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World Debate Forum closes WUDC, begins a new debate year
Submitted by Anne Valkering on 9 January 2017
The World Universities Debating Championships took place in The Hague from 27 December until January 4 with over a 1000 participants from all over the world. While most participants left The Hague, a few stragglers remained behind, to discuss the future of debate and its further spread across the globe in the current political climate.
The participants from the World Debate Forum included students who had just started debating, as well as debate professionals who were seeking new inputs to improve their work. Participants presented short seminars on their area of expertise, like Elliot Pallot from the English Speaking Union on organising tournaments for high school students, or Mirta Aguirre on her study of debate as a tool of empowerment in Haiti.
The Forum also included a discussion and evaluation of Dutch WUDC, where the convenor, Bionda Merckens, logistics officer Adrienne Huisman, and co-CA Karin Merckens answered questions about the choices they had made, the difficulties they faced while organising the event and their recommendations for future hosts. David Alatorre Lopez, co-convenor for WUDC 2018 in Mexico, was among the many participants for whom this peek inside the orange machine was a helpful lesson.
The aim of the World Debate Forum is to bring together people who are passionate about debate and get them to connect and talk outside of competitions, to learn from each other and build connections that will help them be more effective in future. The 20 participants from all 5 continents have now travelled away from The Hague and will be making new plans to expand debate in future. IDEA is looking forward to cooperating with Mexico WUDC to host another Forum next year.