One of the fundamental cornerstones for a true and vibrant democracy is a public space for debate and discussion of diverse opinions. Launching in the Fall 2012, The Debates will create a public forum for the exercise of democracy and a space where citizens in Edmonton can come together to exercise their democratic right to discuss and debate critical policy issues that matter.
Inspired by the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC), The Debates will be launched with a goal of harnessing the power of sharing ideas and fostering public debate. The bi-annual series will ask an important question and invite debaters from diverse backgrounds to share their perspectives and engage in a lively conversation.
We believe that it is through impassioned public debate that we can re-energize citizens in our communities and engage them in being part of public policy. We also place value on the need to spark these debates outside the halls of politics or academia and to ground them in our community. The Debates focuses on bringing the perspective of academia, government, the private sector, community organizations and the broader public together - to act as a bridge between often separate discussions and experiences.
The Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) is an interdisciplinary and comparative research institute, housed at the University of Alberta. KIAS provides funding for transformational, socially-engaged research among faculty members, KIAS Postdoctoral Fellows, Doctoral Scholars, and undergraduate students through it programs. KIAS works in three-year research cycles with established themes to guide the activities that take place at the Institute. Those themes are currently: Stewardship of the Planet; Place, Belonging, and Otherness; and, Culture, Media, Technology. More information can be found at: www.kias.ualberta.ca and kuleinstitute.wordpress.com.
The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights (JHC) is dedicated to programming that fosters a sense of dignity, responsibility and justice. JHC has undertaken projects in partnership with organizations throughout Edmonton and Alberta that have worked to build communities where everyone belongs and lives in dignity. One of the key areas of work has been to bring youth to new levels of engagement and awareness about their role in the world. They are known projects such as the Ignite Change Now! Global Youth Assembly, our educational resources and youth leadership programs. More information can be found at: http://www.jhcentre.org/.