Schedule for 2017

Announcing the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival schedule! Find the session you're looking for by sorting by Program Tracks, Session Date, or search by session name or speaker.  

Downloadable Agenda

SEARCH
Deep Dive   Intersections
Deep Dive: Breaking the Cycle: Health, Poverty, and the Social Determinants of Health
1:15 pm - 2:45 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
The pathway to health sometimes travels through a physician’s office, but economic stability, the physical environment, access to nutritional foods, adequate schools, and social support may be even more important way stations. These and other social determinants of health need to be considered in an integrated fashion, engaging collaborators across disciplines who have not traditionally viewed their roles through a health lens. Given the powerful influences of racial inequity and segregation on health, a commitment to vanquishing disparities is also essential. How do we tear down social, economic, and environmental barriers and build better health for all?
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Breakout   Caregiving
Building Empathy with a Dose of Humor: An Improv Workshop for Caregivers
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Go beyond storytelling to get to the heart of caregiving, with all its complications and rewards. Experience the power of connections approached with empathy, openness and acceptance. This workshop, a sneak preview of an innovative training program being developed by Second City and Caring Across Generations, uses improv techniques that allow participants to explore how self-expression can be a form of self-care, and how levity can create a playground for people to take risks, strengthen their relationships, and laugh while they do so. Learn to use fun and practical tools that take the stress out of caregiving and foster dignity and joy in your caregiving relationships.
Kresge Building, Hines Room
Breakout   Intersections
Mount Sinai Health System Presents: Environmental Hazards: Putting Kids' Health, and Our Own, at Risk
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Flint, Michigan's lead-poisoning crisis alerted Americans that turning on the tap water may be a risky act, especially for our children. Environmental toxins have been implicated in many pediatric illnesses, including asthma, cancer, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), birth defects, obesity, and diabetes, at incalculable costs to the health care system and to families. What does research reveal about the rapid growth of diseases associated with environmental toxins, and why are children especially sensitive? How can individuals protect themselves and their children? How do we improve prevention and treatment, and support more research and patient education, in the United States and worldwide?
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Breakout   Intersections
Women Who Lead: Colleges Put Health Pioneers at the Helm
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Three of the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning are now led by women with broad accomplishments in health-related fields. Elizabeth Bradley, Vassar College’s newly appointed president, has helped to strengthen health systems around the world; Paula Johnson, president of Wellesley College, has special expertise in women’s health and gender biology; Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College, is an authority on child development and developmental psychology. In conversation with these trailblazers, learn what promotes success and what it takes for women to lead in health and education.
Koch Tent
Breakout   Spotlight Viewpoints
Johnson & Johnson Presents: Born Lucky? Access and Inclusion for the Healthiest Generation
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
What if you were born as someone else? Suppose your genetic makeup was different, or you were predisposed to serious disease. Imagine you were born a different gender, lived in a region with limited access to health care, or grew up in a family of another socioeconomic status. The life you are born into influences your ability to access health and make health decisions, but today, with possibility limited only by our ingenuity, that need not be the end of the story. Journey in someone else’s shoes, consider opportunities to improve access and inclusion, and learn what it will take to grow the healthiest generation: “GenH.”
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Breakout   Spotlight Viewpoints
Healing Children: A Surgeon's Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine (Book Talk)
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Dip into a groundbreaking medical memoir by Kurt Newman, president and CEO of Children’s National Medical Center and one of the leading pediatric surgeons in the United States. Newman spotlights resilient children and the medical professionals dedicated to their care, describes innovative therapies on the horizon, and issues a heartfelt call to give greater priority to pediatric medicine. Kirkus Review describes Healing Children as “a genuine and inspiring chronicle of a doctor fighting the good fight.”
Doerr-Hosier Center, Kaufman Room
Plenary Session   Intersections
Music, Health, and Well-Being: Jon Batiste in Conversation with Walter Isaacson
4:15 pm - 5:15 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Music can lift the spirits and help heal the body. No musician demonstrates that better than Jon Batiste, a “crowd-thrilling rebel bandleader,” according to Rolling Stone magazine. Viewers of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" know him best for the exuberant music he conducts with Stay Human. Accomplished pianist, artistic director at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, composer, and independent film buff, Batiste is also a devout Christian, whose mornings begin with a half hour of meditation and prayer. Walter Isaacson, the Aspen Institute’s president and CEO, who hails from Batiste’s hometown of New Orleans, conducts the interview.
Greenwald Pavilion
Speaker Salon   The Brain
The Aging Brain
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Whether they remain free of diagnosable disease or become afflicted by dementia, our brains inevitably change as we grow older. Our cells degenerate, we forget names, and we think more slowly, making hard to distinguish normal aging from the warning signs of brain disease. Programs that claim to keep the brain healthy are popular, but it is not clear how much physical and mental exercise and good nutrition really help. When will rigorous research give us meaningful ways to prevent dementia or arrest its progression at the very earliest stages? What important clinical trial results can we anticipate in the coming years?
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Speaker Salon   Caregiving
Marrow: A Love Story (Book Talk)
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
