Our Direction

We empower young people to become active citizens and informed, critical thinkers, no matter where they're from and what they do. Increasing their capacity for critical thinking, participation, inclusion, and making them more resilient to populism and manipulation is the key in confronting threats to democracy and building a more just society.

IDEA as a Debate Training Center

Developing new ways in which our member organisations can positively impact their communities forms the backbone of our work. 

With support from our member organisations, we are developing a digital training and learning environment for teachers, volunteer coaches, youth workers, and debaters. The e-learning courses, lesson plans, manuals and digital tools we create will help support local, national and international in-person training events and debate tournaments, both in person and online.

We are expanding our capacity to directly support debate-based activities carried out by our member organisations. We aim to support debate tournaments for primary, secondary and tertiary level students, and organise participation activities which help translate debate into active citizenship shaped entirely by the ideas of their participants. We are firm in our belief in IDEA as a supporter, ensuring grassroots ideas can develop without interruption.

Finally, IDEA is commited to transforming debate from a competitive activity limited to elite educational institutions into a tool for learning, developing critical thinking, media and information literacy skills, and inspiring conscious and responsible citizenship available to everyone.

IDEA as a Think Tank

Our unique position in the debate world allows us to serve as a hub for "all things debate", regardless of format or age group. This is why one of our long-term goals is to position IDEA as a debate-oriented think tank. 

To achieve this, we plan on organizing international debate conferences for educators and academics. We want to actively engage in publishing scientific and popular journals based around debate, either through supporting existing ones or through the creation of new ones - we find it crucial to avoid duplicating existing content or drowning out independent content providers. 

Some of the projects we are a part of enabled us to parter up with research institutions and universities in conducting research into the outcomes of debating, and we are looking to expand our participation in similar endeavours.

IDEA as a force for empowering youth, democracy, and human rights

We don't want to debate for the sake of debating. Instead, we want to help translate the numerous benefits debating can offer into concrete impact across different communities .

IDEA should serve as a hub for disseminating innovative concepts of applying debate methodology in everyday life by focusing on deliberative democracy, deliberative polling, public forums, and various other approaches that can utilize the core strengths of debate methodology.

We want to scale up these activities to serve as a bulwark against negative trends in democratic societies and as a support system for emerging democratic societies. 

IDEA as a Capacity Builder

Using our network’s capacity, we aim to work in two directions attempting to build up debate organisations' capabilities.

Firstly, we are committed to create and support close cooperation between our member organisations, using our members’ experience to build up the overall network and assist new and small organisations in expanding their reach, training educators, and find funding opportunities to support their work.

Secondly, we want our network to grow and include developing debate programmes on local and national levels.This direction builds organizational capacity for broader implementation of debate in different new organisations and countries. 

Finally, IDEA serves its members as a fundraising platform. We develop international projects and apply for grants, approach donors, and establish communication with relevant international stakeholders intersted in supporting dialogue, democratic values, and critical thinking.