Monday, November 15, 2010

Debate Park51 and win, win, win

The Park51 debates are starting soon and I know many of you will be thinking why should I spend my precious time and brainwaves on this one particular issue? What's in it for me? Because, dear friends, of the prizes. Lots of lovely, lovely, prizes.

Seriously. Everyone who completes both the two main online debates – one arguing in favor of Park51 being built, one arguing against – will win a gorgeous t-shirt. The best debating teams will win a stunning trophy – one to take pride of place on any mantelpiece. Last, but definitely not least, we’ve got ten signed copies to give away of the fantastic book "New York Masjid: The Mosques of New York City."

Though of course, the ultimate thing you’ll win is invaluable knowledge of how to debate both sides of a controversial argument and how to take other people’s views into consideration, even if you strongly disagree with them.

You can see the prizes here:

So sign up, sign up. You’ll lose a little time but at the very least will gain some extra clothing in return. Plus a boosted brain and I know how the very smart people on this list love one of those.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Global Debates Newsletter November 1

45 days to go! - November 1

Featured in this issue :

  • 15 more days to submit your essay for the IDEA Global Challenge!
  • Stories and updates from the TGD contest
  • News and The Global Debates International Migration Portal!
  • Feature of the week – Organize your public debate!
  • Our partners help us spread the word!
  • Frequently asked questions

15 days to submit your essay for the IDEA Global Challenge! Great rewards for joining in!

Don't forget to submit an essay summarizing the best arguments and evidence you gathered for your public debate on the topic of: Nations of the world should increase protection of the economic and social rights of migrants.
Your essay should present your team’s best arguments for the proposition, the team arguing in favor of the resolution. Aim for 3-5 double-spaced pages. And don't forget to send it to us by November 15!

And what can you win?

  • The prize winning essays will be featured in the next issue of Idebate Magazine and posted on and The Global Debates website
  • The top 10 entries will earn 500 bonus points for the Global Debates
  • the top two Global Debate Challenge Fall 2010 Campaign entries will win 50% fee waiver for the 2011 IDEA Youth Forum, which takes place from July 19-August 1, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Submit your best work and aim for the top prizes!

Stories and updates from the TGD contest
Rebecca Kuhn and her team from Bugil Academy (Korea) played the PlayDecide migration game. Along with her friends, they agreed on adopting the policy nr 3, with the following addendum: Nations must accept immigrants with refugee status defined by the UN. Furthermore individual nations could additionally decide further acceptance of immigrants undefined by the UN such as climate refugees.

Kristen Dupard from Ridgeland High School (USA) submitted her Research Blog on how are Ugandan internally displaced persons recovering from the aftermath of the war between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

“There is a huge number of migrants in the world, in the United States alone there are 33.1 million immigrants, legal and illegal, that seek the “American Dream.” This is the opening sentence of Migrant Action plan submitted by the students from The Grover Cleveland High School (USA). They are in the game for the above mentioned prizes. Are you?

Interesting News and The Global Debates International Migration Portal!
Youth Producing change – film festival organized by the Human Rights Watch brings to life human rights abuses through storytelling in a way that challenges each individual to empathize and demand justice for all people. The festival also issued a call for submission of a Youth Film, so why not make a film and enter both TGD and the Human rights watch competition!

Selected article from our portal:
"A third factor that increases migration’s impact is its feminization: Nearly half of the world’s migrants are now women, and many have left children behind. Their emergence as breadwinners is altering family dynamics across the developing world. Migration empowers some, but imperils others, with sex trafficking now a global concern." Jason Deparle. "Global Migration: A World Ever More on the Move." New York Times. June 26th, 2010
Feature of the week – Organize your public debate!

here are some tips:
1. Choose the audience wisely - it might seem easiest to invite your fellow students, but if the issue is migration you might consider thinking bigger. If you bring together mixed groups it is more likely that media, and public officials will want to attend your event.
2. Choose a good date - think about the most suitable date, when most of your audience will be available. Sundays and holidays might not be the best dates, although it depends on whom would you like to invite!
3. Choose and reserve a venue - it can be school, church , library, public cafe. You should think about where your target group is most likely to come and feel confident to participate. Also think about the size of the space. Make sure the selected venue is available before you send out invitations!
4. Assign the speakers and moderator - be careful to chose your most prepared speakers and confident moderator that will be able to handle the debate and public discussion well.
5. Invite local government officials & other community members
6. Send out press releases to earn media coverage
7. Send out invitations to your event and follow up with them.
8. Make sure your debaters are well prepared by holding a prep-debate at least a few days before the event starts
9. Make sure your venue, speakers and moderator are ready in time
10.Document your public debate - don't forget to circulate a sign-up sheet (required), capture a video footage (optional) and take photographs (required). If you have media present don't forget to follow up with them, so that they mention your name, the name of the school, the name of the event or the name of the project (Te Global Debates).

To get you started with the content please refer to The Global Debates International Migration Portal and our introductory article into the topic, as well as the guide to the Public debate.

Our partners help us spread the word! Help us too and become a partner!

The Global debates and our partners are helping us spread the news about TGD.

OneWorld - Netherlands

Daily monitor – Uganda

Polis e-newsletter 25 (Oktober _ November 2010)

Ecsite - Belgium

Global Changemakers – Switzerland

Yactivist - Thailand

Q. Does the Parent Teacher Student Association (elected) president (leader) count as points? Thank you!
A. Unfortunately no. This is the section of the guide on eligible elected officials:
An elected leader is someone who is chosen by the public community for a position within a local or national government body.

