AIF Blog

July 26, 2016
Stephen Jones has a question for America: “Why is our bread so damn white?”It’s a question with a host of answers. White flour tastes sweeter. It’s predictable, and easy to work with. It’s efficient. It’s stable. And all of this is reinforced by habit.But Jones, a professor at Washington State University who runs a research program called The Bread Lab, doesn’t find any of those answers satisfying. Instead, he’s...
July 22, 2016
Matt Thompson, DeRay Mckesson, Enola Aird, Jim Wallis, and Marc Morial discuss A Civil Rights Movement for the 21st Century: Black Lives Matter at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June.As the head of the National Urban League, Marc Morial is charged with leading one of the oldest and most significant civil-rights organizations in the United States. In late June, he sat on a stage with DeRay McKesson, a prominent leader...
July 20, 2016
María Teresa Kumar, a 2016 Aspen Ideas Scholar, spoke on the Ideas Festival panel From Conversation to Action: Moving the Needle on Equity and Opportunity.A strong middle class is, for many people, central to the American idea. There are other core values too, of course—freedom, political representation, individualism, etc.—but an economy in which families can feel economic security, live comfortably, and build up...
July 19, 2016
What do today’s Republicans believe America’s role in the world should be? This week’s episode features US Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, discussing his support for presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump has some very different ideas than the Republican foreign policy establishment about the global alliance system, free trade, and the current nuclear order. Cotton, a leading figure in...
July 14, 2016
Smartphone filmmaker Jason van Genderen created a short video at the Aspen Ideas Festival that poses the question: What’s the best idea you’ve ever had that slipped away from you? Using only an iPhone, he captures Festival participants of all ages contemplating the one that got away. Van Genderen spoke at the Festival about the power of storytelling through your mobile device. Watch his video below and read his blog...
July 13, 2016
Eric Berkowitz is a historian, journalist, and human rights attorney who represents refugees seeking asylum based on their homosexuality and status as victims of extreme sexual violence in their home countries. His books, Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire and The Boundaries of Desire: A Century of Good Sex, Bad Laws, and Changing Identities, examine the interplay between state power and the...
July 12, 2016
Are we witnessing a new era in American politics? Two former Republican presidential candidates weigh in on the 2016 election. Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker, says the presidential race is unlike any he’s ever witnessed, characterized by rebellion against establishment politics in both parties. He predicts presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump will redefine the electoral map. Gingrich is being...
July 06, 2016
On June 23, voters in the UK chose to leave the European Union. Three days after the historic vote, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. She calls the decision to leave the EU “heartbreaking.” In this episode, Lagarde is interviewed by Jane Harman, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and...
July 06, 2016
The Aspen Institute/Photo by Nick Tininenko.Over the past year, Donald Trump has alleged that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists, called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, and stated that a Mexican American judge presiding over a Trump University lawsuit was “biased” because of his heritage. In June, House Speaker Paul Ryan describedTrump’s criticism of the judge as “the textbook definition...
July 02, 2016
 What is your outlook on the future of the United States? Are you optimistic? What are your thoughts on the current state of politics and the economy? How big a role do activism and education play in today's culture? Aspen Ideas brings together the most inspired and innovative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and others to address the issues most on the minds of Americans. The mission of the...

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