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Behind Our Website Redesign

Introducing the new redesigned Aspen Ideas Festival website!

  • April 30th 2019

Over the last decade and a half, the Aspen Ideas Festival has grown exponentially — from five days and 100 speakers, to ten days — including our kickoff conference Aspen Ideas: Health — and more than 500 speakers. It’s fitting that as the event grows our website should expand in tandem.

Our new editorial and media platform invigorates the digital experience and gears it toward all levels of curiosity. Effortlessly explore a diverse range topics. Immerse yourself in conversations that inspire you to think deeper about the complex issues we face across society. Discover ideas you didn’t even know you were looking for!

The Road to Aspen

If you’re attending the event or interested in registering for the Festival or Aspen Ideas: Health, it’s easy get the inside scoop on everything from food and travel to Aspen, to recreation and schedule information once you arrive.

Watch Your Way with Session Rundowns

Speakers at the Festival share their ideas at talks and panels called “sessions.” Befitting the Festival’s casual vibe and signature style of long-form conversation, these sessions are often loosely formatted and wide-ranging — and thus not always in line with the TL;DR brevity web audiences expect. 

Through Session Rundowns, the new site re-imagines sessions for the digital context. Now, browse our content at any depth you choose. If you don’t have time to watch a full, 50-minute session, jump straight to key onstage moments, read short outtakes, quotes, statistics, and dialogues. Whether you hit play and settle in for an hour, or choose to scan the page on the go, Session Rundowns guide you through lectures, interviews, and panel discussions chapter by chapter — cuing up video along the way. Video and audio players follow you around as you scroll so you can listen and watch while you skim. Meanwhile, a full-screen media experience is almost always a click or two away for full immersion. Check out these Session Rundowns:

Trust in the Digital Age: Why it Matters Now More Than Ever

When Breath Becomes Air: A Conversation About Life, Death, and Humanity in Health Care

Deep Dive: The Genius of Soul

North Korea: Getting Beyond Brinkmanship

Curated Collections: Serendipity and Discovery

On the ground at the Festival, serendipity is key. Over the course of attending talks on wildly divergent themes, Festival goers discover surprising intersections and compelling new concepts. We hope the website offers similar encounters. A new feature called “Collections” allows users to uncover hidden connections between related ideas from across content types. Choose a video, article, or podcast about your topic of choice. Here’s a sampling:

Sound Principles: The Varieties of Musical Experience

On the Russian Front

Out of This World: How We’re Solving the Mysteries of Space

What Gender Reveals: Changes and Challenges in the Landscape of Identity

Our new set of Explore pages and a tight tagging taxonomy directs you from individual pages to wide-ranging hubs of varied content — Sessions, Collections, Articles, and Podcasts.

Aspen Ideas to Go

If you’re an avid podcast listener, you no doubt have a favorite podcast app. As much as we depend on podcast apps to serve up our favorite shows on the go, they can be limiting when you want to learn more about a show or find a specific topic or speaker. If you’re new to our podcast, Aspen Ideas to Go, you may want tips on where to start. We’ve created playlists to showcase some of our favorite episodes of more 250. Let the Aspen Ideas to Go hub be your guide.

Insights from Our Speakers

If you’re coming to the Festival, you already know our speakers will explore a wide range of topics including emotion, design, economic progress, international order, and American conservatism. Aspen Ideas: Health speakers will dig into mental health, lifespan, and what’s next in health care. But did you know our speakers are already sharing their ideas in articles on the website? Find interviews and guest essays from the thought leaders who will grace our stages in June.

How Much Will the Green New Deal Cost?

The Perils of Age Segregation

Using Science to Improve Well-Being

The Aspen Vibe

Aspen may be best known for its ski slopes, but there’s nothing quite like being here in summer — nestled beneath majestic mountain peaks with 70-degree bluebird skies. This screensaver-like scenery is key not only to the Festival’s appeal but also to its singular mode of conversation: long form. In other words, you’ll want to stay a while. The website captures this feeling through a spacious and colorful visual design and several wow moments that give users a visceral glimpse into the splendor of the on-the-ground Festival experience.

Editorial First Leads to Discovery

Created in partnership with Area 17, a digital product agency based in Brooklyn, New York, the website’s design and functionality revolve around an editorial-first mission. Through our carefully curated content, we hope you will discover emerging voices, innovative ideas, and gain daily inspiration.

Fifteen years in and we’re celebrating a renewed goal to bring everyone the captivating conversations and remarkable speakers that define the Aspen Ideas Festival and Aspen Ideas: Health. While the event takes place only once a year, the stream of ideas on is constant. So dive in and get inspired today!

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