Schedule for 2016

Announcing the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival schedule! Find the session you're looking for by sorting by Program Tracks, Session Date, or search by session name or speaker.

SEARCH
Registration  
Registration for Spotlight Health
10:00 am - 5:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
Comcast NBCUniversal Ideas Pavilion
Special Afternoon Session   Breakthroughs
The Future of Medicine
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
Medicine is being disrupted from every angle, as the financing and organization of clinical care are overhauled and scientific knowledge grows increasingly sophisticated. Academic health centers are being asked to provide a more patient-centered approach, while meeting the challenges posed by the Affordable Care Act and the evolving demands of Medicaid and Medicare. They must remain on the forefront of the innovative research that may make tools like swallowable digital cameras and artificial organs commonplace, but also manage the soaring cost of that research. CEOs from three of the nation’s leading health systems come together to talk about what’s on the horizon.
Paepcke Auditorium
Opening Session  
Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health Opening and Welcome
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
Greenwald Pavilion
Reception  
Opening Reception
6:15 pm - 8:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
Doerr-Hosier Center
Planetarium  
Live Presentation: Global Disease Patterns
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
How do climate patterns and population distribution form the basis for many disease patterns? What disease dangers lurk out there? This program will examine patterns of disease vectors and issues from a global and geographic perspective. Medical challenges and our responses to them are tied to global scale features that we will evaluate using the immersive imaging capabilities of the Buckminster Fuller Dome.
Buckminster Fuller Dome
Evening Session   Ethical Choices
Gleason (Film and Discussion)
7:15 pm - 10:00 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
At the age of 34, former New Orleans Saints defensive back Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Gleason found out his wife, Michel, was expecting their first child. A video journal that began as a gift for his unborn son, Rivers, expands to chronicle Steve’s determination to get his relationships in order, build a foundation to provide other ALS patients with purpose, and adapt to his declining physical condition – utilizing medical technologies that offer the means to live as fully as possible. Gleason is not only about Steve’s resilience but also the complications of love between fathers and sons, and husbands and wives, in the face of a devastating illness. (Run time: 110 minutes) UNDERWRITTEN BY THE SCAN FOUNDATION
Paepcke Auditorium
Evening Session   Ethical Choices
Can Zika Be Contained?
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
The Zika virus, first identified among humans in 1952 in Uganda, began spreading across the Americas and the Caribbean in 2015. Locally-acquired cases on the continental US are imminent. Considered a public health emergency by the World Health Organization, Zika can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects in newborns and has been associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease of the nervous system, in adults. While mosquitoes are currently the primary source of infection, the virus can also be sexually transmitted. Can Zika be contained? Are systems in place to handle the likely global impact? How bad will it get? UNDERWRITTEN BY THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Evening Session   Ethical Choices
The Choice 2016: What Does it Mean for Health and Health Care?
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Thursday, June 23, 2016
The upcoming US presidential election is likely to have significant implications for health and health care. On the domestic front, the choice could influence efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, reform Medicare, prepare for natural and manmade emergencies, and support cutting-edge research at the National Institutes of Health. Globally, funding for pandemic responses, HIV and malaria initiatives, and humanitarian aid are affected by presidential budget requests. The president also makes key global health appointments, and plays a leadership role on climate change. How might the election influence health policy, and the state of the world’s health? UNDERWRITTEN BY BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON
Belly Up Aspen
Special Event  
Morning Yoga
7:00 am - 7:45 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Yoga mats provided!
Anderson Park
Can Placebos Cure Pain?
7:45 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
In the face of a spiraling opioid epidemic, alternatives for addressing chronic pain are essential. Taking a placebo may turn out to be just the prescription we need. Neuroscientists have discovered that a pill with no pharmaceutically active ingredients can reduce responses in the brain’s pain centers, and trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s own chemical pain reliever. Placebos can be effective even when someone knows they are sham therapy. Unwrapping the mix of biology and psychology involved here reveals something about the power of belief and expectation – and ultimately may help reduce our dependence on drugs.
Doerr-Hosier Center, Kaufman Room
Banishing Hunger: Inventive Strategies to Feed the World
7:45 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
One in nine people on Earth does not get enough food to lead a healthy, active life. Entrepreneurs, policymakers, and agricultural trendsetters are tackling hunger in new ways, engaging both the largest and smallest members of the food production chain. Framing the issue not only as a moral imperative, but also as a business opportunity, helps motivate multinational food companies. Farmers on the margins are being given tools to increase their yields and gain access to markets. What is the role of sustainable agricultural in reducing hunger? What are the appropriate uses of GMOs? What novel ideas can curb malnutrition?
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Breakfast Talk   Breakthroughs
Neuroprosthetics: Testing the Limits of the Brain
