About the Forum

IDEA and its partners will host 250 young people from over 40 countries of the world at the 19th edition of it’s annual summer event – the IDEA Youth Forum. The 2013 IDEA Youth Forum is organized by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) in cooperation with the Literary and Debating Society of the National University of Ireland, Galway and the Open Society Foundations – Youth Initiative.  It will take place in August 2013 in Galway, Ireland. This year we will focus even more on increasing the diversity of our flagship event and supporting cultural exchange by offering substantial and diversified financial aid for debaters and coaches from all around the world.

The Youth Forum, through a unique mix of competitive and educational offerings, offers inter-cultural learning to novice and experienced debaters and coaches. High school students are trained by an elite group of international trainers and coaches who teach them not only how to debate more effectively in the context of a tournament, but also how to use these skills to become active citizens through expanding their knowledge base on a specific issue chosen for the year.

Students also get insight on the reality in other countries, through peer to peer learning and facilitated interaction that takes place inside and outside the classroom. They also learn more about the host country through social events and excursions that take place during the Forum.

The diversity of the event helps both the participants and our organization, as we gain exposure to new ideas and perspectives on debating, thus increasing the overall quality of the events organized by IDEA and its partners that field teams and coaches at the event. It also enables us to spread debating in the host country by bringing together the local community with our trainers and exposing debaters and coaches to an excellent international competition.

The IDEA Youth Forum begins with an international competition of 3 member debate teams – the IDEA World Karl Popper Debate Championship. It then continues with small groups’ debate training sessions where students debate in international teams. To suit the differentiated needs of our participants we offer various tracks:

  • the track for beginners (IND);
  • track for non-graduating high school students focused on improving their debate and public speaking skills while fostering inter-cultural understanding through peer-to-peer learning (MTT);
  • track for graduating high school students making transition to the university level debating (BPT);
  • track for coaches, educators and coordinators, who would like to learn and improve their debate coaching and judging skills;
  • and track for learner’s of English, which focuses on using the tool of debate to advance the language capability of its participants.

All students and educators, regardless of level of debating skill and language capabilities, can find a match to immediately boost their debating careers. But they will also become more aware of the global issues affecting their lives and – most importantly – build lasting friendships with people from all over the world.

It’s amazing. I would suggest to anyone that has the chance to attend the event to take part. It has changed my life and the life of my friends. It will change yours. I assure you!
Dani Ilazi, Kosovo (former Youth Forum student, now Executive Director of Levizja FOL)

In the beginning, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I was getting and the diversity,  frankness and intelligence of the participants.  On one hand, they intimidated me, but on the other hand, I was so deeply inspired to grow and to challenge myself for better.
Degi Uvsh, Mongolia (former YF student, now a Streit Council fellow and Mongolian Red Cross Society goodwill ambassador)