The Munk Debates are the world’s preeminent public debating forum.
The semi-annual Debates were established in 2008 as a charitable initiative of the Aurea Foundation co-founders Peter and Melanie Munk. The Debates take place in Toronto in the evening in front of an audience of 3,000 people at Roy Thomson Hall. The Debates last approximately an hour and a half. Two panelists argue for a debate style motion and two against. The format is short opening statements followed by a civil and substantive moderated panel discussion, followed by short closing statements. Past participants include Henry Kissinger, Glenn Greenwald, Paul Krugman, Fareed Zakaria, Tony Blair, Christopher Hitchens and Larry Summers, among others. The Debates are broadcast throughout Canada by the CBC and across the continental United States on C-SPAN. The transcript of each debate is published as a book in Canada by House of Anansi Press and internationally.
The Munk Debates are open to the general public. Tickets to the debates are $30 to $95 each. Seating is limited. Each event begins at 7:00 PM with a vote by the audience on the resolution being debated. The final vote is tallied and the winning side announced before 9:00 PM.
The Munk Debates are organized by Rudyard Griffiths, the President of the Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation.
The Munk Debates benefit from advice and insights of an advisory board. Its members include Mark Cameron, Andrew Coyne, Devon Cross, Allan Gotlieb, George Jonas, Margaret MacMillan, Anthony Munk, Robert Prichard and Janice Stein.