Archives for december 2013

WUDC Chennai 2014: The Break

In this post you can find out more about results, motions and participants of the in-rounds. Here we will keep you up to date on the break.
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WUDC Chennai 2014: Updates and results

This year’s Worlds Universities debating Championships will be held from December 27th 2013 to January 4th 2014. Chennai will host over 1000 young individuals from all over the world for the biggest and most prestigious competition of the year. Seventwenty will keep you updated on the Dutch teams. Lees Verder

A letter from South Africa WUDC 2016

This letter has been written by Dessislava Kirova, Deputy Chief Adjudicator for the South Africa bid, WUDC ESL finalist and DCA of Manchester Euros.

Dear Debaters of the Netherlands,

South Africa WUDC

Thank you very much for the opportunity to directly address you on behalf of the South Africa WUDC 2016 Bid.

We have published our extensive and detailed Bid Document for all to read and check after the aspects that are most important for them . In this brief article we would like to take the opportunity and talk about the aspects of inclusiveness and development that are at the heart of both the OrgComm and the A-Team.

A South Africa Worlds will welcome 520 teams from around the world. This will be the highest teamcap in history. Is it really necessary? It is if you want to keep Worlds competitive and make it more inclusive. Both established successful debating societies as well as emerging and growing societies will be able to send their talented to the most important debating competition of each season. The increase of the teamcap together with the lowering of the reg fee to a maximum of 330€ are the structural frame that will make a more inclusive Worlds possible. In addition we aim to provide 20 scholarships similar to Berlin Worlds to institutions that otherwise would not be able to attend at all.

We as the A-Team are dedicated to do our part of the work. Our detailed adjudication vision will be published in the next days, but here are some parts regarding inclusiveness. We aim to achieve an honest regional representation in our Independent Adjudicators’ (IA) pool without compromising on qualification. In order to achieve that goal all members of the A-Team will be committed to giving BP adjudication workshops throughout their respective regions and focusing on historically underrepresented or neglected areas. We want to deliver our share in building and developing adjudication skills in our regions and enlarging the pool of potential IA candidates. We also aim at a true representation at all levels of the competition: beginning with the A-Team, and continuing with all IAs, panels and judges that break. We will be transparent and accountable when it comes to the criteria we will be using in all those areas. Debaters and judges at Worlds deserve nothing less than a truly professional, transparent and accountable AdjCore.

And while we work hard to keep our promise to you, the fantastic OrgComm will bring you a warm and exciting tournament under the beautiful South African Rainbow. They are already working with and are being fully supported by both the University of Witwatersrand and the City of Johannesburg. They are all seasoned organisers of both debate tournaments like the South African Nationals as well as of various large-scale university events and conferences like One Young World this year.

We believe our OrgComm are well-situated to provide fantastic logistics for many reasons:

1) The OrgComm is comprised of individuals who have extensive experience on the ground in Johannesburg running large-scale national and international events. They have good relationships with all the University and State actors needed to run a WUDC because they have run similar events with these same people many times in the past. This institutional memory and on-the-ground experience is crucial to ensuring logistics run as smooth as possible.

2) Our bid has the full support of the Wits Debating Union, the University of Witswatersrand, and the City of Johannesburg. Our Orgcomm has set up long-term arrangements with these organisations to ensure that we can draw on their experience and work together to ensure everything runs smoothly.

3) Because an experienced and knowledgeable OrgComm wasn’t enough, the City of Johannesburg will be providing us with one of their top Professional Events Organisers who helped run the FIFA World Cup, the ICC World Cup (Cricket, not the International Criminal Court), and many other incident-free international events, to lead our OrgComm!

4) Our OrgComm are wonderful, devoted, and hard-working people. Having worked with them over the past few months putting this together, all three of us have immense faith in them. WUDC South Africa 2016 is their life, and they will devote their sole focus to running this competition over the next two years. We promise that they will wow you with their professionalism, efficiency, and dedication to detail just as they have wowed us with it over the past months.

