We create events, resources, and communities for casual competitive debate clubs, in support of advancing engaged mutual understanding.

Portland Debate Club is launching Spring 2023


Competitive Debate Communities For Adults

Our mission is to create open-minded engagement around interesting and meaningful topics by facilitating community-centered debate events for adults, facilitated locally, throughout the world.

We carry out this mission as a parent “support” organization with decentralized nodes acting as the local Debate Clubs that will carry out casual debates, around the world.

Why Should We Debate?

  • In debate, you’re required to understand both sides of an argument, causing you to at-minimum empathize with your opponent to be effective.
  • Debate forces people to be responsible for their arguments and the information they espouse because it will be evaluated immediately.
  • The skills of debate apply universally, regardless of whether you’re a tech bro, an activist,
    or even a flat-earther.
  • A world in which more people engage in debate is one where we are more informed, compassionate, and accountable.


Creating spaces that normalize honest and engaged debate will enable you to:

Improve Your Thinking

Develop critical thinking skills while taking responsibility for your arguments. Understand multiple sides of complex issues and navigate the world of politics, social relations, and your own mind.

Communicate Effectively

Debate Club hosts structured two-person debates that are efficient and easy to follow. The judging criteria acts as a guide for consistent improvement in robust communication and persuasion.

Build Community

Whether you want to debate, organize, or just spectate, you'll find people who are passionate about fostering open-minded engagement and shaping the future of our society.

Transform Society

Debate Clubs promote a more informed, compassionate, and accountable society. Our debates set the foundation for a new form of public intellectual, potentially inspiring millions to pursue open-minded, rational thought.

Our Debate Format


Debate Club hosts semi-structured two-person debates that run around 30 minutes per round.

We utilize a simplified and efficient debate format, which is influenced by the traditional competitive policy, parliamentary, and Lincoln-Douglas debate formats. Judging is carried out by the audience of community members, who use point-based criteria to score the winner.

This structure isn’t rigid. In fact, it’s easy to add more time to the speeches in order to have a deeper debate. You can also add more speeches, or even add additional debaters to both sides of a team, to make the debates more interesting.

Anyone Can
Judge Debates

Each spectator can judge each debater, giving them 3-5 points for their performance in each of these 5 categories:

  1. Organization and Clarity: The speeches were organized, with arguments flowing in a coherent and consistent manner.
  2. Use of Argumentation and Logic: Clear reasoning and connections are made.
  3. Use of Examples and Evidence: Arguments are backed up with adequate evidence and explanation.
  4. Persuasiveness of Communication: The arguments are delivered in a way that makes them sound appealing.
  5. Overall Performance: The debater excelled at the overall intangibles in the art of debate.
It’s Simple
The higher total scoring debater (15-25) wins the debate!

Start Your Own
Debate Club

  1. Find a Venue – A house, café, bar, or coworking space is all you need
  2. Pick a Date – Create an event page and invite your friends or foes to join you
  3. Choose Some Topics – From the ethics of Veganism to the virtue of war, everything is on the table
  4. Follow the Format – Use our simple debate format and let the audience vote on the winner
  5. Lather, Rinse, Repeat – If you had fun, repeat steps 3 & 4 with more people

If you’re interested in starting a Debate Club, send us a message, and we’ll help you get going.

Small Actions,

Big Impact


By supporting a Debate Club, you’re doing your part to promote an engaged community, radical empathy, deep understanding of complex issues, and your own self-improvement.

Contact Us

Ask us anything about getting involved!

Debate Club Resources

We made it easy to start your own Debate Club.
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