From blockchain to back to school and virus-hunting to bridging divides, speakers at the 2021 Aspen Ideas Festival addressed issues in a new kind of world—one touched, and changed, by the pandemic. Our speakers looked to the future and discussed the biggest, boldest ideas. Here's a sampling of the some of the Festival's conversations.
Get to Know a Few Members of the Covid-19 Advisory Council
On November 9, 2020, as coronavirus cases surge, President-elect Joe Biden named a COVID-19 Advisory Council. Aspen Ideas has been honored to host several of the council members over the years. While only a few of the talks listed here are about the pandemic, each gives a window into the speakers and their expertise in public health. Congratulations to Ezekiel Emanuel, Atu...
Time on your hands? Looking to escape into learning? Dive deeply into a broad array of topics from Aspen Ideas. Discover how soul music became a soundtrack to some of our nation’s most defining moments. What role does the human microbiome play in inflammatory diseases? And, what is the universe made of and why don’t we know what it’s made of? Expand your perspective by lea...
Health workers often face grueling working conditions. Even under normal circumstances, they regularly confront trauma, work long hours, are exposed to physical danger, and must keep pace with the demands of a rapidly-evolving health care system. With COVID-19 cases flooding waiting rooms and equipment shortages putting hospital staff at risk, health care workers are facin...
Aspen Ideas: Health dove deep on topics like CBD, health advocacy, and fecal transplants, and it really got people talking. We put together a list of some of the most attention-grabbing sessions from 2019 Aspen Ideas: Health so you can join the conversation.
Generation after generation, we’re doing a pretty good job at regeneration. Yet sex continues to be a confusing subject — laden with ignorance, taboo, and shame — and the addition of technologies for connection, gratification, and reproduction are changing the landscape of intimacy. What do we really know about sex, and will we ever be good at talking about it?
Seeds of Innovation: How We’ll Feed the World, Maybe
Civilization was a byproduct of humanity’s need to feed ourselves, but we still haven’t figured it out. World population continues to grow even as developing economies demand more resource-intensive food. And though we face the prospect of long-term crop-antagonistic weather, we still throw away a tremendous amount of food. Take a look at the challenges of today — and the...
It’s All in Your Head: How to Master Happiness, Wellness, and (Sometimes) Laziness
It seems that we’re all striving for happiness, compassion, creativity, and calm — and frankly, it’s stressing us out. What if instead of striving, we tried a little rewiring? Mind-centered interventions from meditation to music to recalibrating mental models can put us on a path toward personal and societal wellness, allowing our minds to thrive.
How to Change Your Mind: The Marvelous, Adaptable Brain
The brain isn’t some static entity, cast in resin at adulthood and slowly breaking down as we age. Recent scientific research reveals that it’s an extremely adaptable and plastic organ that can become stronger or weaker — or simply different — according to the stimulus it receives. Are you ready for a neurological tune-up?
Well-being isn’t merely a condition of life, some sort of personal happiness rating. According to many of today’s biggest thinkers, it’s a definable state that one can make practical steps toward achieving. To explore approaches that bring calm, happiness, and increased productivity, meditate on a few of these great sessions.
What Gender Reveals: Changes and Challenges in the Landscape of Identity
There’s more going on in discussions of gender than a sudden mainstream awareness of trans identities. Issues surrounding gender identity can (and should) inform our thinking on feminism, masculinity, sexual harassment, and larger policy issues like global health. Though to some it may seem a niche issue, changing views on gender affect us all, personally and politically.