Q. Do we have to organize more than one public debate?
A. No, you are required to organize only one public debate. However in order to collect more points, you are encouraged to organize more of them.

Do you have more questions or remarks? Let us know!

The Global Debates Team

The Global Debates Newsletter October 25

52 days to go!

Featured in this issue :
  • Magic number 200 by November 1!
  • Stories and updates from the TGD contestant
  • The Global Debates International Migration Portal!
  • Feature of the week – The Migrants plan & IDEA Global Challenge
  • New partners of the project
  • Interview with ...
  • Frequently asked questions

Magic number
Up to this date we have 140 institutions from 54 countries registered. In the BigIDEA from October 8 we mentioned that we would like to reach 100 registered schools by October 11 and you helped us make it happen!
We set ourselves a new goal this time. In the next ten days we want to reach the magic number of 200 registered schools! Help us and tell your friends on Facebook, from your neighborhood and other schools to register today!

Stories and updates from TGD Contest:
Some schools put on debates and other activities and they shared it with us already! Do so as well! We have received the first Migrant rights action plan from Ken Rukundo from Namilyango school, who described how rights of Namilyango migrants have to be improved.
The first Blog entry from Yena Oh from Grover Cleveland High School tells a heartbreaking story of an asylum seeker named Fatima from Iraq. She is divorced and waiting for being recognized as refugee, who is in imminent physical danger.
Four schools in Uganda have organized public debates already. One of the debates was attended by about three hundred students and teachers, Chairperson of Human Rights Commission in Uganda and the division councilor of Uganda Human Rights Commission. He also gave a keynote address on the legal framework, legal instruments and the situation analysis on Uganda’s status when it comes to the social and economic rights of migrants.
We are also very pleased ot announce that the Final topic of the National Tournament in Belarus, which will be attended by 40 teams from Belarus and Russia, will be on migrants rights!
Great job guys and please do tell us more! We would like to share it with the rest of the contestants!

The Global Debates International Migration Portal!
This portal at Debatepedia is designed especially for The 2010/2011 Global Debates, so make sure to check the resources, links to the relevant institutions, treaties and the reports. We've also developed a pro/con article for the main fall topic to research the many arguments and quotations involved. Make use of it when preparing for your public debate!
Feature of the week – The Migrants plan & IDEA Global Challenge
Brief information:
what: Migrants plan and the IDEA Global Challenge
deadline: November 15, 2010
submission form: migrant plan
guide here
Extent: Aim for 3-5 double-spaced pages
Points: required plus top ten entries will earn 500 bonus points

To enter the IDEA Challenge, submit an essay summarizing the best arguments and evidence you
gathered for your public debate. Your essay should present your team’s best arguments for the
proposition, the team arguing in favor of the resolution. You are more than welcome to get inspired by the materials, which are presented on the InternationaMigration Global Debates portal. Please remember though that if you formulate arguments only based on these, it might not land you the top 10 chart and the 500 bonus points! Also you may consider to test your plan in practice – by debating it in your practice session or at your public debate. The public, elected officials and your opponents might give you interesting ideas to improve your plan even more!

Every school that wants to qualify for the main prize needs to submit the Migration plan anyway, so why not do it earlier (by November 15), so that you can earn some points for it! Please don't forget to use the appropriate submission form!

Please note that we will be strict with plagiarism. In practice this means that we will not be accepting ANY pieces submitted by you that have been written by someone else without giving that person credit for the writing.

New partners
IDEA would also like to thank the following new partners for their dedication and support: Levizja FOL – Kosovo, Zentrum polis – Politik Lernen in der Schule – Austria, New Vision – Ukraine, The CA-F School – Zimbabwe, European Network of Science Centers and Museums, Doga Colleges – Turkey, PlayDecide – Netherlands, YActivists! - Youth Activists of Thailand.

Interview with Veronika, Forum Director and coordinator of The Global Debates

Here are the 10 tips from Veronika, who was in charge of the “Best Youth Forum we ever had” quote from speech of Noel Selegzi at the closing ceremony 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 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 and their preferences. 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. Chair should make sure all the points on the agenda for that meeting are discussed in 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.Be innovative! Don't copy ideas of others, without giving them the recognition. We want to see your work, not someone else’s! Judges will disqualify the work (essays, blog entries, etc) that plagiarize from other sources.
5.The way to winning this contest is to: organize more than one public debate, invite elected officials and make sure you get covered by local media – online, press and TV!
6.Make sure you read all manuals carefully! In order to be fair to all contestants we need to follow rules, when awarding the points. These rules are specified in each manual at the beginning. If you are unsure about whether your activity will be awarded with points, please contact us at:
7.Meet the deadlines! The deadline for all your activities and for submitting the report forms is DECEMBER 15. There is a special contest – The IDEA Global Challenge, whose deadline is November 15!
8.Organize the events in local language! When organizing your events think about what is the most commonly used language by the people who attend your event. If you end up organizing the events in other language than English, please make sure the summaries and report forms are in English.
9.Use our hashtag #globaldebates! When posting your photos on Flickr and commenting about your TGD events on Facebook or Twitter please use the #globaldebates. That way the whole TGD community can see them on our TGD website.
10.Join our TGD Facebook community! Discuss TGD events and your successes on our Facebook page. It is a good way to get inspired, come up with better ideas and be on top of the news in regards to TGD initiative as well as migration issues.

Q. Is it possible to combine students from more schools?
A. We prefer if the students are from one school, as that is also easier for the participants. However we do understand the difficulty with putting a team together. So we do allow a team to have students from different schools. Please remember that one student cannot be part of more teams!

Do you have more questions? Please check here or write to the Global Debates Team