Welcome to the Berlin Debating Union e.V.!
The Berlin Debating Union is the debating society of Berlin’s institutions of tertiary education.
We meet every Tuesday at 7 pm (6 pm during the semester break) on the sixth floor of Dorotheenstr. 24 to debate about current affairs.
The Berlin Debating Union pursues three main goals (see charter):
- The discussion of political and societal issues: Debating is based on a simulation of parliamentary discourse. Several speakers are assigned one of two sides of the issue to be debated – proposition and opposition. Both sides are presented in as clear a fashion as possible. This makes even complex topics intelligible and accessible to discussion. The goal is not to reach a consensus but to contrast the different sides against one another. As the speakers are randomly assigned positions, they also have to argue for views they don’t agree with, forcing them to put themselves into the shoes of the other in order to be able to present a convincing case.
- The improvement of personal self-expression: Rhetoric skills are at the heart of democracy. Citizens should be capable of forming positions on issues and delivering their opinions in a structured, compelling way to the public, as well as being able to answer the arguments of the other. These are the skills learnt and honed by debating. This is at the very core of democratic discourse.
- International exchange: Debating originates from the British Isles but is practiced globally. The Berlin Debating Union is part of a worldwide community, which is why we debate both at German and international tournaments, including the German, European and World Championships. The Berlin Debating Union also hosts several tournaments every year in German and English. In 2013 the BDU even hosted the World Championship, as well as the European Championship 2006.
In order to become a BDU member simply fill out the membership application and bring it to the next debating session.