“Always intelligent and provocative, as well as disciplined and civil. A stimulating way to spend an evening.”

- The Wall Street Journal

More praise for IQ2 US

A Discussion Grounded In Facts And Informed By Reasoned Analysis

The Program

A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis, and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. IQ2US has reached millions through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, and interactive digital content. It has been one of the top 25 most popular podcasts on iTunes and has been recognized with multiple awards, including three consecutive New York Festivals International Radio Awards for Best Public Affairs Program. The debates have attracted some of the world’s top thinkers, including Anne-Marie Slaughter, David Miliband, Aubrey de Grey, Michèle Flournoy, Scott Turow, Chrystia Freeland, Michael Hayden, Andrew Solomon, John Yoo, Arianna Huffington, Malcolm Gladwell, Laura Ingraham, David Brooks, Peter Thiel, Paul Krugman, and Eliot Spitzer, among many others. With over 100 debates and counting, IQ2US encourages audiences to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Best of all, your vote decides which team carries the day.

Our mission is 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.   

Based on the highly successful Oxford debate program in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. brings together the world’s leading authorities on the day’s most important issues.  The Rosenkranz Foundation initiated the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series and continues to provide major support.  

The Approach

The series is based on the traditional Oxford-style debate format, with one side proposing and the other side opposing a sharply-framed motion. Before the debate begins, the audience registers their pre-debate opinion using an electronic voting system. These results are announced later in the program. Alternating between panels, each debater gives a 7-minute opening statement. After this segment concludes, the moderator opens the floor for questions from the audience and inter-panel challenges. This adversarial context is electric, adding drama and excitement. The debaters have one final opportunity to sway audience opinion through their 2-minute closing arguments. The audience delivers the final verdict by voting again whether they are for, against, or undecided on the proposition. The two sets of results are compared and the winner is determined by which team has swayed more audience members between the two votes.

Live Debates

The debates are held at the Kaufman Center, located at 129 W. 67th Street, New York NY 10023. Evenings begin at 5:45 PM with a cash bar reception for panelists and audience members; the live debate starts at 6:45 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. For venue information, click here.

Radio Program And Podcast

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates can be heard on over 200 public radio stations across the nation. Contact your local station for scheduling information or click here to download the iTunes Podcast Series.

Live Webcasts

FORAWatch Intelligence Squared Debates U.S. live online, in real time, via Fora.tv, the leading online destination for video programs from the world's best conferences and events.


AboutPageTile-UnfoldInteractive voting for Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates is powered by Unfold. Keeping track of the attitudes and arguments around every topic, Unfold is your trusted resource for staying informed.


about-award2015 New York Festivals International Radio Silver Award:
Best Public Affairs Program

2015 New York Festivals International Radio Bronze Award:
Best Regularly Scheduled Talk Program

2014 Association for Women in Communications Clarion Award:
Radio Regular Feature Program

2014 New York Festivals International Radio Bronze Award:
Best Public Affairs Program

2013 New York Festivals International Radio Silver Award:
Best Public Affairs Program

2013 Telly Award in Film & Video:
Silver Award for Live Events

2013 Telly Award in Film & Video:
Bronze Award for Political/Commentary