ABOUT HELSINKI DEBATING SOCIETY



What is HDS?

Helsinki Debating Society (HDS) is the oldest British Parliamentary Format Debating Society in Finland, promoting critical thinking and reasoned discourse since 2001. We offer a wide selection of training activities, and our society is open for everyone to join.

Debating Format

We debate in British Parliamentary Style. There are eight people in a debate, in four teams of two. Sides and positions are randomly assigned. After the motion is announced, the teams have 15 minutes to prepare for the debate. Then Government and Opposition, each side represented by two competing teams, clash on a certain topic. Debate motions cover a wide range of topics, and tackle various different spheres of life. No expert knowledge in economics, law, politics, rocket science or gene engineering is required. All you need is blank paper, a pen and motivation to learn — we will provide you with everything else!

Want to get prepared before coming to debate? You can download our introductory leaflet here.

  • Founded in 2001
  • Every 365 days:
  • 48 weekly debates
  • 4 tournaments
    arranged in HKI region
  • 80 topics debated


  • HELSINKI
  • DEBATING
  • SOCIETY
  • in numbers and figures

The Board 2018

Julia Ståhle — President
Johan Vilén — Vice President
Allyana Thomas — Treasurer
Johannes Majamäki — Member of the Board
Marius Bonasera — Member of the Board

Earlier Boards

Achievements

    • 2016 Manchester IV - Winning Team (ESL): Johanna Metsänheimo, Milla Huuskonen
    • 2016 Speakers Academy ERASMUS Rotterdam Open - Semi-Finalists: Klaus Ashorn, Tianyan Liu
    • 2016 Estonian Open - Semi-Finalist: Milla Huuskonen (Split Team)
    • 2016 Helsinki Open - Finalist: Milla Huuskonen (Split Team); Best ESL Speaker: Milla Huuskonen; Best Novice Speaker: Max Fogdell
    • 2016 Berlin IV - Semi-finalist: Milla Huuskonen (Split Team)
    • 2011 Lund Open - Winning Team: Anna Bessonova, Michael Schklowski; Finalists: Tianyan Liu, Robert Service
    • 2012 International Debate Academy Slovenia - Finalists: Michael Schklowski, Mitjo Vaulasvirta
    • 2012 Estonian Open - Semi-Finalists: Michael Schklowski, Mitjo Vaulasvirta; Tianyan Liu, Robert Service (2 teams)
    • 2013 Stockholm IV - Finalists: Anna Bessonova, Tianyan Liu; 2nd Best Speaker: Anna Bessonova
    • 2013 DAPDI - Finalists: Tom Jansson, Milla Huuskonen; 3rd Best Speaker: Milla Huuskonen; 4th Best Speaker: Tom Jansson
    • 2013 Nordic Debating Championships - Finalists: Klaus Ashorn, Tianyan Liu; Semi-Finalists: Ieva Cepaite & Mikhail Shubin
    • 2013 Turku Open - Semi-Finalists: Kaisa Hyry, Tianyan Liu
    • 2014 Helsinki Open - Finalists: Tianyan Liu, Robert Service
    • 2014 Turku Open - Finalists: Kaisa Hyry, Milla Huuskonen
    • 2015 Riga Technical University Open - Semi-Finalists: Alicia Jensen, Valtteri Walldén (from Aalto Debating Society, split team); Kaisa Hyry, Martijn Roo (2 teams)
    • 2015 Estonian Open - Semi-Finalists: Anna Bessonova, Valtteri Walldén (from Aalto Debating Society, split team)
    • 2015 Vidzeme Open - Semi-Finalists: Milla Huuskonen, Kaisa Hyry
    • 2015 Helsinki Open - Finalists: Joel Ormala, Milla Huuskonen
    • 2015 SSE Riga Debate Academy - Winning Team: Kaisa Hyry, Milla Huuskonen
    • 2015 Tallinn Tech Open - Semi-Finalists: Milla Huuskonen, Tom Jansson
    • 2015 Turku Open - Semi-Finalists: Kaisa Hyry, Oskar Gross
    • 2015 Oxford IV - Semi-Finalists (ESL): Kaisa Hyry, Oskar Gross
    • 2015 SSE Riga IV - Finalists: Kaisa Hyry, Oskar Gross; Novice Champions: Oskar Toivonen, Ruslan Pisarenko
    • 2006 Oxford IV - Quarter-Finalists: Rich Penny, Gabe Mastico
    • 2007 Vilnius Open (3rd Baltic Debating Championships) - Winning Team: Rich Penny, Gabe Mastico; Quarter-Finalists: Oliver Lewis, Ami Ganguli; Helena Service and Ina Subulica (2 Teams)
    • 2007 World Universities Debating Championships (Vancouver) - Top Continental European Team, Open Octo-Finalists: Rich Penny, Gabe Mastico
    • 2007 LSE Open - Finalists: Rich Penny, Gabe Mastico
    • 2007 Tallinn IV - Finalists: Helena Service, Filip Popovic
    • 2007 European Universities Debating Championships (Istanbul) - 6th Best ESL Speaker: Ina Subulica
    • 2007 Leiden Open - Semi-Finalists: Simiam Ghan, Sedeer El-Showk
    • 2008 World Universities Debating Championships (Bangkok) - Top Continental European Team: Ina Subulica, Rich Penny
    • 2008 European Universities Debating Championship (Tallinn) - Open Quarter-Finalists: Ina Subulica, Rich Penny
    • 2009 World Universities Debating Championships (Cork) - Top Continental European Team, 10th Top Team, Open Quarter-Finalists: Rich Penny, Ina Subulica
    • 2009 SSE Riga IV - Semi-Finalists: Ami Ganguli, Tianyan Liu
    • 2010 MRU IV - Finalists: Tianyan Liu, Anna Bessonova
    • 2002 DAPDI - Best Speaker: Julia Ojanen
    • 2002 Uni Debate Helsinki - Best Speakers: Suvi Kivipuro, Timo Stewart
    • 2003 Tartu Winter - Best Speaker: Timo Stewart
    • 2003 Tartu Open - Best Speaker: Julia Ojanen
    • 2003 Helsinki International Debating Tournament - Winning Team: Alina Belskaya, Elisa Jalkanen; Best Speaker: Elisa Jalkanen
    • 2004 DAPDI - Winning team: Elisa Jalkanen (split team)
    • 2004 Moscow Open - Winning Team: David McGeady, Martin Liberts (from SSE Riga Debate Society, split team)
    • 2004 SSE Riga Open - 2nd Best Speaker: Tom Crawley
    • 2005 Kaunas Open - 2nd Best Team: Tom Crawley, David McGeady
    • 2005 Berlin Open - Quarter-Finalists: Tom Crawley, David McGeady
    • 2005 Tartu Open (1st Baltic Debating Championships) - Winning Team: Tom Crawley, David McGeady
    • 2005 SSE Riga IV - 2nd Best Team (in the Final): Gabe Mastico and Rich Penny; Best Speaker: Gabe Mastico; Best Novice Speaker: Abby Semple