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The State of Debate: An Intelligence Squared Roundtable

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Generally, it is good practice for any individual or organization to occasionally step back and evaluate a few big picture items. But when that review is sparked by a pandemic and real uncertainties about the state of western democracy, that little exercise often becomes existential. In that spirit, and in this special season review, Intelligence Squared casts a critical lens on itself; its mission to serve as a beacon for civil discourse, its examination of opposing perspectives; and the transformation the organization itself has experienced in light of such seismic events. In this especially candid discussion, John Donvan sits down with Intelligence Squared CEO Clea Conner, editor-at-large of Reason magazine, Nick Gillespie, and Robert Litan, an economist and attorney, whose recent book “Resolved: Debate Can Revolutionize Education and Help Save Our Democracy” bears particular relevance to this conversation. Collectively, this group asks the hard questions about the role of debate in society, but also of how IQ2 pivoted as the virtual world opened up. Finally, it is a look at the precious few places left for genuine discussion, and why, perhaps, it is needed now more than ever.

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