5) They are also supported by some very experienced tabbers who have already promised that they are up to the challenge of tabbing the largest-ever Worlds.

We understand that finances are a crucial issue when it comes to WUDC. When it comes to accessibility, cost is a barrier we are eager to address. We have seen our fair share of wild assertions about the cost of flights to Johannesburg in the past few days! If you would like to get an idea of how much it will cost to get to Jo’Burg, please check out our bid document where we have compiled a list of flight costs from different places around the world, or check for yourself on CheapOair.com!
We have also struck a deal with South African Airlines to provide discounted flights to all delegates. This is in addition to providing the lowest reg fee in WUDC history, so we are doing our best to reduce financial barriers to attending WUDC. Beyond this, we are also pledging to open registration much earlier than seen before in order to ensure that flights can be booked well in advance of the competition, further lowering the cost of attending WUDC South Africa.

The other dimension of finances is obviously sponsorship, something our OrgComm have been hard at work trying to secure. Beyond the many private companies they are in negotiations with, including Coca-Cola, NedBank, KMPG, and McKinsey, they have secured sponsorship partnerships with the University, the Presidency of South Africa, and the City of Johannesburg, all of whom will work with the OrgComm using their professional networks and staff to help secure funding for the bid. The projected sponsorship from the University, Presidency and City alone is already 5 million South African Rand (€353,260). Most importantly, we offer financial and organizational transparency with our bid. We have budgeted for all of our finances to be audited by professional auditors, in addition to our counter-parts at Wits University and the City of Johannesburg. We will also be funding two WUDC Executive members to Johannesburg to inspect our preparations, venues, and organisation as part of our bid defence at WUDC Malaysia 2015.

And of course, one of the best parts of WUDC South Africa 2016 is the opportunity to visit the wonderful, bustling, and beautiful “Rainbow Nation.” Whether you want to meet the lion cubs of Lion Park Johannesburg, take in the history of South Africa at the Apartheid Museum, or discover the nightlife in the birthplace of Yakka, we promise you an incredible experience you will never forget. With unforgettable socials like creating the largest-ever peace march (followed by full social) on Mandela Bridge, we promise you a once-in-a-lifetime WUDC experience.

Please do not hesitate to contact us or any other member of the bid if you should have questions, comments or concerns. We all would be delighted and truly honored to win your support and meet you under the Rainbow in 2015!

Best, Pam, Saddiq, & Dessi.

A letter from Thessaloniki WUDC 2016

Thessaloniki WUDC

 The University of Macedonia, the Debating Society of Greece and Open Communication are proud to introduce their bid for the XXXVI  World Universities Debating Championships. Hosting Worlds is a solemn promise to ensure that largest debating competition on the planet continues to provide enjoyment, memories, friendship and opportunities to debaters and adjudicators from across the planet. We want to bring Worlds back to the home of debating and show you a tournament you’ll never forget.

Throughout the bid process every year, there’s lots of flash and big promises. We’ll have our share of that too, but we want to convince you that because of our experienced team, carefully laid plans and amazing host city and university, we’re the team to trust to bring you an amazing Worlds. Our bid is built around the fundamentals of a great debating tournament; it’s affordable, and inclusive, but also prioritising the things debaters want most – easy transport, debating rooms close to the briefing hall and the resources to bring in the World’s best judges.

On top of those foundations we want to show you the amazing sights, parties, culture, food and drink of Thessaloniki (the Lonely Planet called it the ‘ultimate party city’), Macedonia and Greece. Our country is also one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, having welcomed over 15 million people in 2012. Beyond the famous Acropolis in Athens and the hundreds of archaeological sites scattered around the country, our Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage has left us a wide range of sights worth exploring. Modern Greece is a fun-loving hospitable country with a world-class nightlife and contemporary artistic and creative hubs, many of which are located in the city of Thessaloniki itself. Our socials will have unlimited free alcohol and large dance-floors to ensure the fun doesn’t stop when the debating ends. Given that all our venues are within 3 km of each other in the downtown of Thessaloniki, we are able to guarantee that you will be spending less time in buses and more time socialising with other participants.

