Author Archives: Stefan Zweiker

An Obituary on Alfred Snider


Today we had to sadly learn that Professor Alfred Snider passed away. We send our condolences to his family and friends and grieve Tuna, who was a constant force for good in the debating community and in the world.

As a professor for Forensics at the University of Vermont, Alfred Snider spread debating all over the world; often to the areas that needed it the most. He built up debating in Serbia and Kosovo as a means of reconciliation among the youth after the Kosovo war and recently fostered debating in Palestine. His wise words however were never restricted by geography. Tuna had the power to connect debaters all over the world.

DKWien owes much to Tuna’s efforts. As early as 2006 Austrian debaters met Tuna in nearby Slovenia, where he was one of the driving forces behind the IDAS tournament. His efforts in the region spread and helped us develop as we were always very much invited to his events; a core group of DK Wien followed his call to a debate camp in rural Serbia in 2010 and have since become some of our most accomplished debaters. Much of what we now teach our fresher’s we ourselves have learned from Tuna.  Later, our own tournament, the Vienna IV, would have not reached its international dimension without his efforts to bring the Vermont teams over the “big pond”.

Alfred Snider’s trips, tips, tweets, articles, contingents, workshops and words were a wonderful illustration of the peaceful power of debate, which no-one embodied like him. Indeed, he gave us a gift he made to so many in the world: He broadened our horizon. He brought young people to connect, to understand, to speak – be it across tables, across boundaries or across the entire world. Today the debating community has lost an important person.

May he rest in peace.

The Vienna Debaters


//sz, msi

Taking Things Seriously: DKWien at Arandjelovac Open 2014

A brave group of young debaters from our beloved DKWien took advantage of (mostly) great weather for a wonderful trip to Serbia  to compete in the „most serious tournament in Europe“, Arandjelovac Open.

Success was moderate, but our motivation was unbreakable. For the sake of the story, let’s start at the beginning.

Vienna Delegation at Arandjelovac Open - and the Vienna EUDC flag!

Vienna Delegation at Arandjelovac Open – and the Vienna EUDC flag!

Inspired by our own Stefan Zweiker, who stepped up to fill the role of one of the Deputy Chief Adjudicators  of the tournament, the debating teams of Lisa Duschek & Yasmin Fareed and Christoph Pirringer & Ingo Bandhauer made their way to Arandjelovac.  Our dear Regina Puthenpurayil, who attended the tournament as a judge, was of course a big part of making the experience unforgettable as well.

But since that would be way too straight forward for some, Yasmin, Lisa and Christoph decided to take DK-Wien cruiser, fresh out of top-secret government labs (also known as a Volvo 740). The road-trip led them along the beautiful Balaton (where the local tourism-industry was still hibernating) and then onwards to Belgrade.

The most amazing food, wonderfully nice locals and a great guided walking tour of the city started us off on a great weekend. The following day, Friday, we met up with Regina and Stefan for a quick lunch before we left for Arandjelovac.

After hilariously criss-crossing the city (Arandjelovac is actually quite large) we found our Hotel, the „Runja Zora“, which would be our home for the next 2 days. Luckily for those of us who did not have the responsibility of judging (and for some reason therefore had to go into „seclusion“ separate from the debaters) we had the greatest apartment of the hotel, including a Jacuzzi. Unfortunately however, whenever we had time to use it, we had no hot water.

Well, such are the trials of young debaters, and we had better things to do anyways, since our stay at the Runja Zora started off with a great and lighthearted social event to meet and greet all the debaters.

That the tournament actually WANTED to be the most serious tournament in europe was shown in the „fun-debate“ between the chief adjudicators, debating on “This house regrets the break-up of Yugoslavia”. To balance out 20th century politics, the „graffiti party“ left all of us with artistically-enhanced t-shirts. After a fun evening of celebrating, chatting and drinking Rakia (the devil’s beverage) we went to bed (some more drunk than others). On Saturday morning, the pre-rounds finally started in a nearby school and while Lisa and Yasmin were sent straight to the „bin“ after the first debate, Christoph and Ingo actually made 1st place. After recognizing that the bin „tastes like garbage“ Lisa and Yasmin agreed to leave it as quickly as possible. Fate was finally in their favour and they managed to make 2nd place. Unfortunately, the two guys got 4th in this round. With similarly varying success both teams pushed through all 4 rounds that Saturday with motions ranging from „THB that countries neutral in WW2 (e.g. Switzerland) should pay financial reparations to countries occupied by Nazi-Germany“ to „THB that disabled persons should be paid services of sex-workers with public health-care money.“ The last round on Saturday being a closed round, the day was concluded without knowing how many team-points each team had gotten. Tired from the day, both teams decided to „skip“ the official socials and have a pyjama-room-party instead. It was a nice evening with loads of unhealthy snacks and local (non-alcoholic!) fruit juices.

