Festival Updates

Feb 20, 2014
Introducing: AIF's first short course on iTunes U! Festival attendees often tell us they want to dig deeper into the topics shared by our speakers. Answering the call, our new series of short courses will offer independent investigations led by AIF speakers themselves. In our inaugural course, In The Crisis of Citizenship in America,  Eric Liu conducts a deep dive into our collective notion of citizenship. (Watch course intro here.) Through video, readings, and an...
Feb 07, 2014
It's been a rough week for Twitter. After a strong IPO last November, the social networking service's stock plummeted yesterday a reported 24 percent. The losses are largely blamed on "significant declines in usage and a slowdown in the growth of new users." Although the stock losses made the headlines, many reportedly see it as somewhat of a predictable hurdle for a young company. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke with news veteran Katie Couric last summer at Aspen Ideas,...
Jan 21, 2014
ABC News medical editor Richard Besser asked Dr. Ken Davis (CEO of Mount Sinai Medical Center) to project which medical breakthroughs he expects over the next 25 years. “I see great things for cancer,” Davis says, referencing three “breathtaking” advances just in the last year. (1:11). Unfortunately, he’s less optimistic about the breakthroughs for brain diseases, which he says account for six out of ten top disabilities in the world. (Watch full session.) Davis...
Jan 09, 2014
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court halted gay marriage in Utah. Despite two landmark Court decisions in June that greatly expanded same-sex marriage rights in states from New Hampshire to California, gay and lesbian couples in 33 states, including Utah, remain unable to legally wed. David Boies (co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown) sat down last summer with NPR's Steve Inskeep to discuss the Court's decision as well as the history of the cases that led up to the...
Dec 19, 2013
Lloyd Blankfein (chair and CEO of Goldman Sachs), Mitch Landrieu (mayor of New Orleans), Arianna Huffington (head of Huffington Post), and Margaret Spellings (former US secretary of education) sat down at Aspen Ideas to talk about the power of innovative public-private partnerships. Increasingly, companies are focusing on corporate social responsibility, observes the Aspen Institute's Walter Isaacson. Why? "Success is commonly defined as money and power," says Huffington. "...
Dec 13, 2013
Have we reached Peak Car? Innovations in peer-sharing transit systems such as bike sharing and car sharing are gaining momentum in cities across the world. Gabe Klein's work in both the public and private sector, and his unique experience launching Divvy Bike Share in Chicago, Capital Bike Share in DC, as well as with Zipcar, make him an authority on the subject. "Millennials don't have the love affair with the car," says Klein, holding up and nodding to his smartphone, which...
Dec 06, 2013
Some of the most dramatic changes to the ways we communicate and work — from the iPhone to social media — are rooted in the design thinking. Here, tech pioneer John Doerr asks a group of remarkable entrepreneurs: Path’s Dave Morin, NEST’s Tony Fadell, Flipboard’s Mike McCue, and designer Yves Behar for their best advice. From working with your heroes to passing the “mom test,” the insights they share can be applied to all forms of entrepreneurship. (...
Nov 21, 2013
How can the arts help shrink the economic divide in our country? Damian Woetzel, director of the Aspen Institute's Arts Program invited Eric Liu, founder of Citizen University, and Melody Barnes, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and current director of the Aspen Institute's Forum for Community Solutions, to discuss why art must go beyond entertainment and become part of the fabric of progress. Merely supporting the arts isn't enough — thriving...
Oct 30, 2013
Do we need a space race on energy? Earlier this week, three governors of Western states signed a pact with Canada to coordinate climate change policies. But our investment in science, as a country, since the Cold War and Sputnik has dropped off dramatically. Kristina Johnson (former undersecretary of energy) says solving the energy crisis is a complex problem that involves policy, science, and engineering. “Fifty percent of our engineers are over 50 or older and will be retiring in...
Oct 25, 2013
New technologies now enable us to visualize the cosmos in even greater detail. Where once we were confined to theories, now it is possible to immerse ourselves in alien environments, and even see through the eyes of robot explorers. As scientists probe the universe, our limits as humans come into question. Is there an evolutionary glass ceiling for humanity? Will we exceed our capacity by creating technological advances that are far beyond our ability to grow as a race? Watch (1:43) as Charles...

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