Why should you trust us? We wanted to create a bid that is not dependent on inherently speculative claims about sponsorship in delivering its core promises. We are confident that we can run a great tournament with excellent adjudication and fun socials on registration fees (max 400 Euros) alone. We’re also confident that we won’t need to! Given our partners’ extensive networks of NGO’s and corporate partners and our experience in fundraising we’ll look to offer even more, for less. The Debating Society of Greece has been previously run events funded by the European Commission, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and local authorities in Greece, while past in-kind sponsors have included Heineken and Red Bull. Our org-comm have proven experience working at the epicentre of planning and organisation for Belgrade Euros, managing the finances and logistics at Athens WSDC 2009, convening half a dozen international opens, renowned for their on-time tabbing and scheduling and putting together and run over 40 national competitions in Greece, Finland and Serbia.

Driving the debating side of things at Thessaloniki WUDC 2016 is our dedicated and diverse adjudication core. Our CA Manos Moschopoulos has been in the adjudication core of over 24 international debating tournaments in Britain, Europe and the Middle East, has judged the ESL final of the European Universities Debating Championship and the finals of the Cambridge, SOAS and Paris IVs, while as a debater, he was the World’s Best ESL Speaker. Tasneem Elias joins the team as DCA having won WUDC ESL and been Worlds breaking adjudicator twice, while also DCAing Australs, PAUDC, OIC Debates, SMU Hammers, EF Malang Indonesia, Malaysian Debate Open. DCA Chris Bisset was the joint Best Speaker at Berlin Worlds and the Champion and Best Speaker at Australs in Wellington. Since judging the ESL grand final at Worlds he has been the DCA at UT Mara Australs 2013 and a DCA of the Australian Intervarsity Debating Championships. They’ll be joined by three DCAs appointed in keeping with the need to ensure regional, gender and language diversity. All members of our team regularly attend competitions and will continue to spreading debate to new communities, having already run hundreds of tournaments and workshops all over the world.

To add to that, we are delighted to have a Director of Training in Nita Rao that will revolutionise the way our competition approaches training. Nita will head workshops during the event itself that will help the participants gain more valuable skills from participating at Worlds. WUDC is in a unique position to benefit the global debate community by making sure that as many debaters as possible can attend, while also boosting the quality of their feedback and development at the event.

Thessaloniki is incredibly positioned to be one of the most affordable destinations. Europeans from twenty cities are treated with a huge number of affordable flights directly to Thessaloniki thanks to low-cost giants Ryanair and easyJet hubbing from our city. Greece itself, as a top international destination for business and leisure, is very well linked to international airline networks as the home of Aegean Airlines, a Star Alliance carrier. Our team recently found that it is between 15% and 40% cheaper to get to Thessaloniki then it is to get to Johannesburg from cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, Tokyo, New York, Toronto and Los Angeles.

The comparatively lower cost of getting to Thessaloniki means that our guaranteed €50,000 in adjudication subsidies will go a long way. It will allow us to bring at least 70 world-class chair judges and create a diverse high quality pool. As this is one of our top priorities, we will also allocate any sponsorship funds towards strengthening our adjudication pool.

We look forward to sharing more of our plans with you in the lead up to Worlds in Chennai. We hope that you’ll trust us to deliver an amazing debating experience in Thessaloniki 2016!

Research has shown that…

It’s unbelievable, but some people still try to win debates with the argument that ‘scientific research has shown that…’. We should know better than to quote the last headline from some random internet source.

But suppose that you’re sitting on what you believe to be a ‘killer fact’ – something that can win the debate for you immediately. How then should you use it, if you want to avoid saying ‘research has shown that…’?

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On Style, Judging and Ingrained Biases

This blog post was originally written by Daan Welling. You can find the original blog post here.
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