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Debates Offer Invaluable Insights into Key Issues

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"Provocative and timely debates". That is the promise from a website that puts leading minds together to discuss a broad range of thought-provoking topics.

But Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), part of an international network of Intelligence Squared sites, offers a lot more besides giving visitors an opportunity to hear expert thinking concerning such issues as:
  • How commitments to seniors could affect tomorrow's economy;
  • Whether investment in the clean energy sector could create millions of jobs across North America; and
  • Is global warming a crisis or not?
The site hosts complete video footage of 50 debates that follow the traditional Oxford-style format: one side proposes a sharply-framed motion and the other side opposes, using opening and closing arguments and answering questions from the audience. The debaters cover a cross-section of society, and previous participants have included:
  • Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point;
  • Peter Schiff, CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, who forecast the bursting of the U.S. housing market;
  • Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal;
  • Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and
  • Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post.
Besides the videos, IQ2US also offers transcripts plus "research in depth"; for instance, a debate on the question of whether aid to Africa is doing more harm than good is accompanied by essays from Africa experts, journalists, charities, and non-governmental organizations, giving visitors to the site detailed insight into what could be a complex and contentious subject.

 Visitors can search for debates by category, sign up for a newsletter, and even attend a debate in person, all part of the founders' plan to "provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis; to transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological; and to encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views."

Pros: the high level of discussion from leading minds; the extra in-depth analysis.
Con: several clicks are required to find the full videos, which can be time-consuming.
Address: http://intelligencesquaredus.org/

360 Albert Street, Suite 1740, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7
Tel.: 613.236.8196 Fax: 613.233.4552