Friday, June 17, 2011

WDI Blog Moves to New Site

We have consolidated all WDI information as well as the blog at a new website. Check there for the latest information about our programs around the world.

Monday, May 23, 2011

EDI Adds Faculty, New Website for August Free Debate Workshop

The East Debate Institute is a FREE WUDC debate training workshop that will be held at the University of Vermont 21-26 August 2011. Attendees must arrange their own housing and meals, but there is a nearby youth hostel.

EDI has announced some new faculty members:

  • Monica Ferris, Hart House, University of Toronto, Canada: Canadian National Champ, US Universities Finalist.
  • G. Rhydian Morgan, Stylus Communications, UK: CA at numerous international tournaments, lifetime member of the Oxford Union, has taught at workshops in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and more.

These faculty members join existing staff:
  • Dr. Jan Hovden, Bates College, USA: coached team to semis at US Universities, coaches successful APDA team, coached USA policy national champions.
  • Mary Nugent, Cambridge Union, UK: Director of Debating at Cambridge Union Society, judged WUDC finals, won four UK IVs, Vermont coach in 2011-12.
  • Dr. Alfred Snider, University of Vermont, USA: CA at many tournaments in USA and abroad, breaking judge at WUDC, coached NEUDC sweepstakes champions four years in a row. EDI Director. 
There is a new website for the program, complete with registration details, housing links and a tentative schedule.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

WDI European Programs for Fall

View from the town Kranjska Gora in north-west...Image via Wikipedia
The International Debate Academy in Slovenia is jointly sponsored by the World Debate Institute and ZIP SLovenia.

First, here is the link to the new web page that contains the educational elements of the 2010 program. 

 with video lectures from Kranjska Gora and a lot of content and debate training material. Please, feel free to use it and circulate it in your debate circuits. We would also appreciate a lot if you can publisice the link to this debate training web to your ownweb page. Thanks a lot. 

The second info is about IDAS 2011 - it will happen in Hotel Špik again and tournament in Ljubljana, from 19th - 28th of November. You can participate in the whole event or the tournament only.  Here is the web page 
The registration is open. Please, do not wait with registration as the places are limited. 

Some of you know that we did submit a new proposal to Europe for Citizens. We do expect the answer will be in June and I will let you know when we find out. I will also inform everybody if we are able to  give scholarships for those who otherwise can not afford to participat. Right now we do not have any sponsor yet. 

I will appreciate a lot if you can circulate this information in your debate community and globally. 

Best, Bojana 
Bojana Skrt 
Za in proti, zavod za kulturo dialoga 
Svetosavska 24, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija 
+386 (0)41 423377

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 17, 2011

News from USUDC 16 January 2011

USUDC 2011 is hosted by the Lawrence Debate Union at the University of Vermont in cooperation with the World Debate Institute and the Debate Central websites, of which this is one.

Lots to report...

Entries are now at 142 teams with 24 on the extra teams waiting list. It seems like we will really make our 200 team cap, so please enter now before you get shut out. Check the list to make sure you are there. If you have judges that are not listed let us know.

Many global teams have contacted us and we are negotiating with them on visas and issues like housing and they are arranging funding for transportation. We will add them to the list when we can. We have already added Alberta, British Columbia, ILCS Morocco, Manila,
Marianapolis, National University of Singapore, Queen's, Tshwane University of Technology, and University College Dublin.

We have considered the applications of the many DCAs and we have made decisions. We are contacting them now and will make an announcement later this week. Thank you so much for the impressive array of global talent that applied.

After our DCAs are announced we will be putting out a call for judges to add to our pool. Some subsidy will be available, rego waivers, housing and even limited travel sponsorship. Stand by for this. We will have an announcement about those agreeing to attend to judge in about a month.

There is still time to apply to be part of the America's Cup Debates. This open field is attracting some of the best debaters in the world. Application deadline for one of the 16 spots is the end of January. Send us your top 5 tournament finishes.

We are working on finalizing the budget for this large event. We are still seeking sponsors. Point us at any you know of and we are in discussions now.

