The Berlin Debating Union (BDU) hosted the 33rd World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) from December 27th 2012 to January 4th 2013 at the Technische Universität Berlin.
The competition consisted of nine preliminary rounds for all 384 teams and 334 adjudicators followed by three different categories of out-rounds: the Open Break, the ESL (English as a Second Language) Break and the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Break. The WUDCs are conducted in the British Parliamentary Style of debate. Competitive side-events were Public Speaking Competition and Masters' Cup. (>>all results)
The Convener of Berlin Worlds is Patrick Ehmann; Sharmila Parmanand and Douglas Cochran served as Chief Adjudicators. (>>people)
The primary locations of Berlin Worlds were the Hotel Berlin, Berlin and the Main Building of the Technische Universität Berlin. (>>space)
© Manuel Adams
The Berlin Debating Union (BDU) is the debating society for the students of all institutions of higher education in Germany's capital. Founded in 2001, the BDU is among the oldest and also one of the most successful debating societies in Germany. Numerous speakers and judges from the BDU take part in (and break at) national as well as international tournaments. They are both passionate about international debate and committed to promote it within the German circuit. In Manila a BDU team reached the WUDC ESL final; seven months later the BDU also made the EUDC ESL final in Belgrade.
The BDU has hosted the German Championship twice, the European Universities Debating Championship in 2006 as well as the Berlin Intervarsity on a yearly basis. Furthermore, the BDU has established Germany's first Invitational and holds a major beginners-oriented tournament every year.
Besides competitive debating, the BDU is engaged in debate-based discourse all over Berlin, organizing events for corporations as well as public institutions and showcasing debate as a key form of civic engagement.
© Henrik Maedler
The Berlin Debating Union may be the host of the WUDC Berlin 2013 but as the organizing team has grown since its beginning in 2010, it has also spread far beyond Berlin. Today most Berlin Worlds organizers are, in fact, from other cities. This world championship has become a project occupying people all over Germany, and beyond.
This is working so well because the debating societies of the German-speaking area form a unified, well-organized debate circuit, often referred to as "VDCH Land". The VDCH is the umbrella association for more than 70 clubs in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. VDCH Land has a common, German-language tournament series (called ZEIT DEBATTEN, after the main sponsor) and debate league (Freie Debattierliga). Also, there are a common “national”/language-area championship and regional championships run by the VDCH. These institutions, comprising about 15 tournaments each year, keep VDCH Land together and make it a strong community.
This website provides the essential information. For updates, we ran our blog.
Of course, we also posted regular updates on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
A list of all essential publications and a timeline of what has happened so far can be found >>here.
In the interest of reaching not just debaters but also the general public, we cooperated with Debating Europe, an innovative online platform launched by Friends of Europe and Europe's World, in partnership with the European Parliament, Microsoft Europe, and Gallup. During Berlin Worlds they picked up our motions and debate them with a wider European and international audience.
Join the debate online!