Our Work

Delivering your vision

The Economist Debates

Creating a mobile-optimised intelligent debating platform

The Economist wanted to create ‘The Economist Debates’, an adaptation of the Oxford style of debating to an online audience. We helped them with the design, development and systems integration to create a user-friendly, mobile optimised technical solution.  

The Challenge

The aim of the project was to apply an Oxford debate format to an online forum and build a CMS platform to support this.  Debating revolves around an assertion that is defended on one side (the "proposer") and assailed on another (the "opposition"). The contest is hosted and overseen by a moderator.

Cameron & Wilding were asked to design and develop the entire solution including the user interface, CMS and integration of numerous APIs. Strict and complex processes were followed in order to transform the practical rules of the debate style into technical solutions.

The Solution

We built a standalone, user-friendly solution for The Economist Debates using Drupal technology. It was designed to be particularly easy to view and access via mobile devices and allow for unlimited users.

We integrated several APIs to allow for displaying sponsor advertisements on debate pages and to enable users to log in with their economist.com credentials so to use specific The Economist Debates authorised features such as voting and commenting.

URL: http://debates.economist.com

The Key Benefits

The solution was launched in May, 2015.  It allows those attending the Oxford-style debate to participate by either voting to determine the debate's winner and by addressing comments to the moderator.  Readers are encouraged to vote.  As long as the debate is open, users may change their vote as many times as they wish. Users can send comments to the moderator who will single out the most compelling for discussion by the speakers.

  • Mobile optimised
  • Easy to use, access and view
  • Flexible and scalable - unlimited users