AIF BLOG - July 2013

July 29, 2013
Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel sat down with 2013 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Yo-Yo Ma to discuss the idea of “Citizen Artists” and their goal to move the arts forward as problem solvers in civic realms, from education to diplomacy to healthcare.Damian Woetzel (DW): Yo-Yo, what, in your words, is a citizen artist?Yo-Yo Ma (YYM): I think the idea of “citizen” implies both rights and...
July 24, 2013
Photo: Latin American demonstrators protest during an immigration reform rally in front of the US Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. ReutersAmerica’s founders gave us a terrific blessing: a system of government with sufficient authority to function in the national interest but with clear con straints on governmental power. In fact, it was those constraints—federal authority divided and subdi vided, with clear...
July 15, 2013
On July 10, President Obama awarded Aspen Ideas speakers Anna Deavere Smith (and Aspen Institute trustee and founder the of the new arts program ADS Works at the Aspen Institute), Robert D. Putnam, and Kay Ryan, and nine other recipients, with the 2012 National Humanities Medal.Smith, an actress and playwright, was honored for "her portrayal of authentic American voices. Through profound performances and plays that...
July 09, 2013
In 1993, in the midst of a raging debate among economists and management as to how America’s lethargic and massively hierarchical corporate behemoths such as general Motors and IBM could be rebooted, Robert H. Waterman Jr., a consultant with McKinsey and Company on management practices, published a book titled Adhocracy: The Power to Change. Waterman argued that bureaucracy, the organizational structure whose...
July 02, 2013
 Where marijuana use is going to go up is older poeple saying, damn it helps with my arthritis. —Ethan Nadelmann  I like to refer to design as jazz. When all of the ingredients are together, they are the perfect mix. —Mauro Porcini  Design today is so much more than what it used to be. It is no longer objects, chairs, and posters. It is everything touchable or untouchable in the world. —Paola Antonelli  “The bad...
July 02, 2013
Sunshine is a form of energy and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy. Do we use them? Oh, no; we burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.–Thomas EdisonIt’s time to begin living as if we owned the property. To do that, we have to commit to a long-term strategy for reducing carbon emissions. Substituting clean...
July 01, 2013
“Elections are necessary, but they’re not sufficient. If one is focused only on an election and not on institution building, you’ve only got half the story.” —Madeleine Albright“History is far more likely to be rewritten in Asia than in the Middle East.” —Richard Haass“If we can double the time a kid reads and double the time she writes, we can change the world.” —Joel Klein“[With MOOCs] the real question becomes,...
July 01, 2013
This essay by Peter Hirshberg was commissioned to accompany our design track. The Art of Data exhibit is on view in The Resnick Gallery, lower floor of the Doerr-Hosier Center through September 2nd. It can be seen online at www.theartofdata.org A panel discussion on the Art of Data with artists and curators presenting will take place at 1:20 pm on July 1st in Doerr-Hosier Center.This is the era of pervasive data: we...
July 01, 2013
The Artist As Seer track is the inaugural event of ADS Works, the Aspen Institute’s newest policy program, dedicated to convening and supporting artists whose work addresses the world’s most pressing challenges.Many of the artists I admire manage to get out in front of politics, even to get out in front of social activism, and pave the way for positive change. The Artist As Seer track suggests that sometimes-...