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Frankly Speaking 2024

23 February

A Benjamin Franklin House debate competition in collaboration with the US Embassy London and the DAR Walter Hines Page Chapter.

Benjamin Franklin exemplified Enlightenment beliefs like the primacy of reason and critical thought. In his role as a colonial agent, and later as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Franklin regularly had to advance his opinions in the face of challenge and criticism, which he did with careful argument and wit.

In that spirit, and to encourage tomorrow’s thinkers today, Benjamin Franklin House proudly holds the annual Frankly Speaking Debate Competition for upper secondary school students, in collaboration with the US Embassy London. The winner joins students from across Europe and the United States at the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute.

We run two debate competitions on the day. Our Junior Competition is for students in Years 10 and 11; our Senior Competition is for Years 12 and 13. All participants must be in the relevant year groups to participate in each respective competition.

Applications for the 2024 competition will open on Monday 13th November at 9am and close on Friday 15th December at 3pm. If you would like more information or would like to apply, please email [email protected] and request an application form.

Applications must be completed by a staff member. If you are a student and wish to participate – please inform a member of staff at your school.

Frankly Speaking 2024 will take place on Friday 23rd February 2024 and will be hosted by the United States Embassy London.

The individual winner of the Year 10/11 category will receive a private tour of the Houses of Parliament. The individual winner of the Year 12/13 category will join students from across Europe and the United States for an all-expenses-paid Summer school at the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship Summer Institute. In 2023, this was held at Purdue University, Indiana, over 4 weeks in June/July.

The 2023 competition took place on Friday 24th February. The heats, semi-finals, finals and awards ceremony were all be held at the United States Embassy London. The debates followed an ‘Extended Mace’ format with 2 students in each team. There is a Year 10/11 category and a Year 12/13 category.

For information about the 2024 competition please contact our Education Manager.


United States Embassy London
33 Nine Elms Ln, Nine Elms
London, England SW11 7US United Kingdom
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Benjamin Franklin House
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