Get to Know Our 2017 Speakers

Maggie was the sister of Spotlight Health speaker Elizabth Lesser. She trained as a nurse practitioner after college.
Elizabeth Lesser co-founded Omega Institute. She will speak as part of the Caregiving track at Spotlight Health. In the weeks leading up to the Festival, you can find more blogs from Festival speakers on our website. Below is an excerpt from her essay.
My younger sister Maggie was a renaissance woman—a no-nonsense nurse practitioner in a rural Vermont community; an accomplished artist; a mother and farmer and beekeeper and maple syrup producer. And she also was my stem-cell double, something we discovered when her lymphoma roared back into her blood after a long remission and she needed a bone marrow transplant in order to live.
We were thrilled and also dumbstruck when it turned out that among the siblings, I was the one whose cell tissue perfectly matched Maggie’s. There are four of us in my family—four girls, each with a role given during childhood. I was the one with her head in the clouds. Maggie was assigned to the ground. Read more.
The speaker list will be available in May. Watch for details.
The Industries of the Future
If the period from 1995 to 2015 was shaped by digitization and the rise of the internet, what’s next? Drawing from his highly-praised New York Times bestseller The Industries of the Future, Alec Ross discusses the forces that will carve tomorrow’s economy and the difficult steps that must be taken to prepare ourselves for a world with powerful artificial intelligence, robotics, and scientific developments. Subscribe on iTunes, find us on NPR One, or listen on SiriusXM Insight, channel 121.
Aspen Challenge at Aspen Ideas Festival
Students from high schools in Philadelphia and Chicago will present solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems at the Aspen Ideas Festival. As part of the Aspen Challenge, students came up with innovative ideas on how to address the health of their community, food security, and police-community relations. The Aspen Challenge is part of the Institute’s Youth and Engagement Programs. A total of 32 young people and 8 educators will make the trip to Aspen in June. Find out more about the Aspen Challenge.
Memorable Words
“If there is any moral precept shared by people of all beliefs, it is that we owe ourselves, and future generations, a beautiful, rich, and healthful environment.” — E.O. Wilson, 2006 Aspen Ideas