Local Ideas in Action

Aspen Ideas Festival Block Party 2012



On Sunday, July 1, the Aspen Ideas Festival is hosting the first ever, all access, free community event. This will be a daylong event where leading global thinkers will discuss the most pressing issues of our time with local innovators, leaders, businesses, and community members.


We, a team from the Roaring Fork Leadership program, are looking for the best “Local Ideas” from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond to participate in this day of intellectual exploration and community fun. In your daily life, your job, or your community participation, you have most likely been a part of an innovative, local solution to an important global issue. We seek community partners that can engagingly communicate their idea, its relation to one of the global themes for the event, and its positive impact on the community.

We have developed a format for the event and different methods of participation by community partners — but this is just to get you started. We hope to spark your creative juices to propose activities and ways to communicate ideas that make this a unique and compelling event. The following is a summary of the overall event within which your BIG idea will can a part.

Event Description

What: Aspen Ideas Festival Block Party

Date: Sunday, July 1, 2012

Location: Rio Grande Park, Aspen

Time: Trade Show for Ideas will occur during the following times (in bold)

        10:00 - 10:45    Speaker 1

        10:45 - 11:30    Trade Show for Ideas

        11:30 - 12:15    Speaker 2

         12:15 - 1:00     Trade Show for Ideas

           1:00 - 1:45     Speaker 3

           1:45 - 2:30     Trade Show for Ideas

The Aspen Ideas Festival invites the public to a free community Block Party where some of the most interesting speakers from across the globe will interact with local innovators, leaders, and community members. As a venue for intellectual and social stimulation, the goal of the Block Party is to plant the seeds of new possibilities in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. The event will highlight three keynote speakers and a "Tradeshow for Ideas" within which your BIG idea will thrive (in a booth, on the grassy lawn, via sound...that is part of what your proposal will explain in more detail). The four Aspen Ideas Festival themes (below) are the foundation upon which event content and planning is generated.

Aspen Ideas Festival themes included in the Block Party:  

  • Arts and Culture: Art Matters
  • The Economy: Is the Crisis Permanent?
  • Raising the 21st Century Child

Selection Criteria

We will select proposals based on the following criteria:

  • How does your Idea make a connection between an event theme and a local idea, solution, or innovation?
  • How does your Idea have a positive impact on the community?
  • How will your Idea be presented so that it is engaging, educational, and fun for the audience?
  • How does your idea make a unique contribution to the community and/or event?

Participation Method:

  • If you would like to provide a 10' x 10' pop-up tent, please include that in your presentation
  • Proposals may not include use of electricity

Application Requirements

(A) Written responses to the following:

  • Describe your idea and its relationship to one or more of the event themes.
  • Describe how your idea has a positive impact on the community.
  • Describe the presentation of your idea, how you would like to be involved in the event, and how it will be engaging, educational, and fun for the audience.
  • Describe any needs your activity or idea would have (e.g. Electricity, space for a booth/tent (10x10), or grassy area). If you are planning on using a tent, is this something that you will be providing or will you need to rent one?  Anything else?

(B) Digital component such as PowerPoint, video, OR OTHER creative expression that will:

  • Re-circulate on a screen at the event entry  (providing guests maximum exposure to your BIG idea).
  • Present the essence of your idea quickly, consciously, and artfully, in no more than 40 seconds.
  • Contain content appropriate for guests of all ages (we reserve the right to edit digital content as necessary).

* If you are unable to provide the above submittal requirements (A & B) and have a “BIG” idea/activity that you would like to submit, please contact caitlin.weller@gmail.com. However, we do encourage fulfilling all of the submittal requirements.

Other Considerations:

  • If you are planning on selling anything you must have a business license and are responsible for paying sales tax. Please include in your proposal a description of the items you are planning on selling as well as a copy of your business license.

Application deadline is May 11, 2012


Deliver (2) CD’s to:

Brita L. Stevenson
Public Programs, Aspen Ideas Block Party
The Aspen Institute
1000 North Third Street
Aspen, CO 81611

For questions regarding this Request for Proposals, please contact Caitlin Weller at caitlin.weller@gmail.com, 303.437.5129.

The Aspen Ideas Block Party team looks forward to reviewing your proposal. Thanks for your interest!