Festival Updates

May 18, 2018
It's our 14th year of programming the Festival, and we're excited to bring remarkable experts and deep thinkers to our stage once again. The speakers and conversations change every year, but our goal stays the same — to continue to highlight what's important now and what will have far-reaching consequences in the future. "As we develop the Festival, I learn something new, and sometimes utterly inspiring, every day." Read more of Festival Director Kitty Boone’s...
Apr 23, 2018
High School students in Philadelphia celebrate after learning they earned a trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival.Young people are moments away from being tomorrow's decision-makers and at Aspen Ideas, they will meet today's leaders. Students from high schools in Dallas and Philadelphia took top honors at two Aspen Challenge events this spring. The Challenge, an Aspen Institute program, has high school students draw up plans to tackle problems in their communities. The students present their...
Mar 29, 2018
 Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal, joins other big names in health like US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Vanessa Mason, co-founder of P2Health Ventures, at this summer’s Spotlight Health. Check out the the full sneak peek list. Join these healthcare pioneers and advocates at Spotlight Health, the three-day opening segment of the Aspen Ideas Festival, and participate in the most important health conversations happening today. Register for Spotlight Health. How to Live a...
Mar 03, 2018
 Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks with journalist Judy Woodruff at Spotlight Health in June of 2017. In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, questions about how to prevent gun violence are resurfacing among politicians, citizens, and public health officials. For years, former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has called gun deaths a public health crisis. At Spotlight Health 2017, shortly after a shooting at a Washington baseball field that critically injured Congressman Steve Scalise,...
Feb 08, 2018
 Aspen Ideas 2018 Adds ProgrammingDoes the First Amendment’s speech clause need a 21st-Century upgrade? We'll delve into this question in our new program track Freedom of Speech and the Marketplace of Ideas (formerly The Art of Language). In addition, pass holders for both Festival 1 and Festival 2 can attend conversations centered on the new program track Leadership in a Time of Change. How are leaders navigating their way through an increasingly cynical America? What attributes...
Jan 12, 2018
Walter Isaacson speaks with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at the Aspen Ideas Festival.In the latest Aspen Ideas to Go podcast, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. talks about progress in the black community since the civil rights era. If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, what would he think of today’s America? Gates tells Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson there have been steps forward and backward. Find the episode on Apple Podcasts, our website, NPR One, Spotify, and listen on SiriumXM Insight,...
Dec 22, 2017
 Podcast listeners in 2017 heard about technology, politics, loneliness, and creativity in our Aspen Ideas to Go podcast. The weekly show curates onstage discussions for your listening enjoyment. Here’s a taste of top talks. Find the full list of ten on our website. Jeffrey Sachs on Why We’re Living in a Dangerous TimeWorld-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs is distressed about the political and social atmosphere in America.Listen on Apple Podcasts and online The...
Dec 08, 2017
Amy Walter, David Brooks, Michael Gerson, and Peter Wehner talk about democratic virtues at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Beneath the tumble of day-to-day politics — the anger and crude attacks, the polarization and zero-sum thinking — vital democratic legacies in America are being squandered. How do we rebuild the moral and intellectual infrastructure of democracy and repair the ethical fabric of our humanity? David Brooks, author and New York Times columnist, put forth a set...
Nov 21, 2017
 David Isay at the Aspen Ideas Festival in the summer of 2017. David Isay, founder of the oral storytelling project StoryCorps, once said that in this moment where our country feels ripped down the middle, “there’s a way, I think, to have civil, thoughtful conversations.” Sometimes those discussions are most difficult with loved ones, many of whom we’ll be sitting next to at the Thanksgiving dinner table. So, along with the turkey, stuffing, and cranberries,...
Oct 27, 2017
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Nadine Burke Harris, Sarah Watamura, and Jacqueline Jodl at Spotlight Health.Thanks to advances in science, our understanding of the structure and function of the brain is quickly growing. Imaging technologies reveal how the brain develops and ages, why we need love, and what makes poverty so damaging. These discussions from Spotlight Health reveal the wonders of the mind. Watch and listen below.Applying Nueroscience to the Classroom What does neuroscience have to...

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