Debating is often seen as a competitive activity associated with elite academic institutions. IDEA is where it transforms into an accessible learning and teaching method perfectly suited for critical thinking development and encouraging active citizenship.  




Debating is a unique activity. It teaches you how to develop convincing, substantiated, and logically sound arguments. It helps you understand what makes arguments weak and how to pick them apart. Crucially, unlike other disciplines in the realm of public speaking and rhetoric, it makes you discuss polarizing topics without being able to choose a side. In the world of increasingly more distant echo chambers, debating is the one activity that necessitates its practitioners to examine different points of view, rewards careful research, and encourages keeping an open mind.

It is also inaccessible. Historically associated with elite and often private academic institutions, the complex landscape of debate programmes today includes an ever-growing offer of private tutoring and for-profit options. Organisations such as our members offering non-profit programmes have to heavily rely on volunteer work. They have a hard time expanding their reach and meeting the demand for accessible debate activities.  

This is where IDEA comes in. Our core work is to provide support to debate organisations and individuals dedicated to removing barriers to access. Be it through increasing organizational capacity to deliver high quality debate programmes or helping teachers use debate-based methods in their subject areas, IDEA strives to ensure that as many young people as possible have access to avenues to express and test their views and learn more about difficult topics.


How do we fit in all this? 

Active effort to promote human welfare is a common denominator of all the areas of involvement IDEA takes part in. Since it is a critical part of a democratic society, our role corresponds with current trends: supporting or starting civic dialogue dedicated to broad engagement and open discussion, as a form of expressed public desire. 


Our endeavours in advancing education and promoting critical thinking contribute to the fight for equal distribution of material and non-material goods. We are persistent in bringing the issues of the marginalised, neglected and fragile parts of society to the public sphere. 


We are reaching out to organisations that promote and support effective philanthropy. We want our goals to be realised in an established time frame with the help of various foundations that play a very important part in fulfilling public needs and maintaining social responsibilities.


In a vast field of possible grants and donations, our task is to focus the funding direction towards the key areas of our mission: supporting youth participation and fostering democratic practices, strengthening global citizen identities, promoting human rights through inclusion and anti-discrimination programs, advocating for and improving citizenship education with particular focus on tackling threats to democratic governance, and promoting debate both as a tool and methodology of empowering young people to learn, live and work more successfully. All that by using our knowledge, experience and skills to make an impact, no matter how small.