Ladue IPPF team advances to Top 32

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Ladue IPPF team advances to Top 32

The Ladue 2018-19 IPPF team: (left to right) Seniors Olivia Liu, Max Kornfeld, and Egret Jin.

The Ladue 2018-19 IPPF team: (left to right) Seniors Olivia Liu, Max Kornfeld, and Egret Jin.

The Ladue 2018-19 IPPF team: (left to right) Seniors Olivia Liu, Max Kornfeld, and Egret Jin.

The Ladue 2018-19 IPPF team: (left to right) Seniors Olivia Liu, Max Kornfeld, and Egret Jin.

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Seniors Egret Jin, Max Kornfeld and Olivia Liu advanced to Top 32 in the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) Jan. 2. IPPF is an international debate essay contest, and participants can choose either the affirmative or negative side of this year’s topic, “Resolved: US abdication of international leadership creates dangerous global instability.”

Any high-school student can participate in IPPF. There needs to be at least three people on a team and there is no maximum number of people that can be on a team. Every competing team submits an essay to be evaluated. The top 64 teams go into an elimination bracket, where they get paired up with an opponent. Then, the next stages are Top 32, Top 16, Top 8, and so on. The top 8 teams receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York to compete in person.

“The essays are very long and have to be thoroughly sourced,” Kornfeld said. “My last one had over 40 sources. So trying to write them and get our school work done has been fairly demanding.”

The competition started in October and ends in April. Top 64 and 32 receive individualized medals, and Top 16 and above receive cash prizes. There are no independent roles for each team member, therefore Jin, Kornfeld and Liu worked together to come up with argument ideas, research the topic, and write essays.

“We did the best we could using our combined strengths,” Jin said. “Olivia and Max both have experience debating orally, and I have experience with written dissertations.”

In the past, Ladue had a team that got to Top 32, but never to Top 16. Overall, IPPF provides an opportunity for students to improve and their writing and debate skills. Kornfeld believes that IPPF is a good experience for students.

“IPPF exists to give people another outlet to develop their argumentation skills,” Kornfeld said. “It’s the biggest debate essay contest in the world, and it includes more diverse perspectives than you’re typically exposed to.”