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Dear Nelson Mandela School Community,

It is with great pleasure that I inform you that our debating team, made up of Julia Dannemann, Mark Braasch, Alec Dent, James Keogh, Meret Weber and Yara Abdel-Ghany, has won all three debates and are the winners of this year’s Debating Matters for the second year running. The topics they debated for, or against, were:

  • “Humanity should fear advances in artificial intelligence”
  • “Technological progress will not solve society's environmental issues”
  • “Childhood vaccinations should be compulsory”
  • “We should accept the risk inherent in contact sports”

This year, different from last year there were eight competing Berlin schools in total, indicating that there is an increasing interest in holding these debates. The schools were:

  • Bertha-von-Suttner-Gymnasium
  • Eckener-Gymnasium
  • Georg-Buchner-Gymnasium
  • Hans-Carossa-Gymnasium
  • Humboldt-Gymnasium
  • Leibnitz-Schule
  • Werner-von-Siemens-Gymnasium
  • Nelson Mandela School

The Debating Matters was organized again by Sabine Beppler-Spahl, Freiblickinstitut, Dr Leonhard Fechter, shareholder, HeGO Biotech, Lars Holtvoeth, BiTS campus, Adam Rawcliffe, partnerships manager, Institute of Ideas.

Please follow the links and find out some more about these very interesting institutes and watch the film from last year’s Debating Matters:

Another real highlight of the day was watching the highly acclaimed judges from all walks of life and with very long CVs asking our students all of the nitty gritty questions.

These were:

Stefan Chatrath, BiTS Hochschule
Henning Harnisch. Alba Berlin
Barbara Klimke, Berliner Zeitung

Phoebe Blackburn, Phenomenal Words
Friedericke Klussmann. Allianz Cultural Foundation
Rachel Launay, British Council Germany

Chana Balasz. Middle East Expert; free speech proponent
Michael Croasdale, British Council
Erich Tegeler, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt PTB (German National Meteorology Institute, NMI)
Paul Thomas, Leeds Salon
Wolfgang Zydatiss, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Khushi Pasquale, Business English Language and Skills Trainer; Speaking Coach
Tilmann Warnecke, Der Tagesspiegel

Joel Cohen, BeyondMe
Nadja Vancauwenberghe, EXBERLINER

Karl-Erik Norrman, European Cultural Parliament

All of the groups were very well prepared and debated with energy, finesse and great style. The atmosphere was electric, all hopes were high but strangely enough it was the teachers who were nervous and not the students, although it was the students that were in the limelight. But what would this have all been without the Chairs like Kolja Zydatiss and our very own Adam Rawcliff and his wonderful wit and big smile.

What an experience! Thank you all and particularly Sabine for insisting that the debates continue in Berlin.

We are looking forward to next year’s debate.

Nihal Adler

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23.10.2017 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin