Select videos from the 2016 Spotlight Health (June 23 - 26) and the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival (June 26 - July 2).
The historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton meets a Supreme Court vacancy and a presumptive Republican nominee with overwhelming unfavorables amongst women—suddenly feminism is front and center this election season. Be it wage inequality, women’s health, or paid family leave, many issues important to women at both ends of the economic divide are hotly contested this election. Meanwhile, bathroom wars rage as the fight for transgender rights goes mainstream.
China’s economy is slowing and the world has no choice but to pay attention. And in Beijing, Xi Jinping’s administration pursues policies increasingly divergent from democratic ideals. These developments are philosophically challenging, especially as they concern the world’s largest population and second-largest economy. And yet they also pose threats to multilateral cooperation on issues such as counterterrorism, climate change, pandemics, and nuclear proliferation.
In any city in the world, an extremist could explode your subway car, yet surveillance and security are more advanced than ever. Ebola ravaged thousands for months and now Zika continues its creep around the globe, yet life expectancy and healthcare are more advanced than at any other time in human history. A slowing Chinese economy and falling oil prices warn of a global economic downturn, yet human civilization is richer and more developed than in the past.
This session will inhabit a number of angles to examine the Syrian Civil War, a conflict that’s left one in ten Syrians wounded or killed since 2011. How did the tragedy build to its current point, and what were the global community’s greatest missteps? What factors and interests are at play in this volatile and bloody war? Who is most effectively helping the affected millions, and how are they doing it? What should the world do beyond looking on in horrified disbelief?
For thousands of years, we’ve relied on animals to turn plants into meat. Steaks, burgers, and chicken are staples of the American diet. The sustainable food movement that gave rise to grass-fed beef and free-range chicken is now going a step further—a big step further—with the introduction of plant-based, mass-market solutions to replace animal protein. Are these new protein sources poised to transform the global food system?
A lot of the discussion about the Affordable Care Act in the lead-up to the election is focused backward. How well has it worked? What’s changed in the past six years? What were the missteps? Join us for a conversation about what comes next. How will the health care of the future look different? What can we predict based on the current medical start-up landscape? Will drug prices be coming down any time soon?
Three survivors of the war in Syria share their personal stories of strength and determination under the most difficult of circumstances. The Syrian conflict has raged for five years, and killed half a million people. 11 million refugees have either fled to other countries, or are displaced within Syria. Syrian violinist Mariela Shaker says she “ran under bombs and mortars” to send applications to music programs at colleges in the United States.
The world doesn’t lack for creative ideas—it lacks people to champion them. Once you have an idea, how do you communicate it? Adam Grant, Wharton’s top-rated professor and a New York Times bestselling author of Originals, will share insights on how to speak up without getting silenced, and how to find allies in unexpected places.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest joins The Atlantic’s Jim Fallows for a conversation about what he has learned from dealing with the media in this post-factual age, and how a second-term president communicates with the country and the world.
Born online after the not-guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin, and translated to the streets after the killing of Michael Brown, #BlackLivesMatter is an organization, a movement, and a rallying cry for racial justice.
One third of all the food produced in the world today is wasted, enough to feed 3 billion people—a shocking number in a world full of hunger and volatile food prices. In the United States alone, an estimated 40 percent of all the food produced is wasted at the retail and consumer levels. Both consumers and policymakers are taking notice. The White House has committed to reducing food waste on a national level by 50 percent by 2030.
Worry not about the demise of student activism: It is alive and well on the college campus. But worry about something else: the future of free speech. This year, the focus on campuses across the US is speech, and arguments regarding fairness, respect, and freedom are loudly voiced. What constitutes “freedom of expression” for some summons deep pain for others, so much so that academic life on some campuses is bound by trigger warnings or fierce calls for resignations.
Determining what people must have to survive and thrive is a moving target in our increasingly connected world. Many would argue that we have reached an inflection point where access to the Internet is absolutely essential. With the Internet’s role in ensuring communication and freedom of expression, not to mention access to education and the work force, who should pay for all of this connectivity?
The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer is the company’s 16th annual global survey, measuring trust in key institutions—business, NGOs, media, and government—in more than 28 countries. This year’s barometer reveals a growing trust disparity between the informed public and the mass population, and explores the opportunity this presents for business and CEOs to play a leading role in addressing societal issues.
Esther Perel is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and romantic relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. The author of the international bestseller Mating in Captivity, Perel believes that the most traditional aspects of a culture and the most progressive and radical changes in a society take place around sexuality.
Algorithms can now identify faces, drive cars, translate text, and even write news stories. This same technology, used wisely, can help us tackle some of the most pressing social problems of our time—from inequality to mass incarceration. Harvard economics professor Sendhil Mulanthainan will illustrate intuitively how these technologies work and why he thinks they can be useful in social policy.
In the 1930s, the Great Depression reversed a long trend towards globalization: Borders were shut, trade was halted, and tariffs imposed. After the 2008 financial crisis, it initially seemed that this would not occur again. But free trade is now stirring strong political passions, with politicians and voters of all stripes blaming trade for rising unemployment. So are we heading for a new protectionist wave? Or is it possible to resurrect the free trade dream?
Students today face a complex, economically competitive future. Yet in too many schools, they are missing a critical piece of their education. Our K-12 schools appropriately emphasize the rigorous academic skills students need to be ready for college and career.
Once the realm of science fiction, smart machines are rapidly becoming part of our world—and these technologies offer amazing potential to improve the way we live. Imagine intelligent, autonomous vehicles that reduce crashes and alleviate congestion in crowded cities. Imagine robots that can help your aged grandma move around safely or instructors that can assist special-needs children in classrooms.
Featured Ideas Festival Scholar includes Liz Plank. A robust fourth estate is central to the education of an engaged citizenry and healthy democracy. It informs us, shapes our thinking, and holds our leaders and institutions accountable. But if Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agree on one thing this election season, it’s that political media is malfunctioning.