Munk Debates

About the Program

Established in 2008, the Munk Debates brings together acclaimed thinkers around the world to tackle the big questions of our time. Since its launch, the Munk Debates have become the world’s leading debate series focusing on civil and substantive public conversation.

Each episode in this three-part series was recorded in front of 3,000 people in downtown Toronto Canada. These debates follow a classic format employing opening statements, free form rebuttals, and closing statements. Moderator Rudyard Griffiths keeps an eye on the clock and ensures the debate flows smoothly and remains on point.

The Munk Debates is supported by/brought to you by The Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation.


Three, one-hour long programs. Each hour can be aired separately or back-to-back.

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ContentDepot File Transfer

Preview audio available: July 1, 2021
Promo spot available: July 7, 2021
Program rundown available: July 12, 2021
Date content will be uploaded: July 12, 2021

Episode 1: Capitalism ContentDepot

Episode 2: Religion ContentDepot

Episode 3: Progress ContentDepot

Broadcast Window

July 14, 2021 - October 31, 2021

Broadcast Rights

Available to all APM affiliates; subscription to the APM Presents package is not required for carriage. Affiliate stations may carry this program multiple times before November 1, 2021. The program must be carried in its entirety. No excerpting is permitted. Simulcast streaming rights are available for this program. Prior to carrying this program, stations must contact their American Public Media Station Relations Representative.

Garvia Bailey Headshot

Garvia Bailey

Garvia is the presenter of The Munk Debates. She is a Canadian based BPOC broadcaster, former CBC Radio host and independent documentary and television producer. She is the founder, a community driven platform for jazz music enthusiasts.

Rudyard Griffiths Headshot

Rudyard Griffiths

Rudyard Griffiths is the moderator of the Munk Debates. He is a former Bloomberg Television Canada anchor, newspaper columnist and best-selling author.

Episode 1: Capitalism

This episode asks: Is the current capitalist system broken and is it time for something different?

This episode features New York Times columnist David Brooks, and former head of American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks. They debate European socialist leader Yannis Varoufakis and editor of The Nation magazine, Katrina vanden Heuvel.
The pro-capitalism Brooks team argues that whatever its flaws, capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty and is the only economic system that inspires innovation and creativity and remains critical to ensuring the greatest political freedom. Their opponents counter that capitalism is so broken it now poses a threat not just to democracy but to the survival of the planet. They argue that capitalism must be completely reformed into a more humane system.

This debate was recorded live in Toronto on December 4, 2019

Episode 2: Religion

This episode asks: Is religion a force for good or bad?

In this debate, the late Christopher Hitchens – one of the most searing polemicists of the 20th century faces off against former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Hitchens argues that religion is built on fear and loathing and has caused centuries of misery and oppression. Blair, a staunch Catholic, counters that religion is a powerful motivator in the faithful who, inspired by their faith, carry out incredible acts of charity and good works to make the world a better place.

This debate was recorded live in Toronto on November 26, 2010

Episode 3: Progress

This episode asks: Do humankind’s best days lie ahead?

The debate on progress features British author, journalist Matt Ridley; best-selling author and New Yorker contributor Malcolm Gladwell; Harvard professor and one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Steven Pinker and philosopher, writer and founder of the London-based school called The School of Life, Alain de Botton.
Pinker and Ridley argue that humanity reached a turning point in the 20th century with more people living longer healthier lives, eating more, earning more, learning more – especially women. Gladwell and de Botton counter that it is naïve to think we have escaped the inevitable crises that still threaten our survival as a species. They argue that we have barely begun to deal with the greatest collective threat we have ever faced – global warming.

This debate was recorded live in Toronto on November 6, 2015

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