A letter from Thessaloniki WUDC 2016

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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!

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