Debating Matters’ unique online championships made a virtual stop in Berlin for a series of high-quality and challenging debates, with the Humboldt Gymnasium beating five other schools from around Berlin to become the Debating Matters Online Berlin Champions.
The championship saw the teams tackle issues such as whether governments should intervene to improve unhealthy lifestyles, whether populism is a threat to democracy, and whether privacy is outdated in the digital age.
After the teams tackled these debates in the group stages, it was Hans Carossa Gymnasium and Humboldt Gymnasium who emerged as the strongest two teams and so progressed to the final to debate whether monuments to controversial historical figures should remain. It was a very hard-fought debate, with many excellent contributions from the floor. too, as representatives from all six schools returned for the final to test their ideas and improve their arguments. However, it was the team from Humboldt Gymnasium who emerged as victors.
In addition to the prizes for the winner and runners-up teams, Debating Matters was delighted to award prizes for the top three ‘best individuals’ who had impressed the judges throughout the competition with consistently great questions. Winning the Commended (third place) prize was Victoria Santos Reschke from Schadow Gymnasium, and the Highly Commended (second place) prize was Petar Lolovic from Gottfried Keller Gymnasium. But the Best Individual from the tournament was Diane Langeloh from Humboldt Gymnasium.
The range of contributions really highlighted the excellent standard of debate, and students from all schools taking part – Bertha von Suttner Gymnasium, Gottfried Keller Gymnasium, Hans Carossa Gymnasium, Leibniz Gymnasium, Schadow Gymnasium as well of course as the winners, Humboldt Gymnasium – deserve praise.
Indeed, we hope to welcome any interested students from the day to the Debating Matters Alumni Network, as a way to stay in touch with and stay involved in the competition. We hope to see some of the pupils as future chairs and judges!
Debating Matters has always felt honoured to work with the Freiblickinstitut to bring the competition to Germany, and even if we may have been joining our colleagues in Berlin virtually, the chance to meet minds across the continent is always hugely appreciated, so we thank the Freiblickinstitut for their hard work and commitment.
Debating Matters will be continuing its online championships for a little longer yet, but we look forward to resuming events in person, in line with government guidance, at the earliest opportunity.