National Issues Forum
The National Issues Forum (NIF) is a unique program that offers opportunities for high school delegates to debate and research issues of national and/or international importance.
In Lansing, the National Issues Forum uses a format where proposals are presented to delegates in four successive rounds (each of increasing size) at “Proposal Hearings”. A Chair leads delegates in each forum.
To involve youth in the problem solving of issues affecting the country and the world
- To address issues of national and international concern
- To have every delegate prepare and present a proposal of his/her choosing
- To consider, debate, discuss and evaluate every proposal in progressively larger forums
- To provide small forums for debate, discussion and group interaction – allowing each delegate numerous speaking opportunities
- To train delegates on public speaking, debate, and proposal writing and research
- To develop traits of leadership, awareness and civic engagement in all delegates
- To have fun!
As a delegate you are responsible for:
- Independently identifying and researching an issue of national or international importance
- Writing a one-page proposal on the topic of your choice
- Preparing and delivering a two-minute speech in favor of your proposal at your initial session hearing and subsequent rounds (should you advance)
- Participating in the debate and discussion of fellow delegates’ proposals
During the Lansing Conference
- Every delegate will have several opportunities to speak.
- Delegates engage in intense discussions, argue in favor of their own proposal and debate the merits and flaws of other delegates’ proposals in four forums/hearings of ever increasing size. (We call these forums “rounds”.)
- At the end of each round, delegates will rank the proposals presented using specific criteria. Each proposal’s composite score from these rankings determines the proposals that advance to the next round.
- In General Assembly, (“GA”) the fourth and final round, the top proposals are presented by their author to the entire National Issues Forum, where the proposal is passed or defeated.