What is Doha Debates?
Doha Debates believes the world will be a better place if we make room to listen to and understand all sides of an issue and seek consensus together. As divisions on social, geopolitical, scientific and other issues become more entrenched, people retreat into echo chambers and refuse to listen to a spectrum of perspectives. We believe that positive, meaningful change only happens when we build bridges among a diversity of viewpoints.
Even on the most complex and divisive problems, with the right tools, empathy, and determination, we can learn from each other and walk away with a more robust and nuanced understanding of an issue. Inspired by Majlis-style debates, which creates a welcoming space for discussion of diverse views, we engage with young people from every region and country who are invested in solving urgent global issues. Through our programming and content, Doha Debates provides intellectual and practical tools to empower a new generation of leaders who can bridge divides and resolve differences.
To address global challenges through Majlis-style debate.
To inspire a generation to constructively debate differences in order to build a better future.
The original Doha Debates was founded by former BBC correspondent Tim Sebastian in 2004 with funding from Qatar Foundation. All eight seasons of the Oxford Union-style debates were televised on BBC World News, with each episode posing a question that centered around the Arab world.
In 2018, Qatar Foundation rebuilt Doha Debates around the concept of the Majlis, replacing the traditional debate format with one that encourages both the debaters and viewers to seek common ground among disparate viewpoints. Today’s Doha Debates highlights voices from the global south and global north on issues that affect all of us, and engages young people from more than 230 nations and territories.