deba-t.org is a youth platform which through colloquiums, roundtables, conferences and electoral debates will foster critical debate from a multidisciplinary perspective not aligned with any partisan position. Our aim is to create a common ground for critical thinking for the youth of the city of Barcelona, not only in a universitary level but for the youth of all grounds of expertise.
deba-t.org was founded in 2009 by three restless students who wanted to know the Spanish and Catalan political situation beyond the teaching plan that their university courses offered. For this reason, they created an association that created spaces of approximation between the student's community and the political world. For this, they began to organize events with political profiles of the moment such as presidents, councilliers, business C.E.O and other rellevant actors of our society that lasted until today, when deba-t has become a reference association within the civil society groups.
As described in our website, our main objectives are encouraging critical thinking among youngsters and advocacy for the actors we reunite with, giving the student community discussion spaces to generate and debate our main agenda issues, and finding new approaches to understand or solve those issues.
Related to the previous objectives, our main values are: ideological independence (in order to make everyone confortable in the discussion environment), democracy (as a tool to encourage and promote critical thinking), respect and tolerance (as the common path to built proposals together), plurality and diversity (as the only possible way to create a common consensus) and a commitment to the associative and studentship (as they are the reason of our action and activities).
As a youth association, our main activities are the following ones:
- Colloquioum: it is an encounter between a reduced group of young leaders and a rellevant person, such as presidents, civil society movements's leaders, activists, ministers, DGs or SG to talk about their career or area of expertise.
- Round tables: it is an encounter between a reduced group of young leaders and an expert or reduced group of experts to discuss critically about an issue, where the voice of each member is equally listened. This format encourages critical thinking and generates ways to raise awareness about some topics, as well as to get to the roots of it using the previous preparation and the expertise of our guests.
- Conferences: this format is the one which better fits our public visibility, as it is a format where we invite a guest regarding its field of expertise in order to give us a chat about a concrete topic. This format is opened to the whole student community with the aim to visibilise our task and also to raise awareness on a concret topic among students.
- Exchange programs: we organise yearly exchange programs with other student organisation and colleges in Madrid and we are planning to do the same with other Mediterranien countries. The result is really good because it gives our associates the chance to not only engage and interact with other young leaders but the chance to understand our common problems or threats from different perspectives.
- Candidate debates: it is our biggest event and it involves the whole university. The idea of candidate debates is to generate a space between candidates and the studentship to get the polititians closer to the university and , with that, enable students to interact and make their demands in the university area. It makes us proud to be the only association who throws a candidate debate for every single election and our will is to continue with such a challenging activity.
The task that we promote as deba-t is perfectly compatible with other environments and universities. Our aim is to export the deba-t format to other associations as well as to grow and learn from other ways to generate debate and discussion among youngsters. We would also like to interact with other intiatives and try to help them or to get involved in more challenging formats that can unite our efforts and create a bigger impact in our society.
We have already participated in different initiatives that are entitled in the ALF Network, such as debates from the Young Med Voices programme, young leaders reunions organised by the IEMed and the EDDs conferences in Brussells. The huge impact it had and the new techniques of debate it teached us made us realise the importance to get involved in such network. We also got recommendations to join it and here, we decide to take the first step.