More news to come!

Alfred Snider

Convener, US Universities Debating Championship 2011

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 14, 2011

WDI Reports from World Debate Forum in Africa

By Alfred Snider, WDI Director

The World Debate Forum was held for two days after the WUDC Botswana as an opportunity for those interested in promoting debate in their countries. The original idea was to have a good size group swap ideas, make presentations and network. The hopes were not met but the event was nevertheless a useful one.

The original idea was to have four different sessions, and in each of then have 3-4 presentations followed by questions, and also allow for break-out groups and other discussions. I worked hard to get presentations for my section (education and training) and did succeed in getting four presentations: Bojana Skrt of Slovenia on teacher training, Nur Asia of Malaysia on using debate to develop soft skills, Gavin Ilsley on debate training as a preparation for business consulting, and myself about training debaters (exercises and workshops). These were the only four presentations that took place.

There were 28 people but they represented 18 countries: Botswana, China, Ghana, Korea, Macedonia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Slovenia, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. People from Macedonia, Poland, United Kingdom and USA had come as part of an Open Society Foundation/IDEA contingent. Logan and Ahyoung Kim were the organizers.

It did not start well as we were told we would leave WUDC at 1 PM, then it was delayed until 5 PM, and then they put us on the wrong bus, and then we took off for a location we did not even know of and that had been not announced. It was the Sedibeng Lodge at the end of a dirt road, and it was fine but without real internet and the restaurant was very understocked and often out of what you wanted. They did have a small pool but it looked a little too green for me.

On the first day Logan changed the start time again (something he seems to do a lot) and the first session was renamed to talk about competitive debate and he led the discussion. It ended up being about lots and lots of things. A spin off discussion about using the Internet was led by David Crane of Debatewise to promote OSI activities that are online. That was an interesting discussion and we heard that 2011 will be the year of the Internet video, but also from the African countries that they simply did not have the bandwidth for videos. I vowed to take a group of 50 videos that would be good for beginner training (we have 1785 debate videos online) and strip the picture out of them and make them available as simple sound files.

The afternoon discussion was led by Alex Dukalkis of IDEA/OSI and dealt with using debate for advocacy. I had to miss part of it to complete some vital emails about my courses starting when I get back, but did join in and shared our programs for public debates and our television advocacy program, Flashpoint.

That was the end of day 1. Bojana and I had been approached the day before by the cook who wanted to prepare us some local cuisine, and we had agreed on a dish. When I went to order it I was informed that she had not come to work that day. When we tried to order other things from the menu we were told they were all out. Frustrated, we got a cab and went to the famous Bull and Bush restaurant, which was a fantastic African barbecue place down at the end of a dirt road, and it was reasonable and very tasty. We came back and went to bed, still tired from WUDC I think.

Day 2 began with our session on debate education and training. Bojana did an excellent presentation about teacher training, which prompted a lot of questions from African debate organizers. I followed with a presentation of basic training exercises and drills along with a description of the "academy" (as in International Debate Academy Slovenia, and Iraq Debate Acaemy, Qatar Debate Academy, and many more). Nur Asia from Malaysia gave a very interesting presentation on the approach at Malaysia's International Islamic University and their program to build "soft skills" in students through debate. Gavin Ilsley of the UK then gave a presentation about using debate skills to engage in business consulting and training after university, and that led to a very interesting discussion about whether we were training ethical communicators or win at any cost competitors. Lunch came next, and after that a "catch all" session led by Logan where we tried to discuss other issues, but the event ended about an hour early as people did not seem to have much more to say. Some Africans expressed mild frustrations, as did I because so few people had organized presentations.

It certainly could have been better, but for my part I learned a lot from African debate organizers about their situation and the challnges they face, I shared my ideas about how to conduct debate training, and I made a lot of good network connections that might lead to some interesting African training opportunities later.

There was some talk about trying to organize another such event linked to WUDC Manila, but I am not sure about that. We shall see. As for me, I am all about doing what I can to promote debate in places were it is new or non-existant.
Enhanced by Zemanta