If you did debate in high school, please take a moment to share this new OP-backed VBriefly scholarship with your high school team. It only takes a minute or two but could make a big difference. I think high school debate selects for many traits that make for enthusiastic EAs, so I'm very excited about this scholarship. 

  • Scholarship page here
  • Basic template to email your old team here 
  • Relevant info below:

Funded by a grant from Open Philanthropy, Victory Briefs is offering full scholarships to VBI 2022 for debaters interested in effective altruism.

Effective altruism is “a social movement and philosophy focused on maximising the good you can do in your career, projects, and other life decisions.” It involves evidence-based reasoning to figure out how to do as much good as possible, and using those findings to try to make the world a better place.

We believe that debate cultivates skills that are integral to the mission of effective altruism. The purpose of this scholarship is to help debaters interested in effective altruism to hone those skills, and to promote awareness of and interest in effective altruism within the debate community. The scholarship is open to both PF and LD debaters.

EA Scholars will work under the guidance of their VBI mentor to focus a significant portion of their camp research on issues relevant to effective altruism. These may include particular impact areas such as global poverty, animal welfare, criminal justice reform, political decision-making, and existential risk mitigation, foundational questions about individual and social obligations to do good effectively, global priorities research, evaluating the effectiveness of particular interventions or proposed systemic changes, and many other possibilities.

To apply for the scholarship, please click here. We aim to notify applicants with a decision within three weeks.




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Thanks Abie! :) Might be worth bolding / noting top-level in the post this is meant for U.S. high schoolers who specifically do Lincoln Douglas or Public Forum? (These styles aren't popular outside of the U.S. AFAIK and it took me a bit to place those names).

I'd be curious to learn about other EA-debate projects BTW - e.g. this EA debate tournament ran with the participation of v prominent WUDC debaters a few years ago (relevant Forum post). Is there anything else like this?

Will share!  Debate is a great preparation for an EA world view/EA work.

whoa I used to teach there back in the day. This is cool!

Shared! Thanks Abie :)

Does it make sense to share this with clubs from a homeschool league (i.e., one that doesn't have PF, will have different LD resolutions, and tends to have a fairly different debate culture from public school leagues)? I'm not particularly familiar with VBI.

Would any teams benefit also from a database of EA-related motions, such as these ones? (Are you aware of any other ones?)

Having a list of EA-related or EA-adjacent motions can be good, but if the goal is to make them usable at tournaments for parliamentary debate (the format with new resolutions each round, with each resolution announced only 15–25 minutes before the round) then the full list probably needs to not be public, so that some teams don't have foreknowledge of potential motions.

Alternatively, if the resolutions are meant for different debate formats or for practice or special tournaments, it might be fine to make it fully public.

Interesting: then, maybe, a public document should be available for practice and tournament organizers able to ask for a few 'vetted - e. g. synthesizing debaters' and coaches' feedback on the practice motions (and responding to current issues and their developments)' ones prior to the contests (agreeing that they will not share them publicly).

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