The International Association of Debate Education organisations

The International Debate Education Association, IDEA NL, is established in  Amsterdam, nov. 1999. IDEA NL is governed by a network of constitutional members.  The members are debate (network) organisations who are very active in organising debate events for young people.  At the moment we have 18 members in 18 countries. The members are the General Assembly, the highest governing body of IDEA NL. General Assembly of IDEA NL delegates its duty to an international Board of Directors.  The Executive Director is managing the IDEA NL on a daily basis.  Besides the members, IDEA has also many affiliated partners such as universities, youth centres, NGO’s, knowledge centres or semi- governmental institutes.

The current members are:

1. Asociace Debatnich Klubu (ADK) - Czech Republic


2. Asociatia Romana de Dezbateri, Oratorie si Retorica (ARDOR) - Romania


3. Centar za kulturu dijaloga (CKD) - Bosnia and Herzegovina


4. Debate Association (DA) - Turkey 

5. Debate Center (DC) - Latvia


6. Debating Society of Greece (DSG) - Greece


7. Informal Education Debate Center (EDC) - Lithuania

8. Estonian Debating Society (EDS) - Estonia


9. Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL) - Haïti


10. New Vision (NV) - Ukraine


11. Open Communication (OK) - Serbia


12. Slovak Debate Association (SDA) - Slovakia


13. Association of German Speaking University Debating Societies (VDCH) - Germany


14. Youth Educational Forum (YEF) - Macedonia


15. Fundacja Polska Debatuje, Poland


16. Za In Proti, Slovenia


17. Hrvatsko Debatno Društvo / Croatian Debate Society (HDD) - Croatia


 18. Global Commun, Spain


We furthermore have warm bonds with other members of the global IDEA network. Together we form the governing board of the IDEA network and our Executive President sits on the Executive Board of Directors.

IDEA UK Network member                                                                                United Kingdom 

IDEA SEE Network member                                                                               Macedonia

IDEA MENA   Network member                                                                          Tunisia

IDEA Central Asia Network member                                                                  Kyrgiza                                                       


Mission and vision

Through debate education IDEA promotes mutual understanding and an active, well- informed citizenship around the world. IDEA is a world leading provider of debate education. It serves hundreds of thousands of educators and youth every month with resources, training and events. IDEA works with schools and universities, debate organizations and community groups. It partners with foundations, NGOs, businesses, and governments. Our work leads to more deliberative communities, enhanced cultural exchange and greater academic excellence.

What we do

IDEA works with young people from all over the world in communities with little or no history of debate or informed public discussion. We teach critical thinking, advocacy, conflict resolution, public speaking skills and the desire and capacity to look respectfully and rationally at other people’s points of view. IDEA creates local clubs and establishes independent debate associations throughout the world, offering young people the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge by voicing and critically examining issues that directly affect their lives.

Debate is a valuable educational tool

We believe that debate is a valuable educational tool, not only because repeated studies have shown that it improves critical thinking, academic achievement, and public speaking, but also because it encourages the desire to engage in social and political issues from an informed and rational position. In teaching the skills essential for a balanced and worthwhile consideration of and contribution to any issue, we believe that debate is a lively and informative educational tool.

We believe that the skills acquired from even the most basic debate training are important, if not essential, for a valuable contribution to any part of a person’s professional, social and personal development.

Debate education for all

IDEA believes that the value of debate as an educational tool isn’t limited to the traditional setting of a classroom, but should be offered to marginalised and disadvantaged communities as a means to offering young people a voice in the societies they live in, as well as their own personal and professional advancement. That is why IDEA has launched the ‘Debate in the Neighbourhood’ program in the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Estonia and Romania that brings debate to community centres, schools and youth groups in urban communities.