When we started the Salon Speakers in the summer of 2004, our intention was to bring the best thinkers on current international issues to grano restaurant in Toronto. We felt strongly that Canadians needed to hear more about international problems that affect Canada such as the role of America in a post 9/11 world. But just as important, we wanted to break away from the traditional lecture forums and revert to a true salon where guests not only get to listen, but interact with speakers in a casual, stimulating environment.
Our approach to each event is simple: We ask our speakers to give an informal talk for 30 to 40 minutes without notes followed by a rigorous Q & A. Our speakers have included a roster of great minds including the late Samuel P. Huntington, Bernard Lewis, Christopher Hitchens, Gore Vidal, David Gergen, Paul Volcker, Niall Ferguson and Bob Woodward. Given the enthusiastic reception to our series in all four cities, we know the formula works.
The Munk Debates
Based on the success of our series, Salon Speakers was retained in 2008 to organize and manage the bi-annual Munk Debates in Toronto (www.munkdebates.com).