AIF Blog

January 16, 2019
Mountaineer and Backbone Media founder Penn Newhard interviews Tommy Caldwell, author of the book, "The Push" about his historic climb up Yosemite's Dawn Wall. Their conversation was held by Aspen Words.What does it take to rock climb one of the world’s hardest routes at night in the bitter cold? Tommy Caldwell, an accomplished climber, says he summoned focus, drive, and endurance to summit...
January 10, 2019
 John McWhorter is a professor of English, comparative literature, and linguistics at Columbia University, and author of the book "Words on the Move." He spoke with Georgetown linguistics professor Deborah Tannen at Aspen Ideas. In his posthumous treatise on language, Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “Language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses,...
January 08, 2019
 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin discusses her latest book with Kitty Boone, director of the Aspen Ideas Festival. What qualities make a good leader? Are leaders born with these attributes or can they be learned? In her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about the lives of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D...
December 31, 2018
Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos talks about how to live a happier life at the Aspen Ideas Festival.The number of college students dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety is growing. Psychology professor Laurie Santos noticed it in her Yale classroom and set out to change the campus culture. Her course “Psychology and the Good Life” is the most popular class in Yale’s 300-year history....
December 25, 2018
Reverend Adam Hamilton leads a Methodist church in Kansas City. He talks with journalist Joshua Johnson about mending divisions in his church, and around the country, in the Aspen Ideas to Go podcast.Can faith help unite us in divided times? How are religious leaders navigating divisions inside and outside their places of worship? Listen below to conversations that dive deeply into faith, leadership, and...
December 19, 2018
Gender studies professor Michael Kimmel and neuroscientist Lise Eliot discuss gender and science at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Why is it that we think boys are good at math and girls are more empathetic? Or that boys can’t focus in the classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships? These sometimes damaging gender stereotypes have become part of our culture, but are they backed up by science? Neuroscientist...
December 12, 2018
Tami Simon speaks with Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario and Eileen Fisher, founder of Eileen Fisher Inc.The clothing industry is a top polluter, but some companies are working to be kinder to the environment. The CEOs of Patagonia and Eileen Fisher talk about their shared value of social consciousness. Rose Marcario and Eileen Fisher delve into why a holistic approach, one that goes beyond a single company and its bottom...
December 07, 2018
 Writer Kea Krause talks about scientists searching cold waters in the Arctic for wonder drugs. What is it that nature provides that we can’t live without? — Medicine, a sense of place, even happiness? Nature can be a destroyer, replenisher, and provide a sense of calm. Why is it that we take nature for granted and how can we learn from our mistakes? “Nature was the first place...
December 04, 2018
Atul Gawande, staff writer for The New Yorker, talks about bridging the gap between our aspiration for how we treat one another and the reality of it. He spoke in June at Spotlight Health.In our divisive times, writer, surgeon, and researcher Atul Gawande says it's especially important to remember this medical principle: all lives have equal worth. He told Lucy Kalanithi, professor of medicine, that when he was...
November 29, 2018
 Apply to be a Bezos Scholar and become a leader for positive change. The Bezos Scholars Program, which sends its scholars to the Aspen Ideas Festival, is accepting applications for the 2019 cohort. The program is a year-long leadership development program for high school juniors. Seventeen student and educator pairs are selected from across the US and the African Leadership Academy to create a lasting impact in...

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