Our Direction

We empower young people to become active citizens who participate constructively and in an informed critical way in society at all levels. Increasing their capacity for participation, inclusion, and making them more resilient to anti-democratic tendencies makes young people a key element in the fight against the threats to democracy, sustainability and 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. 

This is why we are building towards creating a training environment for teachers, volunteer coaches, youth workers, and debaters, where regular local, national and international in-person training events are supported through digital platforms and courses. In addition to focusing on debate methodology, we are expanding into its practical applications - the development of important soft and transferable skills.

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 IDEA's long-term goals is to position ourselves 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. 


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 community impacts.

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.