About

The Munk Debates provide a lively and substantive forum for leading thinkers to debate the major issues facing the world.

The Munk Debates are a Canadian charitable initiative established by Aurea Foundation co-founders Peter and Melanie Munk. Held semi-annually since 2008, the Munk Debates are Canada’s premier public policy forum. The Debates take place in Toronto in the evening in front of an audience of 3,000 people at Roy Thomson Hall. The event lasts 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, Paul Krugman, Fareed Zakaria, Tony Blair, and Larry Summers, among others. The Debates are funded by the Aurea Foundation; a registered Canadian charity established in 2006 by Peter and Melanie Munk to promote nonpartisan public policy research and discussion. The Debates are broadcast on radio and television throughout Canada and the United States. The transcript of each debate is published as a book in Canada and internationally.

The Munk Debates are open to the general public. Tickets to the debates are $25 to $90 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 and Janice Stein.

Debates Organizer

Rudyard Griffiths

Rudyard Griffiths is the organiser and moderator of the Munk Debates, and President of the Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation. He is the author of the 2009 Globe and Mail book of the year, Who We Are: A Citizen's Manifesto, and has edited fifteen collections of essays on Canadian and international political and historical themes. For debate related content and commentary follow Rudyard on twitter at @rudyardg.