History and Highlights

For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation's premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.

In a ground-breaking extension of its mandate to create opportunities for deep dialogue, the Aspen Institute now seeks to engage a broader audience in a discussion of some of the significant ideas and issues that touch all parts of our society as found in the arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics, and politics. Alongside our partner, The Atlantic, we intend to offer a stimulating and invigorating celebration of some of the liveliest minds on the stage today. We invite you to join us.

The 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival will engage its participants in a variety of programs, tutorials, seminars and discussion events that together are guaranteed to charge the atmosphere with vibrant intellectual exchange. Think of it as a week-long summer university for the mind – remarkable lectures and classes across a stimulating array of topics.

Imagine some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world – all gathered in a single place, ready to teach, speak, lead, question and answer – all interacting with an audience of thoughtful people who have stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought and discussion. The week promises to be thought-provoking, meaningful and fun – true to Aspen tradition. 

Elliot Gerson
EVP, Policy and Public Programs, International Partnerships