We believe that debating is so much more than just tournaments and competitions:

We see debate as an integral part of a civilized society and a vibrant economy. That’s why we’ve created this new kind of online platform for debate – so that individuals and teams from around the world can come together online to explore new ideas, arrive at innovative social, political, and economic solutions, discover shortcomings and flaws in government and corporate policies, and share, test and validate passionately-held interests and beliefs.

World Debating Forum grows out of deep need in every society for a return to more civil dialogue and an awareness that free speech means listening as well as speaking respectfully. We are also doing pioneering work on the largely unexplored synergy between school debating and athletic programs and their impact on academic achievement.

We believe in the formal and semi-formal debating styles – Policy, Lincoln-Douglas, Parliamentary, Classroom, and others – but we believe even more fervently that the principles of debate can inform every kind of dialogue from spirited conversations between friends to principled discussions among political rivals, from political polling to market research.

World Debating Forum is a venue for debaters to do deep-dive research, connect with other debaters, network with educational institutions, upload and showcase debate videos, and find debating books, forms, guidelines, and other worldwide resources. While WDF is in English only for our launch we are working to integrate real-time language translation capabilities into the platform. We are beginning with Spanish and Chinese and are working to incorporate all of the world’s major languages.

To support our vision of debate we’ve created a small library of open-source debate guidebooks, free to WDF members, intended to be added to, changed, and customized by their users. Our Debate Guides are practical, how-to debate manuals covering Grade School, High School, and College Debate, plus Debate Judging and Debate Program Fundraising.

From WDF Founder Pat Lockhart

While sports and athletics have taught me many important lessons, and so has my successful career in business and my lifelong involvement in philanthropy, some of my most powerful and useful lessons throughout life have come from many years of debate training long ago in school.

I would like to share what I have learned about the power of clear, civil, reasoned debate with others like you who are working hard in support of quality education. Whether you are thinking of starting or are already building an in-class debate curriculum, or perhaps starting or expanding a virtual or in-school debate team, this website and its resources are at your disposal.

This is a free website with free resources that you are free to use and adapt to meet your own needs and those of fellow students or teachers. We hope that members and users will feed their discoveries and ideas back to us so that we can incorporate them into future editions of our digital resources.

As we all have, I’ve watched our world change and evolve in so many ways – some very positive, and some quite the opposite. But whatever the challenges we face as human beings, my life experience tells me that there’s a solid reason to believe that we can work together successfully to make this a better and safer world for our future generations.

With the help of friends worldwide we have started World Debating Forum because we truly believe that we CAN make the world a better place together.