Debating matters because ideas matter. This is the premise of the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters Competition for sixth form students which emphasises substance, not just style, and the importance of taking ideas seriously.
When the Institute of Ideas launched the competition in 2003/04, it aimed to present schools with an innovative and engaging approach to debating. Topical debates and a challenging format appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including schools with a long tradition of debating and those with no experience at all.
I'm quite nervous about being on a judging panel but keen to support anything that encourages young people to think, to back up their views and to question the world we live in.