Festival Updates

Apr 29, 2016
Ben Rhodes is the assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and speech writing. He spoke at Aspen Ideas 2015.After President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, a meeting with his staff was held about priorities for the president’s second term. Ben Rhodes, the president’s national security advisor for strategic communications, spoke up. He wanted to be involved in re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. “It was...
Apr 14, 2016
Diane Regas, exective director of Environmental Defense Fund, speaks at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival.By the year 2050, the world will have 9.7 billion mouths to feed — 2 billion more than today (Source: UN). Our need to eat already poses serious risks to the natural systems that sustain us. Can the environment withstand such demand? A panel, including Diane Regas, executive director of Environmental Defense Fund, convened at the Aspen Ideas Festival to tackle the issues surrounding food...
Mar 31, 2016
US Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2015.The number of people working in the gig, or sharing economy is exploding. According to an analysis by the JPMorgan Chase Institute, 2.5 million people are selling services via companies like Uber and Airbnb. But these jobs offer few worker protections, such as disability insurance and workmen’s compensation. That’s a problem, says US Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.Warner spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival...
Mar 18, 2016
Google racks up 3 billion searches a day. In 2010, significantly more people voted in an election after Facebook reminded them to get to the polls. And, according to a data study, Facebook can predict when a romantic relationship will start before the couple even knows. With such broad reach and wealth of information, what responsibility do major search engines and social media bear on issues of public safety and our perception of the world?Harvard professor and co-founder and faculty director...
Mar 04, 2016
Nora D. Volkow and Alan Weil at Spotlight HealthScientists are producing more and more data on the brain’s activity around addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. But some argue the science isn’t being put to work. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 8.2 percent of the US population over age 12 has some sort of substance use disorder. And the costs associated with substance use, including lost productivity and health costs, are about $...
Feb 19, 2016
Theodore Olson, Neal Katyal, David Boies Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, media outlets have highlighted his record. He filed a memorable dissent after last year’s historic 5-4 ruling that allowed same-sex couples to marry. At Aspen Ideas 2015, two attorneys who fought for marriage equality were onstage. David Boies and Theodore Olson helped pave the way with their successful challenge to California’s Proposition 8...
Feb 03, 2016
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at the Aspen Ideas Festival about the agency's frontline public health officers who respond to emergencies, like Zika virus.This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded travel alerts for Zika Virus to 28 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared it a global health emergency. In Brazil, the country hardest hit, authorities have reported nearly 4000 new cases...
Jan 06, 2016
The Aspen Institute has partnered with the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower to offer Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit for physician attendees. The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences at Eisenhower is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences designates this live activity, Spotlight Health, for a maximum of 46 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits...
Nov 12, 2015
Next year marks the 110th anniversary of the Pure Food and Drug Act, the first federal law regulating the nation's foods and drugs and the legislation that lead to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Today, the FDA regulates more than $1 trillion worth of consumer goods (about 25 percent of US consumer spending), including foods, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and tobacco, and veterinary products.Spotlight Health celebrates this...
Oct 03, 2015
   Here’s a conversation starter: Why don’t we talk to each other anymore? Author and researcher Sherry Turkle has been studying digital culture for over 30 years and has ample evidence that our screen-centric lifestyle is a major culprit in our collective breakdown in communication. She gave a powerful Aspen Lecture on the subject at the Festival. “Conversation is the most human and humanizing thing that we do,” Turkle said. “We...

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