First Opposition (Oxford) took the win in a thrilling final "THS a right to bear arms"

First Opposition (Cambridge) took the win in a thrilling final “THS a right to bear arms”

We faced Sunday and with it the last pre-round well rested. The motion was „THBT feminists in the Western World should not campaign against polygamy in Islamic countries“. While in some of the previous rounds prep-time was used by Lisa to explain European History to Yasmin, Yasmin’s time had now come, for this motion was exactly the one she had hoped for. Thanks to her vivid speech about women’s empowerment in Islamic countries the two made 2nd place again.

Unfortunately the road-trip threesome had to leave just after the break-announcement, because 800 kilometres were still ahead of them. So they said goodbye to Arandjelovac, the Rujna Zora, the stray dogs and their beloved supermarket and left for Vienna.

In the end it turned out that both teams had gotten 6 team-points, so at least no one would kill anyone else out of envy. With a trunk full of incredibly cheap Serbian hygiene products and a newly-developed taste for long road trips we returned home where we decided to get a good night of sleep and digest the impressions and experiences of Arandjelovac Open.

Lisa Duschek


Motions of Arandjelovac Open 2014, March 21st-23rd 2014
R1: In countries where prostitution is legal, THBT national health systems should cover services of sex workers for the disabled.
R2: THBT feminists should not campaign against polygamy in the Islamic world.
R3: THBT countries like Switzerland, that were neutral in WW II should pay financial reparations to states occupied by the Nazis.
R4: THW criminalise the public denial of evolution.
R5: THBT the Western World should not portray ‘’The Great Explorers’’ (e.g. Christoph Columbus, Vasco da Gama) as heroes.
Semi: THBT the US should covertly manipulate election results in South and Central America, in order to prevent the emergence of left wing governments.
Final: THB in right to bear arms

10 Years of Debating in Austria – Birthday Party


Buckle up your Lederhosen, and get ready for some Schnaps! We are going to party properly Austrian style this Saturday. We Austrians love the mountains, are crazy fun-seekers and since ten years we also debate. Time to celebrate and have a good time.

Location: The Vienna IV Break Night and Birthday Party will take place at “Bergstation Tirol”, close to Karlsplatz. It’s a unique mixture between a Ski-hut and a club. Once at the Künstlerhaus, you will take the stairs down to the Bergstation – but once you’re inside, you will feel like in a hut on top of the Tyrolean mountains!

Dinner: You will be served delicious Tyrolean specialities, there will be one free drink included and a discounted drink special just for you!

Dresscode: If you do have a “Dirndl”, traditional Austrian dress or Lederhosen, you should absolutely wear them. Otherwise the dress code is anything that is red (and smart)!

Start: Dinner will start at 7pm and our volunteers will escort you to Karlsplatz from WU.

Vienna IV 2014 Surrounding Programme



Warning: If you were planning on coming to Vienna to be bored, do not read this article. 

The 2014 Surrounding Programme

As a Vienna IV tradition we prefer to extend the joy of debating beyond the actual tournament. Also we think, seven days of activities should easily fit into a three day tournament. Hence, the 2014 surrounding programme features 7 days of socials, an extra debate and some great opportunities for you to see Vienna. If you’re in Vienna for Vienna IV you are very much invited to join in to the events, find more information about them in the respective Facebook Event.

All In One Place For Smart People

Add the Vienna IV Calendar as an ICAL or XML to your calendars and have all events, locations and the full tournament schedule on your smartphone. There is also an html version.

The Schedule

[ws_table id=”1″]

DKWien. The K stands for Crazy.

Öffentliche Debatte an der WU Wien


Regulierung VS Liberalisierung

In welcher Welt wollen wir leben?

Öffentliche Debatte im Oxford-Stil, präsentiert von DKWien in Zusammenarbeit mit der Wirtschaftpolitischen Akademie

12/12/2013, 18:30, TC.4.03 WU Wien
Eintritt frei, keine Anmeldung notwendig.

Facebook Event

[section=Das Thema]

Die Welt ist seit dem Ausbruch der Krise im Jahr 2008 nicht mehr dieselbe. Die Wirtschafts- und Finanzkrise hat Schwächen im Wirtschaftssystem aufgezeigt. Doch wie lautet die Lösung, um diesen zu begegnen? Ist es nun an der Zeit die Eigenverantwortung zu stärken und staatliche Einflüsse zurückzudrängen? Oder muss der Staat stärker denn je regulierend eingreifen?


