Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sign Up - IDEA Youth Forum 2011

The 2011 IDEA Youth Forum in Istanbul, aka IDEALIST2011 is a two-week summer debate event for high school students and their coaches. It will take place from July 19 to August 1, 2010 in the city of Istanbul.

The event is co-organized by IDEA and Doga Colleges. The workshops will take place in modern and well-equipped campuses of Doga colleges, participants will stay at the Bostanci Greenpark Hotel and the Grand Finals will be held at the most historic parts of Istanbul University - the Beyazit campus.
For more information go to: or contact

Sign Up - IDEA Exchange, Lithuania

International Debate Education Association and Debatai Programa Jaunimiji are organizing another IDEA Exchange in Vilnius: April 15-17th, 2011.

The broad theme of next year’s Exchange is Youth for Open Society. We would like to provide opportunities for young people to engage in discussions on what Open Society is and how they can become more actively involved in the promotion of its values. We would like to explore a few sub-themes during the Exchange: debate, media, social inclusion and diversity.

Just as in previous years, the Exchange will allow participants to participate in workshops and presentations as well as present their own projects, programs and share ideas.

Here is footage from the previous Exchange in Vilnius. We will be uploading a new site for Exchange 2011 and will keep you posted about the developments. In the meantime – if you would like to contribute any ideas to the program and methodology of the Exchange – please contact Marcin Zaleski at

Sign Up - The Global Debates

6 days into the campaign and the number of schools registering is starting to run high! Currently we have 75 schools from 35 countries - and all continents - and we aspire to reach 100 by Monday October 11. Why wait? Help us achieve our goal and register now!

Another good reason to register is that you will be in on the best strategies to earn thousands of points within The Global Debates contest and WIN the grand prize – the trip to the 2011 IDEA Youth Forum in Istanbul, Turkey.

Here are the 10 tips from Veronika, who was in charge of the 2010 IDEA Youth Forum:

1. Start planning early! There is nothing more disappointing than having great ideas and not being able to carry them out because of bad time-management.

2. Brainstorm and go wild! Start with a blank sheet of paper and only the motion written in the center of the sheet. Then let everyone speak for 2 minutes about possible projects, events and ideas they have about how your team can participate in The Global Debates. After everyone is finished do another round expressing opinions about the ideas of others. Finish with a list of possible activities that the whole group would like to do.

3. Make sure you take notes! At the beginning of each 'staff' meeting assign a chair and a note-taker for that session. The Chair should make sure all the points on the agenda for that meeting are discussed in a timely manner and that everyone had an equal chance to speak up. The note-taker should write down the main points as well as conclusion that were discussed at that meeting and should make sure there is a provisional agenda for the next one.

4...more in the Friday's The Global Debates newsletter, which you will receive only by signing up for it here or registering your school here.

Last week we began our search for new partnerships to boost the impact of our campaign. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following organizations for their willingness to help: United Nations Foundation and National Forensics League – USA, Abusua Foundation – Ghana, Africa Youth Trust – Kenya, New Communication Club – Belarus, National High School Debate League – Moldova, Slovak Debate Association (SDA) – Slovakia, Lithuanian Debate Youth Program, Mongolian education association (MEA) – Mongolia, Asocijacija za kreativnu komunikaciju i debatu (ACCD) – Serbia, Verbattle – India, Debate Ghana, Bulgarian National Debate Association (BNDA) – Bulgaria, “Debate in Civil Society” Public Union – Azerbaijan, OSI Tajikistan – Debate Program – Tajikistan, Center of Cultivating Dialogue (CCD ) – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Debate Ghana Association - Ghana, National Debate Council – Uganda, Levizja FOL – Kosovo and Zentrum Polis – Germany.

The most successful partner in reaching out to their schools so far has been: National Debate Council Uganda. We have received 15 registrations from local high schools. Do you want to hear more about how they have succeeded? sign up for TGD newsletter at or register your school.

