Festival Updates

Jun 06, 2014
IDEO’s Creative Listening Podcasts for Aspen IdeasInternational design firm IDEO and Aspen Ideas have teamed up on a series of programming to make listening more fruitful and push conversation into action. Before the Festival — and even if you’re not attending this year — listen to podcasts in the Creative Listening short course on iTunes U.During the Festival, join IDEO for Creative Listening tutorials over morning coffee at the Paepke Tent. Then meet up again in the...
May 19, 2014
SPOTLIGHT: HEALTH LINEUP Alive Inside As dementia continues to affect millions of elderly Americans, Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory reveals a remarkable, music-based breakthrough that has already transformed lives.  Through revealing conversations with renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin, as well as powerful firsthand experiments conducted by the filmmaker and innovative social worker, Dan Cohen, this emotionally groundbreaking documentary...
May 08, 2014
  Why are rapidly evolving scientific discoveries not being translated into treatments for the country's most pressing medical needs? There are myriad reasons, one of which is an information embargo among researchers and drug companies. “We don’t live in a society that tends to reward failure,” says Peggy Hamburg, FDA commissioner, who was on a panel at Aspen Ideas with Anthony Coles (head of Onyx Pharmaceuticals), Moncef Slaoui (head of R&D for...
May 01, 2014
We're celebrating our 10th annual Aspen Ideas Festival, and we've gathered an incredible array of presenters to help us look ahead.  Imagining 2024, presenterswill tackle topics as diverse as government surveillance, the future of fatherhood, megacities at home and abroad, museums as citizens, individual participation in the global economy, and life without bees. Admiral Mike Mullen will discuss balancing instruments of power; neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen will explore the...
Apr 25, 2014
Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, the connected device company purchased earlier this year by Google for a reported $3.2 billion, started tinkering as a young boy. Under the tutelage of his grandfather, a kindergarten-aged Fadell used power tools and joined his elder for every project you can imagine. From repairing a sink to building a soapbox racer, Fadell says his grandfather always educated him through doing. "Don't be afraid to take on tough challenges you've never seen before,"...
Apr 18, 2014
NASA announced yesterday the discovery of a new Earth-sized planet orbiting in the "habitable zone" of its parent star. In honor of Kepler 186f, here's a fascinating discussion from our Space & the Cosmos track that asks, among other questions, How long will our planet be habitable? "Life is extraordinarily resilient, but humanity is less resilient," says Charles Alcock, Director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "There's very little risk...
Apr 11, 2014
"To teach inquiry, you have to be engaged in inquiry yourself," says Susan Engel, director of Program in Teaching at Williams College, who says curiosity should be at the heart of teacher development. (Watch: 1:22.) Nearly all babies are curious, but by the time children are five years old, environmental influences have begun to whittle each child's curiosity into something narrower and often more fragile. For some kids, curiosity disappears almost completely. But schools can do a...
Apr 04, 2014
“Our role is to keep America safe,” says Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control. “There’s no way to do that without working globally.” (Watch: 2:22) Earlier this year, the World Health Organization removed India from the list of countries plagued by polio, marking a major victory in the global effort to eradicate polio. (Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan are the only remaining countries on the list.) The CDC is the U.S. lead for polio eradication...
Mar 13, 2014
The 21st century workforce requires people who have collaborative skills and the capacity for creative problem solving. In Art for Life's Sake, cellist and arts education advocate Yo-Yo Ma and the Aspen Institute's Damian Woetzel discuss the need for STEAM over STEM. "Those very skills of collaboration, and flexible thinking, and imagination and innovative thinking are exactly what the performing arts teaches," says Ma. (Watch 2:36.) "This is exactly at the center of what...
Feb 27, 2014
Earlier this month — and just a year after a relatively small asteroid exploded in the skies over Siberia injuring 1,200 people — a massive asteroid, known officially as 2000 EM26, passed over Earth. Both space rocks serve as a shocking reminder that our planet is a target in a cosmic shooting range. “Very few things can be this global,” points out astronaut Ed Lu in a discussion with NASA’s Lindley Johnson and NOVA’s Paula Apsell. (Watch 3 min.) While the...

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