Festival Updates

Feb 20, 2015
Personalized medicine is upending hierarchies with consumer products that provide raw genetic data. Meanwhile, our exploding knowledge means treatments can increasingly be custom-tailored. Just this week The New York Times covered news about the ongoing federal project — with more than 200 scientists — that sheds light on what drives genes. How does personalized medicine change the way medicine is practiced? Is it possible to know too much? Does the US need a new regulatory...
Jan 11, 2015
Last week, Gallup reported that the rate of uninsured Americans has sunk to 12.9 percent. According to the research firm, "the uninsured rate has dropped 4.2 percentage points since the Affordable Care Act's requirement for Americans to have health insurance went into effect one year ago." During last summer's inaugural Spotlight Health, Thomas A. Scully (former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator), Peter R. Orszag (former director of the Office of...
Dec 15, 2014
"What we believe is that there is no single, more powerful intervention than investing in adolescent girls," says Shiza Shahid, cofounder and CEO of the Malala Fund. And the world is taking notice. Last week, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai accepted a Nobel Peace Prize for risking her life promoting girls education. Watch Shahid's Big Idea (video: 3 minutes), in which she demonstrates how investing in girls education and health is the silver bullet in development.Celebrating String...
Dec 01, 2014
On World AIDS Day, here's a promising look toward the future. During the inaugural Spotlight Health last summer, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, said that in ten years we will end the AIDS pandemic. "Let us be the generation that can witness the end of the pandemic." Watch his 2-minute Big Idea below. 
Oct 28, 2014
"Music is a mechanism for healing," says Arthur Bloom, founder of MusiCorps, a program that has helped countless wounded warriors by matching them with accomplished musicians to work together on musical projects tailored to individual circumstances, interests, and needs. In the words of Marine Lance corporal Timothy Donley, who performed with Yo-Yo Ma and Bloom (watch here) at Aspen Ideas, the community created within MusiCorps "gives you the ability to look at the future with...
Oct 17, 2014
“Stop imposing stereotypes on girls,” says Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Sharing her Big Idea about women at the Festival, Ifill reminds us that this year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling and the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Yet, she laments, so few of us realize the extraordinary role that girls played in bringing these...
Oct 09, 2014
In his moving lecture How Democracy Gets Restored, Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig says it’s up to us to save our democracy. Following is a transcript of the 2-minute clip above."I love our country. But what if it's not enough? And how do you go on when you fear that maybe you don't have enough, like this love alone is not enough. Then how do you in the face of that recognition embrace the hope that's necessary to make this possible."...What I know is this...
Sep 26, 2014
Following up on the popularity of the Aspen Lectures, we've answered the call of many of our attendees and online followers to offer more material to accompany the Lectures.We're excited to introduce the Aspen Lectures Compendium, a guided companion piece to the Lectures.Available exclusively on iTunes U, the Compendium is chock full of great resources provided by the Lecturers. As Arthur C. Brooks said during his Formula for Happiness lecture, "I've read 30 books about...
Sep 12, 2014
Why do many of us get our best ideas in the shower? "Because there is no email in the shower!" says Tom Kelley, IDEO partner and co-author of Creative Confidence. Our brains need time to disengage, but the act of daydreaming gets a bad rap. So Kelley says it's time to rebrand "daydreaming" as "relaxed attention." If you're mindful of your moments of relaxed attention, it's possible to capture the creativity to which your brain is naturally inclined....
Aug 29, 2014
What do bats have to do with Ebola? Disease detective and epidemiologist Neil Vora with the Center for Disease Control's Epidemic Intelligence Service explains the ongoing research related to the likely host animal — a quest that led him to a bat cave in Nigeria. (Watch: 2 min.) “About two thirds of all new diseases come from the animal kingdom,” notes Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. “Bats are a particularly problematic species.” Skilled at conducting...

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