News - IDEA: Staying Young in Zeeland

IDEA partnered with Scoop and Rabobank to organize a public debate in Middelburg on the 7th of October. The topic of the debate was “How to make Zeeland young”.
This debate was a follow up on the interest in debating and the topic of rural – urban migration generated by the IDEA Forum in Zeeland organized this year.
What makes Zeeland attractive to young people is a huge concern of the Province of Zeeland. Many young people leave the province once they have finished secondary school and do not come back as residents. Discussing and debating this issue is one of the steps directed at addressing it and this is why Scoop partnered with IDEA to promote the awareness of this issue among young people through the means of policy debate.

After a short workshop by IDEA trainers, more than 50 young people debated the pros and cons of life in Zeeland.
Elly Verkley, a consultant of Scoop said: ‘We got a lot of new information from them and what we saw is that these youngsters really liked debate.’
Representatives of sponsors and Dutch bank Rabo were very impressed by the workshops and debate and are thinking of sponsoring more such events.

Feature - Online Debates in Romania

Are online debates a vehicle for quality debates, based on thorough research, conducive to a better understanding of important issues? Or are they sleek but superficial, better suited to a chat-room like discussion? “In our experience, the first version is more plausible” says Bianca Dragomir of ARDOR.

ARDOR's Debate Academy created a community of students using critical reading and knowledge-based debates as tools for civil involvement.
Alongside critical reading seminars on opinion articles from prestigious journals like The Economist and Newsweek, and public debates where students were paired up with Romanian public figures, the program featured online debates.

Dragomir sees great advantage in using the internet. “Online debates are accessible to students interested in debate from all over the country, regardless of their location. It is an obvious medium for people who are used to spending hours online every day. No less importantly, it is cheaper to organize and to administrate than live debates”.

“Online debates are less spontaneous than the offline ones, but they are also more structured, more analytical and better researched, all due to the fact that students have more time to create and evaluate arguments, to dig for better examples and data.”

Style is evaluated and graded, just as it would be in a live debate. Yet in Romania, there is no creative writing in high schools. Online debates give students a unique opportunity to hone their writing skills.

“Students become more aware and responsible regarding the way they use quotations and sources.” notes Dragomir. “Oral debate sometimes gives room for modified quotations or data. This is less likely to occur online, where everything you mention as proof/quote/example is just a one click distance from the judge and the public.”

Now they are ready to do it all again, on a greater scale! Four Romanian cities and centers of higher education – Cluj, Ia?i, Bucure?ti and Timi?oara – will join to discuss the topic they will have voted as their favorite. This exercise will give an overview on how young people understand issues such as migration, ethnic and racial minorities, public/private education, the Romanian health system, depending on their geographic location and cultural differences.

Results - WODC 2010

The 2010 WODC was won by the Czech Republic, who beat New Zealand 4-2 in the final. It was a tight debate on the motion that Social Housing Should Be Assigned In A Way Which Engineers Mixed Race Communities.

It was adjudicated by a top panel of judges including Rose Helens-Hart, Fred Cowell, Loke Wing Fatt, Andy Hume, Tommy Tonner and Anne Valkering.
Congratulations to both sets of finalists and everyone else who took part.

Competition - You’re The Judge

We have a winner! Take a bow, Karl Lall, for giving a perfect answer to my question. Credit also to the runners-up, Lithembe Sebe, Abdul Somed Abdul Basit and Yuriy Gayevskiy.
The problem was: 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.
Karl says: “Debate should not be about using certain words - it should be about ideas and concepts. In a BP debate we value the fact, that the debate does not stand in one place but rather that new arguments are being brought to the table. If the second speaker of Gov 2 has presented two new arguments, then (s)he has fulfilled that role - the debate has been taken further on. The fact that (s)he did not use the words "extention" or "elaboration" or "my new material" or similar, is irrelevant and (s)he certainly does not deserve to be punished for not using a specific word, when (s)he has clearly done what we expect from a 1st speaker of Gov 2.”
Today's challenge is about online debating.

Q3: “In the first round of the World Online Debating Championships, your opponents write a very long and detailed case, linking to dozens of articles and using very difficult technical language that you don't understand. You feel out of your depth and worry that you are going to lose. Should you copy their style? Should you adopt their approach? Or should you do something different?

Answers please to