate Academy” (www.academiadedezbateri.ro), in partnership with Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, was financed by the European Commission through Youth in Action.

Competition: You’re The Judge

Nobody got the right answer to last week’s teaser! My thanks to those who tried and a slap on the wrist to the rest of you. Here it is again, with my explanation.

Q1: In a British Parliamentary debate, on This House Would Decriminalise Drugs, opening government defines the motion as “western countries should legalise all drugs”. Opening opposition challenges that definition, saying it is unfair because “decriminalise” and “legalise” don’t mean the same thing. Opening opposition takes the line that, rather than decriminalising drugs, governments should legalise drugs. In effect, both sides are arguing for the same policy.

A1: “While there is a difference between ‘decriminalise’ and ‘legalise’, it is a reasonable interpretation. The definition goes even further than the motion, which is the right side of the line on which to err. Opposition are wrong to challenge it, and doubly wrong to argue the line that government should legalise drugs. The judge should accept the definition.”

And now this week’s problem on extensions. Please send your answer to nhsemail@gmail.com. Fame awaits the best response as it will be printed in the next Big IDEA.

Q2: In a British Parliamentary debate, the first speaker of the closing government team is making her speech. She spends several minutes rebutting the opening opposition, then makes two new arguments to further the proposition.

After the debate, a fellow adjudicator says you should penalise her for failing to make an extension. You are forced to admit that she did not use the word “extension”. On that basis, he wants to demote the team from first to second.

You’re the judge - what should you do? who is right? why?

Debatewise - Debates of the week

Debates of the week

With our friends at Debatewise, we have set up some special Big IDEA debates just for you.
Two important upcoming dates in the UN calendar are October 1st, the International Day of Older Persons, and October 5th, World Teachers’ Day.

Inspired by these events, come and debate these motions:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Together in Europe, addressing the needs of marginalized, migrant and minority youth

International Debate Education Association – in cooperation with the Open Society Foundations (Youth Initiative Program: http://www.soros.org/initiatives/youth ) is organizing a 2-day conference (19th -20th November 2010) in Rotterdam aiming at sharing of experiences and ideas about successful methodologies, programs and projects aimed at inclusion of marginalized, migrant and minority youth.
This is the first Conference of this type organized by IDEA and its partners and we are exploring a possibility of making it into an annual event, focusing on similar theme (s) and with time targeting new target groups and institutions (for example local governments, police, media, etc.)

Objectives of the Conference

• To provide opportunities for participants to share relevant experience and expertise from their youth work – with particular emphasis on successful programs and projects and best practices of engaging marginalized, migrant and minority youth;
• To provide short workshop experience in various methodologies – including successful Debate in Neighborhood Program (Debat in de Buurt);
• To brainstorm ideas for future cooperation between youth centered initiatives from across Europe and globally and to lay the foundations for developing a network of institutions, organizations and individuals interested in addressing the problems of marginalized, migrant and minority youth;


The conference is opened to educators (teachers, academics, etc.), youth and social workers, representatives of non-governmental organizations and community- based organizations and groups, youth organizations and youth leaders, representatives of local governments (particularly from departments addressing the problems of youth).
The Conference is opened to participants from the EU - we have already confirmation from participants from the following countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, UK, the Netherlands.


The conference will feature the following approaches and components:

a) presentations – show –casing of programs, projects and best practices – with participants of the Conference being encouraged to present as well as attend presentations;

b) workshops and short training sessions in selected methodologies;

c) plenary sessions and roundtables

For more information about the conference please contact Marcin Zaleski at mzaleski@idebate.org

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

World Bank Open Forum

On October 7-8, the world's financial leaders will be in Washington, D.C., discussing the most pressing issues in the wake of the financial crisis. You’re invited to join the conversation at the World Bank Open Forum, an online event featuring expert discussions, live video and a 24-hour chat-room on three key issues: free and open data, global job creation, and major development challenges.

Join the conversation at worldbank.org/openforum.

Watch the video:

Friday, September 03, 2010

2010 Macedonia Open invites debaters to participate in 8th annual tournament

The Macedonian Debate Association, part of the Youth Educational Forum (YEF), is proud to announce the annual international debate tournament “Macedonia Open.” The eighth happening of this wonderful debate experience will take place in the beautiful city of Ohrid, Macedonia between September 24th and 26th, 2010. This year’s resolution is the following: “Europe can achieve energy independence by 2020.”

Registration for the tournament is still open, so ensure your spot today! Register your team online at YEF’s official website and complete the application form on the following link: http://www.mof.org.mk/index.php?sodr=macedoniaopen. Remember, the number of teams is limited and there is a cap of two teams per country. The participation of a third team will be possible if additional places are available.

For further questions, contact the event coordinator, Katerina Vaskovska, at katerina_vaskovska@mof.org.mk.

Registration now open for IDEA-CAU Tournament in Korea

The 2010 IDEA-CAU Tournament, sponsored by the International Debate Education Association and Chung Ang University, will be held October 2-3, 2010 in Seoul, Korea. As of September 1st, registration for this tournament is now open!

The IDEA-CAU Tournament will be a pro-am British Parliamentary tournament, which means that at least one of the two members on a team should be an amateur debater. To qualify as an amateur debater, you cannot have broken at any tournaments including all international toiurnaments, KNC, KHSDC, KIDA mini-tournaments, and the ADI tournament. All composite teams can break, and you do not have to be a university student to register!

To register for this tournament, click here.

Register soon! This tournament will cap at 32 teams. For more information, email the tournament convener, Steve McCarthy at smccarthy@idebate.org. For tournament updates, visit the Idebate Korea website.

2010 WODC second round results official and third round wraps up

The second-annual World Online Debating Championship moved into the third round this week with eight teams facing off to progress in this international tournament. Each day this week, from Monday August 30th through Thursday September 2nd, featured a different pairing of teams including Macedonia vs. Greece, New Zealand vs. Botswana, Canada vs. India, and Czech Republic vs. Mongolia.

Congratulations to these eight teams who won their rounds from Monday August 16th through Thursday August 19th during the second round. To view these past debates and the progression of the WODC, click here.

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 WODC Facebook page.