AIF Blog

June 30, 2016
(Photo Credit: istockphoto)Jason Van Genderen is a director and producer, known for “Mankind Is No Island," “The Unspoken” and “Chocolate.” He spoke at the Festival on June 30th on a event called “Smartphone Storytelling in 60 Minutes.”We caught up with van Genderen to learn more about his passion for smartphone storytelling.What inspired you to take the phone out of your pocket and start using it professionally...
June 30, 2016
Brett Jenks is an Aspen Institute Catto Fellow, Braddock Scholar and John P. McNulty Prize Laureate. He leads Rare and its marine program, Fish Forever, which aims to restore sustainable fisheries for vulnerable coastal communities around the world.  Brett will moderate a panel titled ”When Faced with Economic Ruin, Financial Leaders do Prioritize Climate Change. Here’s How,” on July 1st, at the Aspen Ideas Festival...
June 29, 2016
Jessica Rosenworcel is a member of the US Federal Communications Commission. She will speak at the Festival on June 30th on a panel called “Closing the Digital Divide.” Below, Rosenworcel explains how the digital divide is preventing thousands of children from being able to do their homework and what's being done to address this issue. This month the final bell rings in schools across the country. Exams end, lockers...
June 29, 2016
CALEB HARPER is the principal investigator and director of the OPEN AGRICULTURE (OPENAG) INITIATIVE at MIT Media Lab. He spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival on June 29th on a panel called “The Bits and Bytes of Futuristic Farming.” Below, Harper explains how new technology and data is being used to created controlled climates and “digital recipes” to grow healthy food anywhere in the world.Tell us about what inspired...
June 29, 2016
Enola Aird is founder and president of Community Healing Network, an organization building a global grassroots movement to help black people overcome and overturn the root causes of the devaluing of black lives. She will speak at the Festival on June 29th on a panel called “A Civil Rights Movement for the 21st Century: Black Lives Matter.”Below, Aird explains why it's important to examine the root causes of  racism...
June 29, 2016
David Litt is head writer and producer in the Washington, DC, office of "Funny or Die" and a former White House speechwriter, from 2011 to early 2016. He will speak at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30th on a panel called “Laugh to Keep From Crying: Comedy Writers on Making Politics Funny.”We caught up with Litt and asked him to share his journey from comedian to White House speechwriter, and connecting humor...
June 28, 2016
(Photo Credit: istockphoto)KATIE RICH is a writer for “Saturday Night Live." She will speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival on June 30th on a panel called “Laugh to Keep From Crying." We caught up with Rich and asked her to share her lessons about the importance of teamwork — from her years working in improv.Something I created once bombed so hard that I considered giving up and going to law school. I walked into...
June 28, 2016
Photo Credit: Jonas Fredwall KarlssonRaney Aronson-Rath is executive producer of “FRONTLINE,” PBS’s flagship investigative journalism series. She spoke at Spotlight Health on June 28th on a panel called "Immersive Storytelling: The Power of Virtual Reality." We caught up with Aronson-Rath and asked her to explain how "FRONTLINE" is adapting to a changing media landscape, and offer advice on mentorship. “FRONTLINE”...
June 28, 2016
Caitlyn Jenner, left, with Buzz Bissinger. (Photo Credit: Daniel Bayer/The Aspen Institute )“When a little baby is born, the doctor looks at the genitalia and says, ‘It’s a boy!’ Well, don’t be too quick on that one,” said Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender reality star and former Olympic athlete, on Sunday at Spotlight Health, a conference co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.Jenner’s interview with her...
June 28, 2016
Former first lady Laura Bush speaks at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival (Photo Credit: Daniel Bayer/The Aspen Institute)Fifteen years after President George W. Bush first sent American forces into Afghanistan, his wife considers the job unfinished. “I hope we won’t leave,” former First Lady Laura Bush said on Monday.She cited the conversations she’s had with Afghan women, who worry about what follows the exit of U.S....

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