Founded in 2001, the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) is the only contest that gives high school students around the globe the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy. Jointly administered by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, this program is available to all public and private high schools for free.
The competition begins in October, as teams submit a qualifying round essay on the IPPF topic. The essay should be no more than 2,800 words, either affirming or negating the topic resolution. Judges evaluate each essay, and the top 64 teams earn advance into a single-elimination, written debate competition.
In the top 64 round, schools volley papers back and forth via e-mail. Judges review the essays in the order they are presented (affirmative constructive, negative constructive, affirmative rebuttal, negative rebuttal) and select the advancing teams. The process begins anew as the "Top 32" teams compete for their chance to advance to the "Sweet 16" round.
In March, the "Elite 8" teams are announced. These teams win all-expenses-paid trips to New York City to compete during IPPF Finals Weekend. During the finals, teams supplement their written advocacy with oral argumentation. Judges for the oral rounds have included NYU President Emeritus John Sexton, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass, Ret. General Wesley Clark, National Speech and Debate Association Executive Director Scott Wunn, and NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino.
Ultimately, the IPPF Champion wins a $10,000 grand prize and the Brewer Cup!