Become a member

IDEA is a membership organisation. We are here to support local and national debate organisations in delivering high-quality debate programmes, expanding their reach, and cooperating internationally.

Join IDEA network and

Promote debate-based learning as a tool for empowering young people to think, live and work more successfully, highlighting the importance of democratic educational process and participative learning;

Enhance critical thinking and develop transferable skills to prepare young people for the challenges of the modern world;

Support youth participation and fostering democratic practices through empowering young people for civic engagement and advancing the dialogue between decision-makers and citizens;

Enhance the development of active citizens and global citizen identities through debate-based initiatives that equip young people to shape their future and become informed, active global citizens;

Promote freedom of speech as a fundamental right, empowering young people to express their views and opinions without fear of censorship or retaliation

Promote human rights through inclusion and anti-discrimination programs, giving voice to youth with fewer opportunities;

Advocate for and improving citizenship education with a particular focus on tackling threats to democratic governance through direct citizenship education programs supported by IDEA and carried out by our members.

Idea membership structure

IDEA’s Statutes recognise membership of two types of debate organisations.

  • Network debate organisations or national debate programs which, as umbrella organisations, work with many debate clubs/schools in their countries/regions.
  • Debate organisations or other entities who do not necessarily work with large numbers of debate clubs but are working on implementing debate methodology and in line with IDEA’s values.

IDEA has a two-tiered membership system, a voting and a non-voting member. All organizations accepted into IDEA membership are assigned non-voting status for two years, no matter their size.

After being a non-voting member for at least a year and attending at least one yearly General Assembly Meeting, non-voting members that fulfill the statutory criteria can apply to become a  voting member.

In line with the IDEA Statutes, the decision on changing an organisation’smembership status from non-voting to voting is made by the Board of Directors by a majority vote and in line with the criteria set out in the IDEA Statutes, and after consulting the voting members of the IDEA General Assembly.

Beyond these formal categories, IDEA is a network, broader than just our membership. IDEA offers the opportunity to partner with other like-minded organisations and individuals, to collaborate on projects supporting the development of new applications for debate methodology. We also work as a network to secure resources our members need to create change using debate methodology, whether working with general society or with elementary, secondary, and higher education students.

Are debate organizations or similar entities that are actively involved in the field of debate methodology but do not have voting rights within the organization. These organizations are recognized and affiliated with IDEA, contributing to the promotion and advancement of debate education and practice.

Are debate organizations or national debate programs which meet certain criteria, as detailed in our Statutes. Together, they form the General Assembly (GA) of IDEA, IDEA’s principal governing body.

More information

Please review this document and consider your mebership application! 

Membership info

Join us

Fill out this application form to apply for IDEA membership

Mebership form

Everyone involved in debating in any capacity fully understands how deeply transformative it can be for young people, and just how positive of an impact it has on them personally and professionally. However, maintaining accessible debate programmes is too often an uphill battle.

At IDEA, we are doing our best to help debate organisations everywhere with capacity building, fundraising, and providing the space for networking and establishing international cooperation.

In addition to training for staff, debate coaches, debaters, judges and teachers, we run the IDEA Youth Forum, the largest annual gathering for experts who work in debate education, and are in the process of building an online debate learning environment with courses for debaters, coaches, trainers, and teachers. 

Many of our projects, with member organisations as partners or coordinators, are designed to to expand our view of debate as a competitive activity towards debate as a pedagogical approach with many practical applications - for example, a methodology suitable for teaching media and information literacy, or gaining a deeper understaining of the green transformation and sustainability as opposed to greenwashing. The possibilities are many, and all focus on using debate as a vehicle towards active and informed citizenship.  

We are interested in expanding our reach, supporting more debate programmes, and providing more young people with access to the activity that unequivocally changes lives for the better. 

If you want to see your organisation grow, and join other debate organisations in making debate more accessible, contact us. We are looking forward to working together.