AIF Blog

May 03, 2015
 Researcher Danah Boyd has been called the “teen whisperer.” The author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens has focused her research for the past decade on how young people use social media as part of everyday life. A data whiz with a knack for getting teens to talk honestly, Boyd regularly busts myths about teens and technology — as she did during her conversation with The Atlantic’s Hanna...
February 26, 2015
To hear Beau Willimon's full interview with Katie Couric at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, check out Aspen Ideas To Go podcast.Since the premiere of “House of Cards” two years ago, playwright and screenwriter Beau Willimon has created a show that has gone above and beyond expectations as Netflix’s first original series. From the gritty plot twists and the despicable yet strangely captivating characters, Willimon’s...
February 16, 2015
We need to chill out about privacy related to technology, argues Stewart Baker, former general counsel of the NSA and self-described chief privacy skeptic. Privacy is a product of its time and circumstances, and due to ever-evolving technology, people eventually get used to what once seemed so intrusive — such as taking one’s photo or running algorithms on customers' e-mail to better target advertising. At the 2014...
February 15, 2015
 Historian David Rubenstein compares two of the most iconic presidential speeches ever given: the Gettysburg Address and John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address.Rubenstein contends that people who care about speeches should think about what makes for a great speech, how it inspires, and what makes the public want to listen to it. He sets fourth six characteristics, including the eloquence of the language, the orator's...
January 30, 2015
During a conversation with IDEO founder Fred Dust at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, IDEO partner and Creative Confidence author Tom Kelley suggested that all humans have a natural ability to come up with creative ideas. Although some people might have unwittingly suppressed this skill, everyone can unleash it by finding the creative confidence to voice ideas. To illustrate mankind’s innate creativity, Kelley points...
January 22, 2015
The centerpiece of President Obama’s recent State of the Union address was about middle-class economics: how he proposed to strengthen America’s middle class through tax advantages that would help pay for things like child care, health care, and college — and by closing loopholes for the wealthy and large corporations.In his 2014 Aspen Lecture on The Politics and Economics of Inequality, public policy professor...
January 07, 2015
Recently named to several lists for the best books of 2014, Anand Giridharadas’s The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas tells the dual stories of a Bangladeshi immigrant to Texas and the white supremacist man who shot him. Far from a simple story about racist violence, Giridharasas paints an empathetic picture of the shooter, Mark Stroman, who throughout his life was let down by his family and societal systems...
December 17, 2014
As reported today, New York is officially moving toward a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. (Read news coverage here and here.)For a deeper dive into the issues surrounding the controversial drilling process, check out these sessions from the Festival.Fracking: Is There a Fix to the Fight (watch below)Colorado has led the way with the nation's strongest air pollution standards for oil and gas development,...
November 17, 2014
"Citizenship is like a muscle that can atrophy from too little use; if we want to strengthen it, we need to exercise it,'" says Stanley A. McChrystal in his recent Washington Post op-ed. He has been talking about national service at Aspen Ideas since 2012.Last summer, McChrystal spoke with Director of the US Peace Corps Carrie Hessler-Radelet about the Franklin Project: an initiative to improve the citizenship of...
November 03, 2014
Planning for the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival and Spotlight Health is well underway. Here's a brief look at the themes we'll be addressing:SPOTLIGHT HEALTH (June 25 – 28)This convening will be a deep dive for speakers and participants via four thematic tracks that will explore new frontiers in health.Navigating Global Health Threats Infectious diseases are emerging, the consequences of genetically-modified foods are...

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