World Debate Forum – Updates And Changes

Posted on December 1, 2010



We are 5 weeks away from the forum – it’s time for some updates! There is still space for participants/presenters – and always space for suggestions!

The information below is also available on the front page of and is also available for download

World Debate Forum – Updates and Changes.pdf

We’re finalizing arrangements with a lodge just outside Gaborone. We are in negotiations with sponsors because the venues we want to use (comfortable but not flashy lodges closer to a wildlife etc) cost more than what we can raise in registration fees. In the worst case scenario, the event will be hosted on campus and we’ll use the registration fees to help you feel comfortable.

Presentations and Discussions
We’ve re-organized the event schedule to be more flexible. We will now have 4 broad Presentation and Discussions sessions that will feature both open discussions and structured presentations, elegantly weaved into each other. Each session will have its own theme and be moderated by one or more invited moderators. They will present some topics on the theme, create discussions and slot in presentations.

The late afternoons will be used for smaller break-away sessions and focus groups, or a extension of the morning sessions.

We’ve extended the deadline to submit ideas (Presentations, Meetings or just interesting topics to discuss). Please submit ideas by the 10th of December. You can just rock up to forum and contribute from the floor but we cannot guarantee there will space / time for an entire presentation. So send in your submissions now-now!

To submit a presentation or idea – visit now!

Non-Presenting Participants
The lodge we are looking at has a smaller capacity than the 100 people that we were initially targeting – it might come down to something 40 or 50 people. That means that space is now really limited. If you tell us AT Worlds that you want to go, we might not have space for you.

Registration at the forum costs 100 USD and will cover your accommodation and some meals. We are trying to stretch that as much as possible, but if you online for what lodges cost in Botswana (or even compare that to what you will be paying for 9 days at Worlds) – you will see it’s very very cheap. It’s very likely future forums will have to cost more.

If you want to attend the forum, please sign up on the website at . You will then receive instructions on how to make payment.


4th January
Evening registration and check in – this will happen at 5pm. Simple opening ceremony and briefing, followed by welcome drinks and a chance to get to know each other

5th January
9am to 12pm – Competitive Debate – Discussions and Presentations This event will be moderated by Logan, Chief Adjudicator Worlds 2005 & 2011 Competitive debate tournaments are often the first place someone gets exposed to academic debate. There are issues of logistics, fairness, growth management but also philosophical issues – do these events have an obligation to develop debate communities or should should the only criteria be running an efficient tournament? Are there any ethical or ideological rules to setting topics at these tournaments? Given the diversity of the participants, should we limit some elements of free speech (in the form of a code of conduct perhaps) to protect the ability of others to freely express themselves?
Potential Topics
Creating fairer registration processes – How do tournament organizers manage the increased demand to attend, with a need to ensure representation, diversity and competitiveness?

Power Matching and Ranking Metrics

12 to 1 – Lunch Break

1pm to 4pm – Debate and Advocacy – Discussions and Presentations This event will be moderated by Alex Dukalskis, Director, IDEA USA Debate is playing a bigger and bigger role in developing new societies, sometimes even where it is not welcome. What are some things we can do to cooperate better with local and international organizations, corporations and governmental organizations? How do we promote debate in places where “debate” and “free speech” are bad words? How can fledgling debate NGOs development sustainability?
Potential Topics
How do we effectively use technology to facilitate debate Gaining support from civil society organizations, corporations, governmental organizations, educational institutions – sharing best practices and trying to understand what funders / corporations want

4pm onwards – Small Group Sessions / Meetings

6th January

9am to 12pm – Debate and Education – Discussions and Presentations This event will be moderated by Dr. Alfred Tuna Snider, Professor of Forensics, University of Vermont
Debate is a powerful tool of learning that is gaining popularity in the classroom. But is it really for everyone and everything? How do you persuade administrators that it can work? How do evaluate and grade students in such a subjective activity? Can we use debate to teach language, values, logic? What is the best way to do it?
Potential Topics
How to assess the impact/effects of debating on the individualA review of current debate education programs – challenges and successes.

12 to 1 – Lunch Break

1pm to 4pm – Discussions and Presentations on Additional Topics This event will be moderated by the moderators from each of the previous sessions. The goal of this session is to present an overview of the previous sessions and/or to discuss topics that we didn’t have time for earlier

 4pm onwards – Small Group Sessions / Meetings 7th January End (or people can stay longer)

Logan Chief Adjudicator World Universities Debating Championships 2011