Our aim is to create opportunities for our community to develop nuanced, critical, and informed perspectives on issues of national and global concern.
Think of the Wolf Hall Debates like the ‘city gates’ or ‘town square’, where all citizens are invited to subject the public discourse of the day to critical analysis.
See complete Debate Schedule for the dates of upcoming events.
Our events follow a template similar to the Oxford debate style:
First Vote: Upon entry to the event, the audience votes whether they are For, Against, or Undecided on the motion.
The debate unfolds in three rounds:
Round I: 7 minute opening statements.
Audience Questions: After Round I, the audience is invited to submit written questions. These questions help frame and direct the discussion of Round II.
Round II: 15-30 minutes of moderated questions.
Round III: 2 minute closing statements
Second Vote: Upon completion of Round III, the audience votes again. By comparing the percentage point differences between the first and second vote, everyone can get a sense for how the audience’s thinking changed over the course of the debate.
Wolf Hall Debates usually features Respondents from the community, who offer their own analysis of the issue, after the final vote has been cast. Respondents are not necessarily neutral commentators. They help the audience to appreciate other perspectives and arguments perhaps not captured in the formal debate.
Wolf Hall Debates are convened by James Shelley. All events (and this website) are organized by volunteers in the community.