World Karl Popper Debate Championship

The World Karl Popper Debating Championship is one of the largest high school tournaments in the world, bringing together teams from all five continents to debate on a mix of prepared and impromptu motions connected to the topic of the Youth Forum. The tournament features six preliminary rounds and a break to octo-finals.

The format of the competition is the Karl Popper format, which involves two teams of three speakers. Direct clash between the speakers is provided through a total of four cross-examination periods that take place after the first two speeches for each side. For more information related to the format, click here.

If you cannot find a complete 3-member team, but you would still like to participate, please contact the Forum Coordinator as soon as possible. It is possible to pair incomplete teams together to form an international team competing in the WKPDC.

There are two prepared motions (topics) for the competition. Both will engage with this year's Forum subject, Digital Freedom. The topics are:

  • Actively circumventing Internet censorship is a legitimate foreign policy tool
  • Universities should make all academic work they produce, including scholarly articles, course handbooks and recorded lectures, available to the general public

This is the structure of the competition:

  • Round I  – prepared topic I
  • Round II – prepared topic I
  • Round III – limited-time prep
  • Round IV– limited-time prep
  • Round V – prepared topic II
  • Round VI – prepared topic II
  • Octofinals – limited time prep
  • Quarterfinals – prepared topic I
  • Semifinals – limited time prep
  • Finals – prepared topic II

Round I is randomly drawn. Rounds II-VI are power-paired – i.e., teams face opponents that are as competitively successful in the competition as they are at that point.