IPPF Announces 2012-13 Topic

IPPF Announces 2012-13 Topic

The Bickel & Brewer Foundation and New York University are proud to announce the topic for the 2012-13 International Public Policy Forum (IPPF).

"Resolved: Adaptation should be the most urgent response to climate change."

The IPPF topic offers the global community of high school students the opportunity to debate what is perhaps the most important issue of the new century. In the coming years, global policy concerning climate change will affect everyone, everywhere. 

The IPPF topic tasks participants to debate the priority of action - whether adaptation should be a higher priority than other possible responses, including attempts to prevent climate change.  The IPPF Topic Selection Committee decided that the core of the climate change debate concerns the prioritization of the global response. 

Teams should focus their research and writing on which course of action should be the "most urgent" response to climate change. Affirmative support for the resolution requires a defense of adaptation as the more urgent response, while negating the resolution will require challenging adaptation as the most urgent course of action.

To read the Topic Primer and learn more about the 2012-13 IPPF topic, visit:

How to Participate

Work with your debate coach or English teacher to form a team. Most teams consist of three to eight students. Your team should then register for the competition on the IPPF website. The registration deadline is October 17, 2012. After your team has registered, prepare a qualifying round essay on the 2012-13 IPPF topic, “Resolved: Adaptation should be the most urgent response to climate change.”

Essays are limited to 2,800 words and may be written from an affirmative or negative perspective. Submit your essay by noon CST on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, to Sample essays are available on the IPPF website,

 Entries will be reviewed by the IPPF Essay Review Committee, and on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the Top 32 teams will be announced. These teams begin a single-elimination, written debate tournament, with one school affirming the resolution and the other negating it. Judges blindly review the essays in the order they were written and select the advancing team. The process continues until the final eight teams are determined.

The "Elite 8" earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City, April 12-14, 2013. In New York, teams compete in oral debates in front of a panel of judges that includes professionals in law, business, politics, debate and academia. The IPPF Champion is awarded a $10,000 grand prize and the Bickel & Brewer Cup!

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