[section=Die Rednerinnen und Redner]

Dr. Elisabeth Springler, WU Wien

Dr. Elisabeth Springler lehrt am Institut für Geld- und Finanzpolitik des Departments für Volkswirtschaftslehre der WU Wien. Zu ihren Forschungsschwerpunkten zählen unter anderem die post-keynesianische Geldtheorie und die Europäsche Integration. Mehr Informationen

a.o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Alfred Stiassny, WU Wien

A.o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Alfred Stiassny lehrt am Institut für Quantitative Volkswirtschaftslehre des Department für Volkswirtschaft der WU Wien. Zu seinen Forschungsschwerpunkten zählen die neue keynesianische Theorie, die Arbeitsmarkttheorie und die Ökonometrie. Mehr Informationen

Claudia Gamon, NEOS

Claudia Gamon war die Spitzenkandidatin der Jungen Liberalen (JuLis) bei den letzten ÖH Wahlen und ist für die liberale Partei NEOS aktiv. Seit ihren vier Jahren in der Politik setzt sie sich für liberale Werte in der Gesellschaft ein. Mehr Informationen

Vierter Redner tba


[section=Die Debatte]

Die Tradition

Die öffentliche Debatte folgt dem Stil der Oxford Union Debates. Seit Jahrhunderten lädt die Oxford Union berühmte Redner in ihre Chamber um kontroverse Standpunkte mit Mitteln der Debatte dem Publikum darzulegen. Dabei kommt es gerade nicht darauf an dass sich RednerInnen nach der Debatte einigen. Dadurch dass sie sich gegenseitig ausschließende Punkte vertreten und versuchen das Publikum zu überzeugen wird erst sichergestellt, dass die Unterschiede zwischen den Sichtweisen herausgearbeitet werden und für die Zuhörenden offensichtlich werden. Traditionell bestimmt das Publikum bei den Oxford Union Debatten auch einen Gewinner der Debatte. Das ist diejenige Seite, die durch ihre Reden am meisten Zuhörende auf ihre Seite bringen konnte.

Das Format

Je zwei Redner sprechen für, zwei gegen das Thema in abwechselnden Reden zu je 7 Minuten. Die Redezeit ist fixiert und darf nicht unterbrochen werden. Jedoch darf die Gegenseite Fragen durch Handzeichen anbieten, diese jedoch nur stellen, wenn sie der Redner bzw. die Rednerin auch annimmt. Nach den vier abwechselnden Reden nimmt der Moderator Fragen aus dem Publikum auf und gibt sie gesammelt weiter (etwa 15-20min). Abschließend wird die Debatte für jede Seite kurz (5min) zusammengefasst. Bei der Debatte am 12/12/2013, wird dies von RednerInnen des Debattierklub Wien übernommen, denen ihre Seite zugelost wurde.

Nach der Debatte hat das Publikum die Möglichkeit durch geheime Abstimmung einen Gewinner zu bestimmen.

Die Moderation wird von Jakob Reiter (DKWien) übernommen.

Der Ablauf

18:30 Offizieller Einlass

18:40/18:45 Kurze Einführung für die ZuseherInnen

18:50 Start der Debatte

19:20 Fragen aus dem Publikum

19:45 Schlussreden (2x 5min)

19:55 Ende, geheime Abstimmung.

Zeitplan während der Debatte +/- 15min abhängig vom Publikums Reaktionen.


Diese Debatte findet in Kooperation mit der Wirtschaftspolitischen Akademie statt. Wir danken der WU Wien für die Zurverfügungstellung der Räumlichkeiten. Die öffentliche Debatte ist auch Teil des Projektes Debate Changing Europe der International Debate Education Association (IDEA) und wird mit Mitteln der Europäischen Union gefördert.

A Weekend with the Irish Debating Family – Cork IV 2013

Andreas Prischl and Stefan  Zweiker went on the way to Ireland to meet the Irish Debating Clan

Andreas Prischl and Stefan Zweiker went to Ireland to meet the Irish Debating Clan

The days are getting shorter and the pleasant anticipation of Christmas is creeping in. It’s the time of the year when families reunite to celebrate and catch up on what has happened during the year. The remote brothers and sisters fly in or take the train to unite around the table, after a busy year. This is very much the context for Cork IV, the last reunion of the Irish debating circuit before the World Championship.

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