A courageous memoir of two sisters who uncover the depth of their love for each other through the shared experience of a bone marrow transplant. Author Elizabeth Lesser is the donor, her sister Maggie Lake the recipient. Their quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all love leads them through a “soul marrow transplant” where they dig deep into their shared past with open hearts and a spirit of forgiveness. Marrow is an unflinching story about getting to the very center of ourselves.
Explore Booksellers
Speaker Salon   Med School
The Changeable Brain
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Breakthrough research has revealed that the brain is especially open to change during specific periods in life – notably infancy and childhood, adolescence, and the transition to parenthood. During these sensitive times, interpersonal relationships play a central role in supporting healthy brain adaptation. What other key inputs help to grow and maintain a healthy brain, both at times of great change and across the lifespan?
Limelight Hotel
Wine & Sign  
Wine and Sign: Book Signings by Spotlight Health Presenters
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Bookstore
Evening Session   Caregiving
Three Caregivers Walk into a Bar: Caregiving, Improvisation, and Humor
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
The Second City and Caring Across Generations have joined forces to develop a unique training program that strengthens the skills of caregivers through improvisational techniques and practices. Discover how it will work in an evening that offers stories, insights, and interactive experiences that reveal the power of collaborative communication. You will participate in exercises where you learn to operate in a "yes, and…" mindset, one funny enough to make you laugh and powerful enough to stir your heart. Learn why the tools of improv can dramatically transform caregiving relationships, leading to better outcomes and a more meaningful journey for everyone involved.
Paepcke Auditorium
Evening Session   The Brain
Hot Stuff! Love, Sex, and the Brain
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
What makes two people click? What does it really mean to say, “we have chemistry”? The Atlantic's Olga Khazan talks to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher about the four styles of thought and behavior that Fisher has identified through brain scans (using fMRI) that help explain the biological underpinnings of romantic love, love addiction, adultery, and divorce. Based on data collected from 35,000 single Americans, Fisher explains modern courtship, why a trend she calls “slow love” makes her optimistic about relationships in the digital age, and how to use brain chemistry to keep love alive.
Belly Up Aspen
Evening Session   Spotlight Viewpoints
Fake Health News Metastasizes
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm MDT on Saturday, June 24, 2017
Invalid health news comes in many flavors. Some is utterly fake and potentially dangerous: asserting links between vaccines and autism, discrediting the reality of climate change. Other assertions feel somewhat different, like advertising claims that a pill can melt away pounds or a dietary supplement can make you stronger. A long-familiar willingness to dismiss facts in the health arena seems more recently to have infected the political discourse, allowing ideology, assumptions, and dogma to masquerade as reality. If an informed electorate gives way to one that believes all truth is relative, and that only personal opinion matters, reasoned debate and compromise are going to be hard to come by. It may be time for the health field to look hard at the fake news it has tolerated.
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Misc  
Yoga in the Park
7:00 am - 7:45 am MDT on Sunday, June 25, 2017
Anderson Park
Breakfast Talk   The Brain
The Epidemic of Loneliness
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Sunday, June 25, 2017
A crisis is emerging that seems likely to pose as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse: social isolation. Neuroscientists have identified regions of the brain that respond to loneliness, and a powerful body of research shows that lonely people are more likely to become ill, experience cognitive decline, and die early. Across the industrialized world, millions of people live with sparse human contact, putting their well-being at risk as they put new pressures on health and social service systems. Does social media drive loneliness, or help to cure it? How does loneliness alter the brain, and how can we treat this condition?
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Breakfast Talk   The Brain
Aspen Lecture: Transforming Mental Illness through Technology
8:00 am - 8:50 am MDT on Sunday, June 25, 2017
Scientists at the cutting-edge of neurobiology are studying the rhythms of electrical activity within the brain and learning more about how malfunctioning neural circuitry links to mental illness. Kafui Dzirasa, one of the pioneers in the field, is trying to build a “pacemaker for the brain,” drawing on new technologies to stimulate neurons, alter electrical patterns, and change the communications pathways that underlie complex social behavior. The hope of birthing a new generation of novel treatments for bipolar disorder, depression, and other psychiatric conditions might just be within reach of this former long jump conference champion.
Koch Building, Booz Allen Hamilton Room
Plenary Session   Intersections
A Troubling Prognosis: Race Disparities and Health Outcomes
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Sunday, June 25, 2017
By every measure — including life expectancy, infant mortality, and rates of heart disease and cancer — people of color fare worse than white people, even after controlling for education and income. Social policies that foster segregation, discriminatory employment and housing practices, and inequities in the criminal justice system can all have dire health consequences. Equally powerful is the role of unconscious bias — for example, the one that makes people of color who come to an emergency room with a broken bone less likely to receive pain medicine than white patients. How do we recognize and dismantle health-damaging racism in its many forms?
Koch Tent
Plenary Session   Intersections
Global Health in the Age of Sustainable Development: An Interview with Economist Jeffrey Sachs
9:00 am - 10:00 am MDT on Sunday, June 25, 2017
Jeffrey Sachs, named by The Economist as one of the world’s “three most influential living economists” is the author of End of Poverty, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, and The Age of Sustainable Development. Turning his bold and optimistic eye toward global health, he presents a compelling framework that integrates health with the environment, the economy, the alleviation of poverty, and social justice.
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room
Closing Session  
Spotlight Health Closing Session
10:15 am - 11:45 am MDT on Sunday, June 25, 2017
A Conversation with US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (Interviewer: Jeffrey Goldberg) A Conversation with Larry Brilliant (Interviewer: Walter Isaacson) A Conversation with Cecile Richards (Interviewer: Pat Mitchell)
Greenwald Pavilion

Pages