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2023 Aspen Ideas Festival Speaker Preview

Surprise! Your first look at speakers joining us for the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival.

  • March 23rd 2023

Joining Us in 2023

Kelly Corrigan, host of the NPR show “Kelly Corrigan Wonders” and the PBS show “Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan,” on finding our shared humanity through conversation

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator and author Thomas Friedman reflecting on how writing helps us make sense of the world

HRH Ambassador Reema Bandar on Saudi Arabia and the world

Co-Director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School Pamela Karlan reviewing the year behind and the year ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court

Don Katz, founder of Audible and former journalist and author, on the power of storytelling and cultivating the relationship between writers and readers

Washington Post columnist and author of Rethinking Sex Christine Emba exploring the shifting cultural norms around sex and relationships 

Danielle Pletka, senior fellow in foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, on the future of NATO

Award-winning journalist Katie Couric in conversation with former world No. 1 tennis player Chris Evert

Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University Eddie Glaude Jr. engaging with the country’s past and examining our collective American conscience

Qian Julie Wang, civil rights lawyer and bestselling author of Beautiful Country, on revisiting the terrain of our childhoods and finding salvation in reading 

Former journalist and founder of 10% Happier Dan Harris leading a hands-on meditation workshop

Kate Bowler, Duke Divinity School professor and bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I've Loved), on modern-day teachings of religious traditions and how we make spiritual meaning from life’s ups and downs

Ravi Agrawal, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy, unpacking the biggest questions in global affairs

University of British Columbia professor Karen Bakker exploring how artificial intelligence can decode nonhuman communication 

Former governor of Arizona Doug Ducey assessing how to handle immigration

Angela Williams, CEO of United Way, on how nonprofits are evolving to address pressing societal needs

Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia, on corporate responsibility and the business of saving our home planet 

Krista Tippett, creator and host of “On Being,” exploring themes of wholeness and how our minds and bodies work together

Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist and Senior Project Scientist for the Webb Telescope, John Mather, sharing views of the universe 

Jendayi Frazer, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and U.S. ambassador to South Africa, on how the world’s superpowers are competing on the African continent

Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander, #1 New York Times bestselling author of 38 books, including Why Fathers Cry at Night, crafting “new-fashioned” memoirs and reflecting on masculinity, fatherhood, and love

Ramya Swaminathan, CEO of Malta, on developing energy-storage technology to enable a sustainable transition from fossil fuels to clean energy

Roger Carstens, Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, grappling with the dilemmas of hostage diplomacy

Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami law professor and Legislative and Tech Policy Director for the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, on the intersections of civil rights, free speech, and social media

Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO of Google, and Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, expanding on the challenges and opportunities of artificial intelligence as discussed in their book, The Age of AI

NYU Dean of the College of Arts and Science Wendy Suzuki on practical neuroscience for better living

Poet and Solito memoirist Javier Zamora on the power of storytelling as the U.S. grapples with its identity as a nation of immigrants

Duke professor of law and philosophy Nita Farahany digs into ethical dilemmas around neurotech and cognitive liberty

Actor and comedian Rainn Wilson explores possibilities for finding hope in a cynical world and how a new spiritual revolution could help us heal on both a personal and global level

American performer and playwright James Ijames, winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, on how the arts can help us form a more perfect union and interpreting Shakespeare for modern times

Ashleigh Huffman, Sports Diplomacy Chief for the U.S. Department of State, on cultural diplomacy and how sports shape foreign relations

Rabbi Shira Stutman on “radical welcoming” and the role of faith in happinessRepresentatives Jason Crow (D-CO) and Tony Gonzales (R-TX) on working across the aisle

National Book Award winner Imani Perry, author of South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, reckons with our past and charts a path forward 

Mike Wirth, CEO of Chevron, on transitioning from fossil fuels 

Former United States Senator (R-TX) Phil Gramm on the American Dream

Professor of China and Asia-Pacific Studies at Cornell University Jessica Chen Weiss asks whether U.S. foreign policy suffers from an unhealthy focus on China 

Amor Towles, bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and The Lincoln Highway, on “moral accounting” and crafting timeless historical fiction 

Yale Dean of Faculty and Arts and Sciences Tamar Gendler on what the modern world can learn from classical philosophy about “the good life” 

Robert Rubin, the 70th U.S. Treasury Secretary (1995-1999), sheds light on how we should truly measure economic health

Tanvi Madan, senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, muses on the emerging world order

These speakers will be joined on stage by NBCUniversal News Group media personalities and anchors, including co-host of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna Jenna Bush Hager, NBC News anchor Tom Llamas, and CNBC Squawk Box anchors Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin.

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