About: What is the IPPF?

About: What is the IPPF?

Founded in 2001, the Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) is the only contest that gives high school students around the globe the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. The program is available to all public and private high schools for free.

The 12th annual IPPF will begin in October, as each school submits a qualifying round essay on the IPPF topic, “Resolved: Adaptation should be the most urgent response to climate change.” The essay should be no more than 2,800 words, either affirming or negating the topic resolution. The IPPF Essay Review Committee evaluates each essay, and the top 32 teams earn cash awards and advance into a single-elimination, written debate competition.

In the top 32 round, schools volley papers back and forth via e-mail. Judges review the essays in the order they were presented (affirmative constructive, negative constructive, affirmative rebuttal, negative rebuttal) and select the advancing teams. The process begins anew as the "Sweet 16" teams compete for their chance to advance into the "Elite 8" round.

In February, the "Elite 8" teams are announced. These teams win all-expense-paid trips to New York City to compete during IPPF Finals Weekend. During the finals, teams supplement their written advocacy with oral argumentation. Judges for the oral rounds have included NYU President John Sexton, Bickel & Brewer Partner William A. Brewer III, Ret. General Wesley Clark, National Forensic League Executive Director Scott Wunn, and NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino. Ultimately, the IPPF Champion wins a $10,000 (USD) grand prize and the Bickel & Brewer Cup!

To learn more about the IPPF, visit

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