WHAT THE ART OF DEBATING CAN TEACH US ABOUT LISTENING BETTER AND DISAGREEING WELL

Presented by Bo Seo, followed by a conversation with Emeritus Professor Rick Sarre.

'Distinguishing ‘good arguments’ from unconvincing rubbish, has never been more central to human survival and to achieving love for one another. This excellent book begins with the challenge faced by a schoolboy whose family moved from South Korea to Australia. From school debating to university dialogue and on to witnessing global political conflict, Bo Seo identifies how debate and argument are essential to human understanding.  Out of good arguments comes a synthesis.  It has been so from the time of Socrates, to the world of Khrushchev and Mandela, and of Putin and Zelenskyy.  He argues that debate is central to human freedom even as our world faces dramatic challenges for human survival.' The Hon Michael Kirby, AC CMG, Patron, The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre.

At a time when every disagreement turns toxic, author, journalist and world champion debater Bo Seo reveals the timeless secrets of effective communication and persuasion. In this presentation Bo Seo will discuss ideas from his book Good Arguments - sharing how we can become broad-minded thinkers, better human beings and engaged conversationalists. Following his presentation he will be in conversation with Emeritus Professor Rick Sarre.

Touching on everything from the radical politics of Malcom X to Artificial Intelligence, Seo proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that, far from being a source of conflict, good-faith debate can enrich our daily lives. Indeed, these good arguments are more important than ever at time when bad faith is all around, and our democracy seems so imperiled.

Good Arguments has been described as 'a user manual for a polarised world' and teaches us 'how to listen and to be heard in a healthy democracy'. Bo Seo explains the communication skills which are so valuable in today’s alarming ecosystem of misinformation and extreme emotion.

Scroll down for more information about Good Arguments, and to read reviews from  Professor Gillian Triggs, The Hon Kevin Rudd AC, and Michiko Kakutani, former chief book critic for The New York Times.

Click HERE to pre-order a copy of Bo Seo's book Good Arguments: What the art of debating can teach us about listening better and disagreeing well from Matilda Bookshop's website and choose Hawke Centre Events Free S.A. Postage as the delivery option. When published in June they will deliver or post (FREE OF CHARGE) your book to South Australian addresses or it can be collected at the event. 

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre 

EVENT DETAILS

Thick Line in Beige and Red

Thursday 7 July 2022, 6pm - 7pm

Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building,
UniSA City West Campus,
55 North Terrace Adelaide MAP

Thick Line in Beige and Red

bo seo

Thick Line in Beige and Red

SPEAKER

BO SEO
AUTHOR AND WORLD CHAMPION DEBATER

bo seo

When Bo Seo was 8 years old, he and his family migrated from Korea to Australia. At the time, he did not speak English, and, unsurprisingly, struggled at school. But, then, in year five, something happened to change his life: he was introduced to debating.

Immediately, he was hooked. It turned out, perhaps counterintuitively, that debating was the perfect activity for someone shy and unsure of himself. It became a way for Bo not only to find his voice, but to excel socially and academically. He went on to win world titles with the Australian schools and Harvard University teams.

Bo is a two-time world champion debater and a former coach of the Australian national debating team and the Harvard College Debating Union. He is one of the most recognised figures in the global debating community, he has won both the World Schools Debating Championship and the World Universities Debating Championship. Bo has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, and many other publications. He has worked as a national reporter for the Australian Financial Review and has been a regular panellist on The Drum. Bo graduated from Harvard University and received a master’s degree in public policy from Tsinghua University. He is currently a Juris Doctor candidate at Harvard Law School. 

Bo Seo is the author of upcoming Scribner Australia publication Good Arguments.

RICK SARRE, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF LAW AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE &
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, JUSTICE AND SOCIETY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

rick sarre

Emeritus Professor Rick Sarre retired in April 2020 from the role of Dean at the University of South Australia’s Law School to become an Adjunct with UniSA Justice & Society. 

Before retiring he had taught commercial law, media law, sports law and criminology for 35 years in four countries, USA, Sweden, Hong Kong and Australia. He is a Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and in 2017 was awarded Fellow status of that society. He is a Professorial Fellow of the Australian Institute of Police Management and is President of the SA Council for Civil Liberties.

Twitter: @stickwithricksa

Thick Line in Beige and Red

BOOK

GOOD ARGUMENTS:
WHAT THE ART OF DEBATING CAN TEACH US ABOUT LISTENING BETTER AND DISAGREEING WELL

good arguments book cover two people shaking hands

When Bo Seo was 8 years old, he and his family migrated from Korea to Australia. At the time, he did not speak English, and, unsurprisingly, struggled at school. But, then, in fifth grade, something happened to change his life: he discovered competitive debate. Immediately, he was hooked. It turned out, perhaps counterintuitively, that debating was the perfect activity for someone shy and unsure of himself. It became a way for Bo not only to find his voice, but to excel socially and academically. And he’s not the only one. Far from it: presidents, Supreme Court justices, and CEOs are all disproportionally debaters.

This is hardly a coincidence. By tracing his own journey from immigrant kid to world champion, Seo shows how the skills of debating—information gathering, truth finding, lucidity, organization, and persuasion—are often the cornerstone of successful careers and happy lives. Drawing insights from its strategies, structure, and history, Seo teaches readers the skills of competitive debate, and in doing so shows how they can improve their communication with friends, family, and colleagues alike. He takes readers on a thrilling intellectual adventure into the eccentric and brilliant subculture of competitive debate.

This important and timely book is already attracting praise from an impressive list of readers, including:

Good Arguments is an antidote to spin, fake news, "political correctness" and plain muddled thinking. Bo Seo teaches us how to listen and to be heard in both a healthy democracy and around the kitchen table'
PROFESSOR GILLIAN TRIGGS, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

In a world increasingly rent by division within and between nations, Bo Seo’s lucid and humane search for “better ways to disagree” could not be more timely or valuable.’ 
THE HON KEVIN RUDD AC, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA AND AUTHOR OF THE CASE FOR COURAGE AND THE AVOIDABLE WAR

From two-time world champion debater Bo Seo, a thoughtful, instructive and eloquent meditation on the art of debate and why its central pillars - fact-finding, reason, persuasion and listening to opponents - are so valuable in today’s alarming ecosystem of misinformation and extreme emotion. When Bo Seo’s family immigrated from South Korea to Australia, he was a shy, conflict-averse eight year old who worried about being an outsider, and in “Good Arguments,” he recounts how debate not only helped him to cross language lines, but also gave him confidence and a voice of his own’  MICHIKO KAKUTANI, FORMER CHIEF BOOK CRITIC FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Thick Line in Beige and Red

 PRESENTED BY
THE BOB HAWKE PRIME MINISTERIAL CENTRE 

Hawke Logo

Thick Line in Beige and Red

While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.