7:45 am - 8:50 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Artificial limbs are familiar devices to replace body parts lost to injury or illness, but brain implants that can command those limbs to work represent a revolutionary advance. By creating a direct line of communication from the brain to the prosthetic device, neurally-controlled chips not only restore functionality, but also recreate the sensory experience of the lost limbs. A Manhattan Project for prosthetics, the work requires interdisciplinary collaboration across the fields of applied physics, engineering, neurophysiology, computer programming, and clinical science. How far can researchers go with these implants? How will the work inform robotics and neuroscience?
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Plenary Session   Breakthroughs
Bringing New Drugs to the World
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Pharmaceutical advances are expanding, with some exciting new drugs already on the market and others ready to emerge from the pipeline. These therapeutics offer fresh hope for combatting perilous infections, such as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases, which affect more than one billion people every year. But it takes more than product development to reduce these global threats; it also requires policies to scale up distribution and reach the hardest to serve. What cutting-edge therapies are being added to the global arsenal? How do we put them in the right hands at the right price?
Aspen Meadows Restaurant
Plenary Session   Breakthroughs
Curbing the Opioid Epidemic: Partnering to Meet the Challenge
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Over the past 10 years, there has been an increase in opioid overdose rates, particularly since 2013. President Obama has made addressing this epidemic a top priority of the Administration and has proposed $1.1 billion in new funding to help Americans with an opioid use disorder get the help they seek. In this session, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will discuss their work on the Administration's interagency initiative to tackle the heroin and prescription opioid crisis in America and will highlight the federal resources available to reduce addiction and overdose.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Healthy Gut, Healthy Body?
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Trillions of bacteria inhabit the human gut, working in close and complex symbiosis with our cells. Novel analytic methods offer new insights about those complex biochemical interactions, and help us understand how disturbances in their equilibrium can undermine well-being. Researchers are also learning how the gut microbiome responds to the food we eat, influencing obesity, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and even mental health. How are diet and lifestyle linked to bacterial communities in the gut? How do we use the growing knowledge about gut health to develop new therapies?
Aspen Meadows Restaurant
Core Session   Breakthroughs
Creating Value on the Fringe: Social Entrepreneurs
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Bold thinking is most often seen at the margins. Organizations with small staffs and lean budgets, unweighted by habit and committed to impact, are approaching familiar problems in unfamiliar ways. They are testing new ideas to bring health care that last mile, finding creative ways to support small farmers, adapting cost-saving techniques from low-resource settings, and growing leaders from the ground up. As nimble as they are innovative, these social entrepreneurs are teaching their more established colleagues how to make lasting change. What can we learn from organizations who do things differently? How are they bringing value into the mainstream?
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Core Session   The Child
Children’s National Health System Presents: How Understanding Rare Genetic Diseases Helps Everyone
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Identifying and treating rare genetic diseases has significantly advanced in recent years. Importantly, these advances also have led to revolutionary understanding of more common childhood and adult conditions. Panelists will demonstrate how major genetic breakthroughs for rare disorders in children have drastically altered understanding and treatment of common adult illnesses from chronic liver disease to complications from heart surgery, and have even changed how we understand the aging process. New research collaborations, including a novel approach that precisely replicates a patient’s unique genetic disease in a laboratory setting, will allow these findings to speed drug developments that will have widespread impact.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Core Session   Ethical Choices
Organ Donation: How Do We Share a Precious Resource?
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Organs are in desperately short supply. In the US alone, more than 124,000 people are on transplant waiting lists, and as many as 30 Americans die every day waiting for a donated organ. Trafficking in human body parts and transplant tourism are big business around the world, and “body bazaars” that bring together wealthy organ buyers and impoverished organ sellers are thriving. How do we decide who gets an organ, and when? Can an organ marketplace ever be an ethical way to distribute a scarce commodity? What other approaches can increase the supply of these precious resources?
Kresge Building, Hines Room
Planetarium  
Live Presentation: Water—Is Our Lifeblood at Risk?
10:20 am - 11:20 am MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
Take a global tour of water concerns and proposed solutions. We will use the immersive capabilities of the planetarium in the Buckminster Fuller Dome to travel the world and evaluate water quality and quantity.
Buckminster Fuller Dome
Planetarium  
The Last Reef
11:30 am - 12:10 pm MDT on Friday, June 24, 2016
There are many cities. Some are beneath the sea. Fly across iridescent tropical reefs, brush through a cloud of a million jellyfish, visit an alien world where the closer you look, the more you see. Cities beneath the sea, where plants and animals congregate in mutual benefit, coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity as vital to life on earth as the rainforests. Yet in our lifetime, they have come under threat: human activity is altering the chemistry of the oceans. As the sea becomes more acidic, coral, shell and bone begin to crumble. (Runtime: 24 min)
Buckminster Fuller Dome

Pages