Brian Gruber, a 20-year veteran of the media marketing industry, founded FORA.tv in 2006 with funding from William Hearst, III, a director of media giant the Hearst Corporation and Hearst-Argyle television. “Fora” is the plural of “forum”—a place for discussing issues of public interest. FORA.tv does just that. Based in San Francisco, the site brings viewers conversations about timely political, social and cultural issues around the world, and through its multiple interactive tools it allows a place for visitors to become a part of the conversation. A variety of public forums are helping to build the platform, including C-SPAN, the Hoover Institution, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, Link TV, Cambridge University and Americans for Informed Democracy, among others.

Looking to zone out to mindless entertainment? Look elsewhere. Looking for intellectual stimulation? Come to FORA.tv. This site is a library of discussions on all topics imaginable. Here you’ll find unedited, in-depth, C-SPAN-style discussions from leading figures about today’s important political and social issues. Experts and leaders speak on the topics of business, education, environment, politics, religion, science, health, technology and cover all the regions of the world. Find a debate on the freedom of artistic expression with screenwriter Michael Arndt discussing his experience writing the hit 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine; watch Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales discussing the future of free culture; or see Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal arguing for America’s continued involvement in Iraq. The Think Tank section groups together segments on an individual topic, bringing together ideas from different speakers and events into one larger discussion. The speeches and panels are recorded at events like book readings and conferences, and while the unedited content can make for long segments, the pop-out FORA player makes it easy to navigate and skip to the segment you’re looking for. It’s the closest thing to directly accessing world leaders that you’ll find anywhere on the web.

Through its multiple interactive tools (including transcripts, comments, and translations) FORA also gives a place for viewers to become a part of the conversation. If you are looking for ways to end global poverty or want to share your thoughts on the role of religion in American public life – or any topic in between – visit FORA’s own forum join in on the discussion. Want more ways to get involved? Those interested in world affairs who have the right filming gear are encouraged to contact FORA to help out.

The New York Public Library played host to a debate on religion between Pentecostal Minister and social activist Al Sharpton and journalist and author Christopher Hitchens on May 7, 2007. Hitchens’ uses his book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything as the basis for his arguments against religion. Only a man of Hitchens’ temperament and conviction would try to argue the existence of God against one as religious and outspoken as Sharpton.  The two also touch on civil rights and Iraq. It runs over an hour in length, but the strong arguments and energetic personalities going head-to-head make for some big entertainment that’s worth a watch.

 

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