2015 Festival Overview

Smart Solutions to the World's Toughest Challenges

Aspen, Colorado: JUNE 25 – JULY 4

Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic magazine, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.

A Public Conference
Anyone may purchase a pass to attend — the Aspen Ideas Festival is open to all. Online registration opens at 9am MST on Nov. 13. (Register here on our website on Thursday.)

Dates and Pass Options
The Festival is divided into three parts, each with its own stand-alone pass:

Spotlight Health, June 25 – 28
Festival 1, June 28 – July 1
Festival 2, July 1 – 4

Pass Prices can be found here on the Registration page.

A Spotlight Health pass may be purchased in combination with a Festival 1 or Festival 2 pass. However, Festival 1 and Festival 2 passes may not be combined.

President’s-level and Chairman’s-level supporters of the Aspen Institute may purchase a partially tax-deductible Patron Pass, which provides attendance to the entire ten days of the Festival, June 25 – July 4. Patrons play an immeasurable role at the Festival, as their generosity supports the convening of 300 individually selected scholars.

From lectures to debates to one-on-one interviews and more, days are filled from early morning to late evening. Attendees have exceptional opportunities to interact with public officials, artists, scientists, authors, business executives, scholars, economists, foreign policy specialists, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all kinds — on footpaths and sidewalks, over lunch on the lawn or coffee at the espresso bar, in auditoriums and in small seminar rooms. The intimacy of Festival gatherings renders the experience unique and unforgettable.

New in 2015
Traditional daily forums will continue alongside new presentation and discussion formats:
The Aspen Ideas Award: A curated competition with significant prize money. And the winners are…decided by you, the audience.
Deep Dives: The ultimate exploration — a new format hosted by our top presenters, featuring presentations, debates, and one-on-one conversations.
Roundtables: Ten attendees will have lunch with one of 20 presenters every day in close quarters across campus.
Solve This/Design This: Daily design labs for hands-on learning and to foster design thinking.

The Festival will continue to offer:

The Aspen Lectures: Daily lectures given by some of the most brilliant thinkers in the world
Thought to Action: Get involved! Meet with the leaders who will share needs and opportunities
Debates: Civil discourse at its best, in our signature neutral setting
The Aspen Challenge: Exceptional young people take a crack at some of our toughest problems
Films, performances, book signings, exhibits, and much more.

Read summaries of the 2015 Program Tracks here.