Founded in 1992, IDIA has grown from a small non-profit organization serving local regions to a multifaceted organization impacting people around the world. While our first programs attracted just over one hundred people, IDIA programming now attracts more than 2,000 students each year from across the United States and around the world. Since its founding, IDIA has positively impacted more than 40,000 participating students, developing educated voters, active community leaders, and future scholars.
Increasingly divisive arguments and the growing disenchantment among average citizens in the United States indicate that government is not working to its fullest potential. Civilized debates no longer take place, and compromise seems to be a novel concept from history. Media outlets that once reported the news based upon the facts of the day now serve little more than to validate our existing beliefs, be they liberal, progressive, conservative, or indifferent, depending on our choice of channel. This situation is not unique in the US, as states around the world are suffering from bitter rivalries, political scandals, and civil wars.
The Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, Inc. (IDIA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing innovative educational opportunities to students of all ages so they may better understand their role in global and domestic civil society. In order for the voting age population to be active participants in government and community, it is important that younger populations have an in-depth and compelling understanding of their responsibilities both to their government and to their fellow citizens.
To fulfill its mission, IDIA sponsors a variety of programs and initiatives designed to make government and society more accessible and understandable by way of educational simulation and other proven teaching methods. These programs offer students the chance to be immersed in the processes of diplomacy, conflict resolution, and negotiation, while experiencing the intricate nature of varied governmental systems. IDIA also offers a host of resources for teachers to become more effective in the classroom environment.
We recognize that not everyone will be come a UN Delegate, a US Senator, or world leader. Indeed, the odds of anyone becoming an elected official are dramatically small. Our programs are designed to make our next generation as informed as possible to understand event the most complicated issues, and to make reasoned, informed decisions. We strongly encourage our participants to get involved in something that they believe in — whether it’s something like a bike exchange program at their local town level, or with global climate change in the international arena. The topic is unimportant. What’s critical is that IDIA program participants are equipped with the tools necessary to bring about positive social change.
IDIA provides the most rewarding educational experiences possible by moving students from benign classroom settings to more conducive learning environments. Our issues for debate are timely and well-researched, and our conferences focus on important areas of global and domestic concern, ranging from such concepts as representative democracy to minority voice; from the interrelation of international interests to the implications of partisan politics in the United States.