«For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.»
US author and businesswoman Margaret Heffernan
Debating is a vital tool of communication as it fosters the exchange of competing views and ultimately propels ideas and innovation in society.
The IT „Art of Debating“ has benefitted from a resounding success among the members of the Swiss Study Foundation. In several workshops throughout the last years, more than 160 students have been introduced to the norms of rigorous reasoning and argumentation by internationally renowned debaters and got a first taste of the art of debating in thrilling tournaments.
During the workshops, it proved that playing the devil’s advocate for a given idea incited the members to fortify their reasoning by engaging directly with the opposing speakers. Debating motions as diverse as banning the use of referenda in Switzerland or prohibiting homeopathy further highlighted the pivotal role of language and framing in political discourse. Finally, in their feedbacks the students overwhelmingly emphasised their desire for a greater scope for debating activities within the Foundation to advance «ideas and true innovation» in a wide array of topics.
In light of this positive feedback and in order to further stimulate debating activities within the ranks of the Foundation, a group of motivated students (Maurizio Cortada, Franca Fellmann, Marlene Fischer, Sandro Pirovino and Philippe Valmaggia) is organising a debating tournament. The one-day event at the Impact Hub in Basel is open to all the members of the Foundation with an interest in debating, i.e. both experienced debaters and debating novices. At the core of the event will be a thrilling tournament featuring interesting and politically salient topics for debating.
The event is organised as a tournament where two forms of participation are possible (please indicate in your motivation to which form of participation you are applying):
- Debating tournament: The debating tournament will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. of May 9 2020. All the members of the Swiss Study Foundation as well as alumnae/alumni are invited to participate. Applications can be made via the usual procedure of the Foundation. Also, applicants are kindly asked to state in their motivation whether they already have a team partner. We are pleased to announce that the members of several other, already established English speaking debating societies in Switzerland will also compete in the tournament.
- Final debate: The Swiss Study Foundation would also like to reach out to alumnae/alumni, sponsors, and other people affiliated with the Foundation with a strong wish to listen to debates. They are kindly invited to join the students for the final debate featuring the best contestants of the day at 15:30. In those finals, a topic of actuality in the Swiss political context will be debated guaranteeing an exciting and interesting experience. The event will draw to a close at 18:00.
Members, alumnae/alumni and other people affiliated with the Foundation are encouraged to appoint the date of May 9 2020.
Organizer: This event is organised by the Debating Society, which consists of a group of students of the Swiss Study Foundation (Maurizio Cortada, Franca Fellmann, Marlene Fischer, Sandro Pirovino and Philippe Valmaggia). If you have any questions you can reach us under: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordination: Dr. Barbara Dankwa
Administrative support: Julien Babel
Location: Impact Hub Basel