Last night we held our inaugural Civil Debate with The Theatre Centre, examining the Creative Cities theories of Richard Florida:
Be it resolved that the Creative Cities theories serve to reinforce dominant class structures.
Arguing for the resolution was Mammalian Diving Reflex’s Darren O’Donnell and Executive Director of Trinity Square Video, Roy Mitchell.
Kevin Stolarick, Research Director at The Martin Prosperity Institute, and Sabra Ripley, Masters of Public Health in community development and health promotion, and activist with BeautifulCity, argued against.
At times passionate, the debate often shifted into a conversational mode, which was what we’d been aiming for by calling the series “civil”. It was great to see lots of new faces, and turning the discussion over to the audience led to some of the most heated moments of the evening.
Everyone in the audience had an opportunity to vote for a side on their way out by dropping a poker chip into the “yea” or “nay” bags. The results were:
The Yeas have it with 45 votes to 19.
We definitely learned a lot from this first event, and as a result we will try a different voting strategy the next time around:
If you’re coming to the next event, you’ll be asked to vote for the side you agree with as you arrive, and you’ll be asked to vote again as you leave. The side that has changed the most minds will be declared the winner of the debate rather than simply the side with the most votes. We hope this will be an effective strategy for an event that attracts a crowd more obviously in favour of one side over another.
Stay tuned for a post on Wednesday where we will reveal the debaters for our next debate, to be held on Monday, April 1st:
Be it resolved that Boards of Directors have the right and responsibility to overrule the Artistic Direction of a theatre company.