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What is the IDEA Global Youth Forum?

The IDEA Global Youth Forum is the largest and most important single event organized by IDEA. The Forum is organized in a different country each year and since its first edition in 1995 it has provided unforgettable educational experience to over 2 000 secondary school students from over 40 countries.

The Forum starts with the World Karl Popper Debate Championship (WKPDC). During the tournament, each team has an opportunity to debate for and against a given topic. Advancing through tough competition of 9 successive rounds, the best two teams meet in the Grand Final Round that is displayed in a prominent location (e.g. House of Parliament of a host country) and open to the public and the media.

The hallmark of the Global Youth Forum is the Mixed Team Track (MTT), the pillar that held the event ever since its beginning. After World Karl Popper Debate Championship (WKPDC) organizers divide student debaters into international (or “mixed”) teams, assuring the greatest national and linguistic diversity of each team. The emphasis here is on international cooperation and learning rather than competition.

The glue that holds the pieces together are the social intercultural activities and the trips to explore the beauties of the host country, offered during the day and in the evening. Not only do the participants get to know each other more informally; they often tap on each others energy and creativity and hence produce even greater results than when developing them individually within their own communities.

How is the Forum implemented?

Due to ambitious educational components and the sheer number of participants from so many countries each Forum takes a lot of effort and preparation. The work is divided into stages:

Getting participants:

One of the main objectives of the event is to bring as many and as diverse participants as possible, hence IDEA and the host organization work together to promote the Forum internationally and nationally.

IDEA works together with debate and youth organizations to attract the attention of the youth worldwide. The Participants’ Selection Committee then select participants based on their debating skills, merit and involvement in youth debate programs and communities as well as their English language capacity, so as to maximize the learning experience for all.

We offer a need-based system of financial aid. Based on publicized criteria, IDEA awards help to individuals whose financial situation would otherwise hold them back in taking part in such an event.

Getting the right curriculum and content:

From large pool of applicants IDEA selects an experienced international group of trainers who work together with the Forum Director to develop relevant curriculum for the event. The preparation of the educational materials as well as preparation of trainers of this year’s event is overseen by the Curriculum Committee steered by Dr. Anca Pusca, Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Promotion and building support for the Forum:

As the event is organized under the auspices of VIP and relevant institutions, the event gets promoted via internet as well as personal contacts and national media.

Both IDEA and the local host, fundraise for the Forum to make this opportunity available to youth from all over the world – despite their economic status.

The Forum itself:

The two weeks of the Forum are labor intensive; debaters, coaches, trainers and volunteers work tirelessly to make each Forum a success.


IDEA and its partners maintain contacts with the participants through online communication tools and assist them in implementation of local youth projects. Also the national debate organizations make use of the freshly developed talents by giving them teaching, organizing and recruitment tasks upon their arrival from the event.

How can you help?

The IDEA Global Youth Forum is a not-for–profit event. We actively pursue funding opportunities to provide this unique opportunity to young people all over the world and make sure that all the funds are spent most efficiently and in accordance with international non-for-profit standards and regulations. We offer opportunities for donor organizations and corporate funders to contribute to educating the future generations of global and local leaders. We also offer the opportunity to sponsor specific team from specific country and thereby making sure also underrepresented countries and youth gets their opportunity.

If you would like to support the Forum please contact the Forum Director, Steven Nolan or phone at +44 20 3393 7223