Advancing quality of debate organisations during Debate exchange

Advancing quality of debate organisations during Debate exchange

European debaters unanimously support the establishment of a European Schools Debating Championships (EuroDSDC). The proposed tournament would combine a showcase of debate excellence with strong aims to support inclusion for debate in Europe. This event, the first to award the title of European champion on a secondary school level, would be held annually in February or March, with hosts for the first three editions already expressing an interest to host.

EuroSDC was the focal point of many discussions, but not the only example of collaboration at the Exchange. This annual event excels at bringing together youth workers involved in the debate and helping them find a platform for collaboration. Debaters with strong knowledge of IT banded together to form a community looking at sharing and advancing digital tools for learning and project management. Organizers from different parts of the continent developed innovative new ideas, with burgeoning consortia from Spain and Italy to Slovenia and The Netherlands looking at setting up projects to strengthen feedback processes in debate. We also learned about use of debate to fight polarisation and populism, leaving 25 participants equipped to hold trainings in their own debate communicates about this issue.

Beyond collaboration, the Exchange emphasised the importance of skills-building in its participants. With workshops combining insights from three tracks, over 60 participants built their curriculum, combining insight from project management, pedagogy and training, and fundraising. These 65 individuals follow in a near-decade long tradition: this was the sixth exchange, only punctuated by the global pandemic. Alumni of this event have been involved in hosting some of the largest volunteer-run events in Europe, including European and Worlds Universities Debating Championships. 

The Exchange was hosted in Bratislava, Slovakia from August 26th to September 2nd. The event was organized in cooperation with our IDEA member Slovenska Debatna Asociacia (SDA), which runs one of the largest informal youth programmes in the country, with a strong focus on rural-urban outreach. This project was made possible through a co-financing grant under the Youth Accreditation of Erasmus+ for 40 participants and Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme (CERV) for 28 participants.


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