Schedule for 2015

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Special Event  
Morning Yoga
7:00 am - 7:50 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
The mind and body are inexorably linked. Center your mind and start your days off with a good yoga practice! Certified yoga instructors with the Aspen Yoga Society will lead you through a series of stretches and breathing exercises to activate your mind and body, connecting you more fully with yourself. Yoga mats provided!
Anderson Park
Breakfast Talk   Viewpoints
Colorado's Legalization of Marijuana: A View from the Ground Up
7:45 am - 8:45 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
For the last 18 months, adults in Colorado and Washington State have been able to walk into retail stores and do what was previously unthinkable: buy marijuana. How are the states dealing with the inherent conundrum that results when you have a state permitted, but federally banned substance on the market? This session examines the Constitutional and political issues surrounding this controversial decision, including how the Justice Department and Treasury are setting guidelines to deal with this new industry. What legal challenges are being brought forth by other states? How are pot shops and growers dealing with the inability to secure basic banking services? What are the unintended consequences with regard to international drug trade?
Hotel Jerome
Tutorial Session   Will Technology Save Us?
Sleeping Through a Revolution
7:45 am - 8:45 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Has the fast pace of the technological revolution devalued the qualities of empathy, creativity, and cultural awareness? Join Jonathan Taplin, director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, as he discusses the evolution of the Internet from a potentially harmonizing idea, to a trillion dollar business.
Limelight Hotel, Monarch Room
Breakfast Talk   Challenges to Democracy
Radical: My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Today, Maajid Nawaz leads a think tank focusing on such things as citizenship and identity, religious freedom, and extremism. But his young life is marked by years spent as a youth leader and recruiter for a radical Islamist group which ultimately landed him in an Egyptian prison for four years. He shares his remarkable transformation toward liberal democratic values.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Aspen Policy Series   Global Marketplace
The Paradox of Weak Capital Investment in the United States (Aspen Policy Series)
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Capital investment is the lifeblood of economic growth, innovation and improved productivity. Despite record cash on corporate balance sheets, strong cash flow and low borrowing costs, US capital investment has been very weak by historical standards for at least a decade. Come explore the causes of this problem, including secular stagnation, tax regulatory and trade policies, and weak animal spirits, and possible policy options to help reverse the trend. A recent research paper by the Aspen Institute Manufacturing Program and the MAPI Foundation is one focus of this interactive discussion.
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Aspen Policy Series   The Endangered American Dream
Can the Economy Still Work for Ordinary Americans? (Aspen Policy Series)
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Additional featured speaker: Joyce Klein. // The challenge of economic opportunity in America seems to be in the headlines, in one form or another, almost every day. Whether it’s news about growing inequality, declining economic mobility, the challenge of chronic unemployment or underemployment, or simply the daily struggle of American families working to make ends meet, the news about the economic standing of the typical American has not been good even as the indicators for the economy overall have been improving. This challenge of economic opportunity has many dimensions and will require innovation at the national and local levels in public policy, nonprofit services, and business practices. Come discuss strategies to improve the economic opportunities available to ordinary Americans.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Breakfast Talk   Will Technology Save Us?
The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Leadership advisor Richard Pascale defines “positive deviants” as individuals who live and work within the same limits and constraints as the rest of us, but who find a way to succeed against all odds. Importantly, Pascale encourages us to stop turning to experts to solve our more complex problems, but rather to look within to find those quiet, perhaps “invisible” innovators who just might already have the problems solved.
Paepcke Auditorium
Plenary Session   Will Technology Save Us?
Data is Beautiful
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
One of the challenges society must address in the face of all the data we continue to collect is how to interpret it — quickly and easily. David McCandless’s remarkable visualizations remind us how information, when presented well, can be immediately digestible and understood. But his work transcends the mere utility of information design. Simply stated, he makes data, and the knowledge it imparts, just beautiful. (Book signing to follow.)
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
The Church of Pope Francis
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Pope Francis has generated headlines worldwide for his unorthodox approach to the papacy, public acts of humility, and renewed emphasis on compassion. With the Vatican’s recent recognition of the state of Palestine, the Holy See is again making news, positioning the Church on issues of international matters of conscience and policy. Two years into his papacy, how has Pope Francis influenced the direction of the Church, perceptions about Catholicism, and public life more broadly? (Book signing with Garry Wills to follow).
Greenwald Pavilion
Plenary Session   Aspen Lecture
Why Ethics (Usually) Pays, and How to Make it Pay More
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
When it comes to the bottom line, corporate social responsibility sometimes pays, but sometimes does not. Yet recent studies back up the notion that creating an ethical culture within your organization, and treating your employees well, always pays in the long run. Learn how business leaders and government regulators can work together to do much better “ethical systems design.” The stakes are high because doing this well would boost productivity and the GDP.
