Festival Updates

Apr 20, 2015
   Water. To many, it is assumed to be the most abundant resource on earth. To others, especially Californians, it seems as though their fair share is slowly seeping away. But who is to blame? The farmer or the homeowner? Better yet, is there a solution? Or is this all part of a larger, longer history of “megadroughts” that we have yet to scale? With the recent influx of H20 headlines, it is fitting that the 2015 Aspen Ideas agenda will once again dip into...
Mar 20, 2015
Do you have what it takes to solve the world’s toughest problems? High school students do. In fact, today – at this very moment – over 150 students from 19 of Washington D.C.’s public and charter schools are presenting solutions to issues, ranging from the use of sustainable foods, to poverty and peace in communities to engaging global citizenship. These student driven solutions are the culmination of the Aspen Challenge.     Since its launch in 2013...
Mar 06, 2015
Last month, 14-year-old Valentina Maureira made a “plea for death” to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, which quickly became a catalyst for the euthanasia debate. News coverage of Valentina’s story reported that the President’s hands are tied (assisted suicide isn’t legal in Chile), but that didn’t stop her from paying Valentina a visit and reportedly offering to provide all the emotional and psychological support and medical treatment needed to improve...
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...

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