AIF Blog

February 21, 2012
Continuing our series, Jamie Bechtel, founder, president and CEO of New Course, an organization focused on changing the course of women’s lives through conservation and sustainable development.In this 3-munte talk, Betchtel tells the moving story of visiting slave quarters in Tanzania where she learned from a 16 year old that we should use the tools that are available to us. In this case, she is advocating the use...
February 09, 2012
Continuing our series, Matt Flannery tells about his transition from computer programming at TiVo to co-founder of Kiva.org. His experience underlies his belief that we can all apply our knowledge and skillset for social good.Flannery tells how he used computer programming to create a system where someone could get $25 into the hands of a Ugandan woman via the Internet.At Kiva, we’ve experienced this out-pouring of...
February 08, 2012
This week's decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the ban on gay marriage in California -- known as Proposition 8 -- was unconstitutional marks a major milestone in the years-long effort by two unlikely collaborators, Ted Olson and David Boies. Boies and Olson represented Al Gore and George W. Bush respectively in the 2008 legal battle over the presidential election that...
February 07, 2012
Looking for a new way to experience the Aspen Ideas Festival? Check out our channel on iTunes U. We've curated some of the best from the 2011 Festival in our tracks on the Frontiers of Medicine, Growing the U.S. Economy, What is "Happiness"?, Green Tech to Clean Tech, the Learning Landscape and the State of the Union. Users of iTunes can subscribe to a whole track or pick and choose sessions from across the Festival...
February 03, 2012
Kicking off our new blog series, here's Wes Moore telling a story about his experience in military school and a colonel who gave the students advice that Moore thinks about to this day: "When it’s time for you to leave, make sure that it mattered that you were ever here.”In this 3-minute video from the closing ceremony of Aspen Ideas, Moore outlines how each of us can actively make a difference. Here's how Moore...
January 25, 2012
NOTE: In light of the one-year anniversary of the revolt in Egypt, following is a story about one of the many Aspen Ideas sessions about the Arab Spring. It was first published in The Aspen Idea.In the wake of the incredible changes across the Arab world, Nicholas Burns, director of the Aspen Strategy Group, moderated a vibrant discussion with Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment and...
January 23, 2012
Rolling Stone magazine recently published a list of leaders who make a difference by making things happen, "The Quiet Ones: 12 Leaders Who Get Things Done." Among the impressive dozen are several standouts from Aspen Ideas.Attorney General of California Kamala Harris is known for combatting violence and fighting too-big-to-fail-banks on mortgage fraud. She presented at Aspen Ideas in 2010, while she was still the DA...
January 19, 2012
The active-duty soldier suicide rate has dropped slightly according to the Department of Defense and reported yesterday on ArmyTimes.com. However, much more attention is needed for Guard and Reserve soldiers. The article points out that: "In 2010, the number of suicides increased by 59, from 242 to 301, an increase of 24.4 percent. Almost twice as many guardsmen and reservists committed suicide — 145 in 2010, 80 in...
January 18, 2012
This week, GQ released its list of the 50 Most Powerful People in Washington. Among the politerati is a number of Aspen Ideas speakers. Here's a rundown of Washingtonians who have spoken at the Festival. Watch these videos and see what they had to say here.#5 Hillary Clinton spoke at our first Aspen Ideas Festival in 2005, before we were capturing speakers on video. Watch her session on C-Span.#10 Tom Donohue#13...
January 04, 2012
Nicholas Kristof is seemingly tireless when it comes to promoting the cause of equality and opportunity for women worldwide. This is frequent topic of his column in the New York Times as well as an ongoing discussion on his Facebook and Twitter feeds. In the video below, he and his wife, journalist Sheryl WuDunn enlightened Aspen Ideas attendees about their work around the world.Kristof caught our attention again...

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