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|Headquarters||Notting Hill, London|
Intelligence Squared is a UK-based organisation that stages debates around the world. It began in London, but now operates globally in the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Greece, Ukraine, Nigeria and Israel. The debates are held in the traditional Oxford style, with as many as 2,500 people attending some events.
In 2012, Intelligence Squared started a partnership with Google producing the Versus Debates. The first "It's time to end the War on Drugs" was on 13 March 2012, featuring Richard Branson, Russell Brand, Antonio Maria Costa, Eliot Spitzer, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Fernando Cardoso and Julian Assange. The second Versus event was "Hip-hop doesn't enhance society, it degrades it". Q-Tip, KRS-One, Jesse Jackson, Jason Whitlock, dream hampton and more debated the politics of hip-hop to a hall of 2,000 and an online audience of 80,000.
Typically, a motion for debate is proposed and outlined by the chair, with a panel of two or three speakers each arguing for and against the motion. Previous speakers have included Stephen Fry, Richard Dawkins, Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens. The audience is asked to vote before the debate, and then again after all the speeches have been made, to see which side has persuaded the most people to change their vote. There is also an opportunity for the audience to pose questions to individual members of each panel before the final vote is taken.
Intelligence Squared on TV
Intelligence Squared debates have also been broadcast globally on BBC World to audiences of up to seventy million. These have included "George W Bush is the worst American President for the past fifty years", "The Future of Iraq" and "The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world". This final debate also received nearly one million hits on YouTube after its BBC broadcast. Intelligence Squared also release all their videos online to YouTube.
Intelligence Squared in the US
In September 2006, Intelligence Squared U.S., was launched by Robert Rosenkranz, an initiative of The Rosenkranz Foundation, a non-profit organization. IQ2US Intelligence Squared U.S. is a live debate series with the goal of raising the level of public discourse and promoting a realization that, on contentious issues, those who challenge the conventional wisdom have intellectually respectable and often persuasive viewpoints. Intelligence Squared U.S. encourages citizens to “Think Twice” about their opinions and participate in the conversation, and it provides a forum for balanced discussion that transcends emotion and ideology. Through an annual series of between 10 and 12 live Oxford-style debates,brings together experts and audience around public policy and cultural issues. IQ2US debates air on the Bloomberg Television network and are heard on more than 220 NPR stations nationwide. Intelligence Squared U.S. attracts top tier thinkers and the world's leading authorities debating the most pressing issues of the day. Dana Wolfe is the executive producer and John Donvan of ABC News is the moderator.
Intelligence Squared in Israel
In 2013, Intelligence Squared Israel was launched by Roxanne Horesh. The first live Oxford-style debate was held on April 2013 in Tel Aviv Museum of Art on the subject "If Israel continues on its current course, it cannot remain both a democratic and Jewish state".
Intelligence Squared was founded by two media businessmen, Jeremy O'Grady and John Gordon, in 2002. Also closely involved are Tony Curzon Price and Hannah Kaye. In 2012, the company passed into the new ownership of Amelie von Wedel, Yana Peel and David Legg.