The Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge

Deadline: 18 November 2011
Open to: Undergraduates from all the continents, regardless of their field of study
Prizes: Up to 50 finalists will win trips to the Global Debate and Public Policy Forum to be held at the Central European University, in Budapest


Aims for the Challenge

The Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge offers undergraduates across disciplines and continents an opportunity to explore issues of global importance from different points of view. The Challenge enables participants, regardless of their field of study, to develop their capacity to critically engage issues of public policy that affect them and the communities they live in. It is important for all of us to recognize our shared responsibilities and in that spirit, develop, support and advocate for policies which benefit not only ourselves but wider society as well. At a time when issues like global warming, nuclear proliferation or the financial crisis require global action, it is essential that the current generation of university students develop the skills needed to engage these challenges in a fair and just manner.
IDEA and its partners believe that to respond to the challenges of an interdependent world, students should develop while at university a sense of responsibility for their fellow human beings, an acceptance of their personal role in creating open societies, and be equipped with the tools to find and advocate for solutions to global policy questions.
The Global Debate & Public Policy Challenge hopes to attract as wide a range of students into the realm of policy advocacy as possible.

Objectives of the Challenge

Targeting undergraduates, the program will challenge participants:

  • to think about their locality from a global perspective and vice-versa
  • to reflect critically on policy questions that present serious international challenges
  • to have students make the strongest case possible to a global audience for policies that they feel support an open society
  • to enable students to develop a global and moral compass that will guide their lives as citizens in an ever more interdependent world and form a basis for policy discourse on a global level

By galvanizing undergraduates globally and from across disciplines, the program will:

  • make a serious contribution to public policy discourse on an issue of major global importance
  • identify and further support future policy champions from among alumni of the program
  • develop informed citizens capable of engaging in public policy discourse

The topic for the 2011-2012 Challenge is: “Securing Liberty:  Balancing Security and Freedom”.


Any undergraduate student from any discipline from any part of the globe is able to take part and submit a paper for the first task.  From the submissions on the first round up to 200 participants will be selected to proceed to the second round and from those up to 100 participants will be invited to proceed to the third round.


From the participants in the third, penultimate round, up to 50 finalists will win trips to the Global Debate and Public Policy Forum to be held at the Central European University, in Budapest, where the final round of the Challenge will take place.


You can apply by filling the online registration form.

Make sure you read the rules of the challenge before applying.

In this first task, you will have to submit a 750 – 1000 word policy position paper on the topic of “Securing Liberty”. In this paper, you will have to take a position in the debate and support your arguments with evidence throughout. See the link for more details about the elements of the task.

The deadline for submissions for the first task is 18 November 2011.

The Official Website

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