Active Debates is the meeting point of the Pan-American Observatory to deliberate on collective problems, exchange knowledge and propose issues and actions that may require investigation in the American territory. These take place every two years, alternating around and corresponding with the OPPTA Competition, debating the competition proposals and initiating workshops, conferences and committee, guest and jury meetings.

The distinction of these assemblies from the pre-existing ones is that they detect and classify common topics to be debated, constituting an open and participative forum that shows the evolution of the proposed topics and hosts future initiatives. In this way a continuous process of deliberation, proposal and action is established.

Active Debates are organised every two years, convened in alternate years to the OPPTA Competition. In the year previous to the Competitions, the necessities, problems and issues that require debate, deliberation and action are determined. In the year after the competitions the winning proposals are exhibited and the previous topics are analysed, constituting thus a forum open to the debate of the successive initiatives and proposals. During this assembly the priority action winner is chosen and the prizes are awarded; and to reinitiate the cycle, the theme for the next competition is determined.

The Debate is complemented by exhibitions, workshops, conferences and the diffusion of investigative work. The exhibitions include the winning projects of the last edition of the competition. The workshops develop the priority actions and subjects related to the competition. In conferences the participation ranges from experts to members of the jury who are associated with the themes to be debated. The investigations developed by the Observatory will also be published and distributed in this space.

The Debate is an occasion for the gathering of the Panel of Experts, forming a commission of the Observatory Scientific Committee: The Technical Committee, The Assessor Committee and the Jury; who, working from the Network of projects and the Themes for Debate, analyse and propose ideas on problems being studied and establish action and management criteria with the institutions responsible for its planning and execution.

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