Paepcke Auditorium
The Eye   Planet on the Brink
Ocean Immersion
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
See through the eyes of ocean scientists from the XL Catlin Seaview Survey as they document the state of ocean ecosystems around the world: reefs from Australia, the Coral Sea, American Samoa, the Caribbean, and chance encounters with whales and sharks. These astounding 360-degree images are all the more beautiful, because they form the baseline data for understanding our changing planet. (An immersive cinema experience.)
Buckminster Fuller Dome
Tutorial Session   Planet on the Brink
Enough to Go Around: The Ethics of Agriculture
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
The way we produce food is getting a lot of attention these days, and for good reason. If current projections hold, we’ll have 9 billion mouths to feed by 2050 – 2 billion more than we have today. Our need to eat already poses serious risks to the natural systems that sustain us. Can we meet future needs without further degrading our environment?
Doerr-Hosier Center, Kaufman Room
Tutorial Session   Viewpoints
Implicit Bias: The Reality
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
We may think we don't host an ounce of racism in our minds or hearts. And yet, each of us has a part in what is entrenched and systemic racism. Hear from people featured in our short films about race: A Conversation with My Black Son; A Conversation about Growing Up Black; A Conversation with White People About Race. Springboard with us from these personal stories to a 3-dimensional conversation that replaces rhetoric, rage, and accusations with open dialogue.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Tutorial Session   Making Arts Work
Remaking Metropolises
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
When poverty, blight, and neglect devastate cities, it is often artists who step in to revitalize them, restoring opportunity and hope. The art of creative placemaking is a powerful force for recasting the futures of our most troubled urban centers. Learn how from two of the masters, Houston’s 2014 MacArthur Fellow Rick Lowe and Detroit’s Powerhouse co-founder Gina Reichert.
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Tutorial Session   Global Marketplace
Impact of the Fluctuating Price of Oil on the Global Economy
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Discussion will explore root causes for the rise and fall of oil prices, and will also focus on the impact of fluctuations in the price of oil on other industries and on the global economy. The session will seek to answer such questions as: What will be the long term effects of oil prices on the economy? What will this mean for alternative energy sources, such as solar and electricity? What will happen to housing component prices? Are we too comfortable with our inexpensive oil prices?
Paepcke Auditorium
Tutorial Session   The Endangered American Dream
Should College Be Free?
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
The value of a college degree is at an all-time high. At the same time, the price of college is escalating while wages for working-class Americans stagnate. Whose responsibility is it to shoulder the increasing cost of higher education? Can Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other technology-driven education platforms drive costs down? Should community college be free, as is now the case in Tennessee and Chicago? Hear a dynamic panel of higher-education experts discuss the cost and value of a college education in an era of increasing demand for skilled labor and growing income inequality.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Tutorial Session   Challenges to Democracy
Can the Next Generation in China and America Share the Future?
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Are young people in each country likely to get along better than their parents’ generation? Mutual mistrust seems to define the attitudes of today’s leaders, but does the younger generation offer hope — or are the forces of fear and nationalism likely to trump the need for cooperation?
Greenwald Pavilion
Tutorial Session   The Mind
Mind Change: How Digital Technologies Are Leaving Their Mark on Our Brains
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
We live in a world unimaginable only decades ago: a domain of backlit screens, instant information, and vibrant experiences that can out-compete dreary reality. Our cutting-edge technologies offer incredible opportunities for work and play. But at what price? Disputing the assumption that our technologies are harmless tools, neuroscientist Susan Greenfield brings together a range of scientific studies, news events, and cultural criticism and exposes how neuronal networking may be affected by unprecedented bombardments of audiovisual stimuli. She also delves into the potential benefits of our digital lifestyle. In a world where adults spend ten hours a day online and where tablets are the common means by which children learn and play, Greenfield reveals the complex physiological, social, and cultural ramifications of living in the digital age.
Kresge Building, Hines Room
The Eye   Planet on the Brink
Habitat Earth
11:30 am - 12:00 pm MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
Brought to you by San Francisco's renowned California Academy of Science, we invite you to experience a fulldome exploration of what it means to live in today’s connected world, where biological networks intersect with those built by humans. (An immersive cinema experience.)
Buckminster Fuller Dome
Lunch Session on Campus   Viewpoints
The Aspen Ideas Award $25,000 Final
11:40 am - 1:05 pm MDT on Friday, July 3, 2015
The inaugural Aspen Ideas Award, developed with Booz Allen Hamilton, recognizes innovative ideas from Festival presenters and scholars that impact communities around the world. In this session, five Award Finalists, chosen from over one hundred applicants, will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in front of a live Festival audience. One Finalist will walk away with $25,000 to bring their idea to action.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room

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