A Swiss guy starts a PhD in Barcelona. Having himself participated in English University Debating during his MA in the Netherlands before, he realizes that there is no such an opportunity here in Barcelona. Without further ado, he teams up with other people interested and they found together the first English-speaking debating society in Spain. That was in 2014. Since then, Barcelona Debating Society (BDS) has been joined with students both from Barcelona and abroad who have participated in several prestigious tournaments around Europe: Oxford Women’s Open, Vienna EUDC, Vienna IV, Maastricht Open, Oxford IV, and Warsaw EUDC. Now, three years after its foundation, BDS’s initiators plan to go big, both within the university circle as well as beyond through professionalizing their activities.
Two of the remaining founding members are the visible faces of its current efforts:
Darian Heim. He’s the Swiss guy. In the meanwhile, he has finished his PhD in Law at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). As a Philosophy & Economics MA student at Erasmus University Rotterdam he became the Commissioner of Internal Training at the local debating society. Next to Barcelona Debating Society, he has also been involved in the creation of the Swiss Debating Society.
Jordi París Domingo. He’s the local guy without whom there would be no B as Barcelona in BDS: After his BA in Humanities at UPF, he finished an MA in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature at University of Barcelona. Before he fell in love with British parliamentary style debate, he was involved in Model United Nations’ meetings. In Barcelona, he has judged several tournaments in Spanish and Catalan for university and high school students.
We aim to promote and expand debating in English in Spain, both at universities and at high schools. Through the pioneering program which we are currently carrying out we want to make a difference in the Spanish society and its youth by giving them more confidence to interact in international contexts, to increase the quality of their democratic discourse, and to foster their curiosity for challenges of our time.
Through the methodology of debating, we aim to empower participants in three regards:
Communication & presentation: express what you intend to in the words you meant to use and all this in a convincing way, as you gain self-confidence and hence impact onto the audience through speaking in public.
Critical thinking: be a fast thinker and go beyond the standard opinions; finding alternative solutions to recurrent problems will no longer be a difficult task for you.
Spoken English: train speaking fluently and expressing complex ideas in English – after some practice you will no longer look for the exact words you have been missing.