The first annual Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge took place in Budapest the week of June 11-15. Finalists from all over the globe gathered at Central European University (CEU) and other venues to attend workshops to improve their policy advocacy and public speaking skills as well as to compete in progressive rounds of competition for prizes up to $10,000. This year's 23 finalists represent 11 countries including China, Croatia, Estonia, Ethiopia, India, Macedonia, Mauritius, Moldova, Morocco, United Kingdom, and United States.
Guy Miscampbell from Aylesbury, United Kingdom won first place in the competition and a $10,000 prize. A student at Durham University, Miscampbell graduated in late June and intends to use his prize money to pursue a master's in public policy. “I think the best thing about all of this wasn't actually the prize, but the people, the experience,” Miscampbell said. “We've all become really good friends and I'm really glad I did it.”
The Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge hopes to attract a wide range of undergraduate students into the realm of policy advocacy and is designed to encourage students to reflect critically on policy questions that present serious international challenges.
The final competition took place in two stages. In the first rounds, students presented and defended their public policy briefs to a panel of six judges. In the final stage, the top eight finalists gave a policy recommendation to the president of a fictional large developing democratic country regarding how to balance security and liberty during an impending terrorist threat involving airline passenger safety.
The other top finalists, in descending order, were: Rebecca Grace Tan (Singapore), Martin Kiik (Estonia), Yusuf Anwar (U.S.), and Niyati Gandhi (India).
The 2012-2013 Challenge will begin in late summer 2012. To learn more visit the http://gdppc.org/. The competition is organized by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) in partnership with the European Council on Foreign Relations and CEU/SPP, and made possible by the generous support from Open Society Foundations.