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  • Results from Week 2 and Awards Announced! Results from week 2 debates and award recipients have been posted!  Check them out here: to all who took part!
    Posted May 2, 2011, 2:59 PM by Jim Maritato
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What are the Annenberg Digital Debates?

The Annenberg Digital Debates are the first intercollegiate debate tournament to be conducted entirely via streaming video and the World Wide Web.
The Annenberg Digital Debates are open to all students worldwide who are currently studying in an undergraduate degree program.  Participants will participate in at least two exciting and educational debates with peers from across the globe, while also helping to support an important social cause, and contribute to meaningful public argument about current events and sociopolitical issues.  The top 8 competitors will compete for additional rounds toward prizes and awards including trophies and gift cards ranging from $25 - $100. Preliminary debates will take place April 14-April 21, with elimination debates taking place the following week.

The debates also represent the opportunity for students to connect advocacy and argument skills and training with philanthropy and public outreach.
Participants in the Annenberg Digital Debates will help to provide critical introspection on the topic of nuclear energy in relation to the recent earthquakes and tsunami activity in Japan, while also helping to provide financial assistance to those impacted by the disaster.  All proceeds from the event will be donated to HandsOn Tokyo to support rebuilding efforts in northeastern Japan and help provide supplies and resources to those displaced by the tragedy.
What will the debates be about?

Participants in the Annenberg Digital Debates will tackle the controversies surrounding nuclear energy. 

Academic debate has a long tradition in engaging compelling questions of public interest.  In light of the saddening devastation from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Northeastern Japan and the resulting failures of Japan’s coastal nuclear power plants, political pundits, newscasters, and experts have begun to question the future of nuclear power. The Annenberg Digital Debates will examine the pivotal questions of the safety, utility, and necessity of nuclear power.

Debates will be centered on the following resolution:

"Resolved: Nations should reduce their commitment to nuclear energy."

Competitors will take on both sides of the resolution.  Participants will have an opportunity to engage in "switch-side" debate, wherein they affirm the resolution in one round, and reject the resolution in another round.  The goal of this switch-side format is to provide participants with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives on nuclear energy production and its implications for nations and communities worldwide.

More information on the format and rules of the debates can be found in our Invitation & Rules.
How can I be involved in the debates?

Compete in the Annenberg Digital Debates!
Students don’t need experience to debate. This unique event is an opportunity to showcase the possibilities of deliberation in new media environments. College and University students from anywhere in the world are invited to join.  The Annenberg Digital Debates represent the first fully open online tournament ever hosted by an American college or University.  Join us as we break new ground toward bringing competitive academic debates out of the classroom and into interactive public spaces fostered by new media technologies!  Sign up and make your $15 donation to Hands-On Tokyo via our Registration Form.

Volunteer to judge and provide valuable feedback and constructive criticism to a future generation of decision-makers and advocates!
If you are a graduate student, college or university faculty member, or have a background in argumentation, public policy, or nuclear energy, we invite you to join us as a critic of the Annenberg Digital Debates. Volunteering time as an argument critic is an excellent opportunity to contribute to students' growth into powerful advocates who are capable of fostering meaningful public discourse, and shaping the future of our world.  Sign up at using our Volunteer Judging form!

More information on participant and judge eligibility and expectations are outlined in our Invitation & Rules.