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Conferences & Practice Debates

Conferences, Practice Debates and Explorations

Two Decades Academy offers a series of educational opportunities- debates, simulations, conferences, and travel- that supplement weekly classes in our Year-Round Program. These adjunt opportunities are only offered to our Year-Round Delegates. 

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Our recommended conferences and practice debates guide students and parents through the overwhelming world of debate competition and preparation.


Most organizations can sign students up for a conference and chaperone a trip, but we've seen in our twelve years of this work that not all conferences are created equal, and a conference is only beneficial to your student if they're attentively prepared for and coached through the experience. This is especially true for Middle School students and those new to debate.


Each year we carefully select, review, and recommend conferences to our students and parents, and provide our own conferences and training to cover the gaps we see in the ecosystem. These are mostly in-person, but we create special online offerings for our remote and international students, with the option for Bay Area in-persons students to participate. 

MIDDLE SCHOOL Debate Conferences


We host debate conferences for Middle School students, which simulate real- world political bodies tasked with deciding on crucial issues. For example, past conferences have simulated the United Nations Security Council, the Greek or British Parliament, or the United States Senate. These conferences generally last between two and three days.


These conferences are staffed by our teachers and administrative staff, and provide leadership, mentorship, and operational opportunities for our own High School students.


This offers our Middle Schoolers first-hand accounts and guidance on the realities and best strategies of competitive debate from our most advanced students, who compete at the highest level in the country.



For our High School Students, being a part of creating and executing TDA's Debate Conferences is an invite only opportunity- we offer select High School students opportunities to develop their leadership and cultivate their organizational abilities,  where they learn skills in experience/service design, project management, discussion and debate facilitation, teaching, mentorship, and giving actionable feedback.


Designing, leading, and implementing debate conferences is a core skill of any High School student looking to participate in or lead debate, Model UN, or other related initiatives in college. 

HIGH SCHOOL Travel Away Conferences

For High School students, TDA is selective about its conferences. We attend the most prestigious and well-run Model UN, Model Congress and Model Parliament conferences. Students who apply and are accepted to away-conference participation receive additional preparatory classes, aside from our regular ones.


TDA generally attends between 2 and 4 conferences per year, but adjust based on demand and availability. ​

One-Day Practice Debates

These practice debates allow Middle and High School students to hone their debating skills with less time commitment for preparation and execution. Much like our Debate Conferences, they also simulate real- world bodies and decisions.​


Explorations are an immersive educational travel program, teaching the skills students need to solve the world's most wicked problems. TDA Explorations leverage the skills learned in our year-round programs, and introduce students to complex problem solving methodologies like systems thinking, design thinking, qualitative data collection and analysis, and strategic design.   


Our Explorations programs are offered generally twice per year. There are local, national, and international Exploration opportunities. Exploration curriculum design is led by our Founder and Educational Director, Simon Olavarria, and co-created with Design & Innovation firm Staircase Strategy

Explorations carry additional costs and are dependent on travel costs. Financial aid and payment options will be available for 20% of students.

Email for more information. 

Explorations were paused during the pandemic, and picked back up in 2023. 

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