Società Nazionale Debate Italia

Società Nazionale Debate Italia is a non-profit association, born in 2019, in the framework of the second edition of the Italian Debate Olympics (March 2019), called by the Italian Ministry of Education and, University and research (MIUR).


SNDI’s main purpose is social and cultural promotion, as by its statute: SNDI aims to promote and develop the dissemination of Debate, as a contribution to the growth of active citizenship and as a teaching practice, following the goals and means established by arts. 5 and 6 of the statute itself. In doing so, it operates through its Central Bodies on the national territory: SNDI is the point of reference for schools, institutions, associations and individuals focused and interested in the development of Debate practices. The 4 regional sections (the number is increasing) of the association constitute a fundamental connection with municipalities and public entities on a local scale. Società Nazionale Debate Italia maintains a dialogical interaction with the national network We Debate (to which more than 200 schools take part) and with the ministerial project Debate Italia.

The added value of SNDI, vis-à-vis the previously existing projects, is its ability to actively enter the civil society, allowing individuals to become active parties in promoting Debate in all fields of society, even outside the educational framework. SNDI also set itself as a dialogue and project partner for other associations and institutions. In particular, SNDI is composed by more than 1000 individual members, and is actively working with national and international institutions, both public and private, in order to build and realize different kinds of projects involving Debate activities: one for all, the Italian Youth Championship, which received in both its editions the approval and support of European institutions. SNDI is a point of reference not only for the development of Debate practices, but also for the promotion of research activities and academic studies on Debate. It can claim to cooperate not only with the Italian Ministry of Education, but also with one of the most important university in Europe, Politecnico in Milan: the result of this cooperation has been the creation of the first Italian MOOC to introduce debate in schools; the massive on-line class that followed, was attended by more than 1300 teachers and professionists.

An important feature of SNDI, already mentioned, is the focus on individuals: volunteers (including students and former students, active and retired teachers…) are very important to the association, and the attention that SNDI is willing to give to individuals is one of the reasons why no legal entity is a member of it.

Despite the absence of “formal” Clubs, in the framework of Società Nazionale Debate Italia two teams have been created: the National Team U19 and the Elite National team, respectively composed by the best high school and university debaters. Members of both teams, coming from different schools and regions, are chosen through selective proceedings and have the chance to represent SNDI and Italy in international competitions. But even for those who don’t make the national teams, SNDI stands out for its initiative in organizing events (such as Debate Academies, debate events in universities and schools…) and for its formative and educational impact: the association supports the publication of manuals, organizes training courses and webinars with different targets and specific topics. Outside the educational and competitive field, SNDI wants to introduce Debate practices in other areas of the civil society: the project Cultura e Impresa, alongside the several workshops organized with professionals’ associations, are examples of how Debate can be used in the workplace.


As young as it is, Società Nazionale Debate Italia brings together a great legacy: it reflects the philosophical, rhetorical and juridical culture, that finds in Debate the best mean of confrontation, dialogue, argumentation, confutation and persuasion; it embraces the experience made in Italian schools, moving from the traditional distinctions between classical and technical studies, level of education. it revives the Debate experience outside schools, and opens up to international experiences, while believing that the ability to understand, communicate and support one’s idea is not a gift of nature or a competence only for a few. SNDI’s recent history, therefore, is a story of continuity and projection towards the future, with the final goal to build a thinking community, in which both young and not-so-young persons care for the common good, starting with a conscious participation from individuals, on important systems of values involving the civil society, ethics, politics.


  • viale Stelvio 173, 21052, Busto Arsizio (VA), Varese - Lombardy, IT
  • 3277113171