WHO 2023: Celebrating Debate and Diversity in Zagreb

WHO 2023: Celebrating Debate and Diversity in Zagreb

The Winter Holidays Open (WHO) 2023, a major European debate tournament in Zagreb, Croatia, showcased talent from 18 countries with 87 teams. Organized by the Croatian Debate Society with 69 international volunteer adjudicators, WHO 2023 emphasized skill development and global dialogue, highlighting debate's role in fostering critical thinking and effective communication among youth.

Winter Holidays Open (WHO) 2023, the largest European debate tournament using the World Schools debate format was held in Zagreb, Croatia, and brought together participants from 18 countries, featuring 87 teams. This year's event was a testament to the spirit of global intellectual engagement, celebrating the art of debate.

The debate team from China emerged victorious at WHO 2023 after a close final debate against team Canada. You can view the whole grand final of Team China vs Team Canda at the end of this post.

In the novice category, it was a team from China again, this time winning against the Slovenian debate team.

"The WHO 2023 was a truly remarkable event," noted Darija Jeger, one of the organizers. "The level of debate was extraordinary, with debaters from all over the world impressing everyone with their thorough research, clear articulation, and adaptability."

Jeger highlighted the importance of debate in developing skills such as critical thinking, effective communication, and understanding diverse viewpoints. "Debate is more than a competition; it's a vital tool for analytical thinking, persuasive communication, and embracing different perspectives," she explained.

"We were thrilled to witness such high-quality debates at WHO 2023," Jeger continued. "It was a clear demonstration of how debate equips young people for a world that values critical analysis and constructive dialogue."

The tournament was made possible by the efforts of 69 international volunteer adjudicators and numerous volunteers from the Croatian Debate Society, all of whom were former participants in their debate program. This illustrates the spirit of active citizenship, where individuals actively contribute to their communities in fields they are passionate about.

The many teams who returned to the first live WHO since 2019, and who as volunteers, coaches or debaters particiapte in debate programs and international debate community showcases the powerful role of debate based youth work in empowering individuals to make a meaningful impact on their communities and the wider world.


Entire tournament tab can be viewed on this link


Debate motions debated at Winter holidays open 2023 (WHO 2023)

  • THBT states should actively promote religion in areas with high poverty (Religion-poverty)
  • THW require major polluter nations to open their borders to climate refugees (Climate refugees)
  • In post-conflict societies, THW prefer political power-sharing agreements over outright democracy (Power-sharing)
  • THW give amnesty to dictators who voluntarily give up power (Amnesty)
  • THW sue news media that knowingly reports lies or which favors only one side when reporting about conflict (Media)
  • THS emotional detachment is the dominant perspective with which medical practitioners should view their patients (Emotional detachment)
  • THW abolished primary and secondary school grades/years that group children based on age, and instead group them based on competency and intelligence (School grouping)
  • THW collect all charitable donations and redistribute them based on the effectiveness of charities (Donations)

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