Pitchengine Blog

Robert Rosenkranz Promotes Intellectual Debate through Intelligence Squared

Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Delphi Financial Group and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, founded the Rosenkranz Foundation in 1985, where he serves as director today. In response to today’s increasingly uncivil discourse on politics in America, the Foundation seeks to promote intellectual diversity, reasoned discourse on effective public policy, and the idea that less popular points of view may have valid reasoning behind them. To promote new and varied intellectual perspectives, the foundation has supported think tanks such as the Manhattan Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Federalist Society. In London, the Foundation helps support Policy Exchange.


In 2006, the US chapter of Intelligence Squared opened, funded by the Rosenkranz Foundation. Intelligence Squared is a debate forum designed to promote reasoned discourse about controversial issues. Upcoming debate topics include “The Young Have Been Betrayed by the Older Generation,” “Break Up the Tech Giants” and “The Left Has Right on its Side.” In the traditional Oxford style, an Intelligence Squared debate includes opening statements, a round of questions between the presenters, then a round of questions from the audience, and then closing statements.

A moderator keeps everyone on topic and may interject his own questions. In the American version, the audience is polled before and after the debate to determine how many have changed their minds on the topic at hand. Broadcast by 220 NPR stations across the US and available online, the debates reach a wide national audience. Prominent speakers have included President Jimmy Carter, Stephen Fry, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Mary Beard, Richard Branson, and many others. Intelligence Squared holds debates for balanced discussion in London (where it was founded) in 2002, Australia, Hong Kong, Greece, Chile, and Israel.


Robert Rosencranz, through Intelligence Squared, supports diversity of thought in the public at large, but his foundation also supports higher education and the arts. It gives generously to Yale University, Rosenkranz’s alma mater, where the foundation has sponsored the writer-in-residency program, 20 courses in reasoning and the scientific method, and initiatives to promote intellectual diversity. Through his foundation, Rosenkranz has funded more than 100 works of art for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, mostly in the Chinese and Asian catalogues. He has sponsored artist and writer Mu Xin and donated a collection of modern Chinese art to the Harvard University Art Museums. Rosenkranz has also helped Yale University Press produce a book series on the culture and civilization of China. Robert Rosenkranz’s profile also includes a seat on the Board of Directors of Policy Exchange, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He and his wife, Alexandra Munroe, Senior Curator of Asian Art at the Guggenheim Museum, live in Manhattan, where Rosenkranz writes on the topics of public policy and finance for the Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.