Program Tracks 2014

Due to the breadth of certain topics, three program tracks will offer conversations across both Fest 1 and Fest 2. Additionally, focused attention will be given to four different subjects during each half of the Festival. Spotlight: Health kicks off the week as a focused, two-and-a-half day forum.
An Age of Creativity
Aspen Ideas 2014 Program Tracks
It is arguable that the problems generated in the 20th century are left for those of us in the 21st to reconcile. In a world faced with collisions in values, population densities, natural resource deficits, food security, disease, and limited access to good education, we hope that the most inventive among us will define a better future. On a grand scale, we want to believe that the best ideas will flourish, as the sharpest and most creative minds in our midst will heroically devise great solutions.
The question is how do we distinguish who is the most creative? How do we tap vision and genius? Is a rich imagination the province of a few? Or are there enough "creatives" to tackle the dilemmas ahead, however large or small?
The answer is yes. If we are willing to look inside ourselves, that is. IDEO founder David Kelley and his partner/brother Tom argue in a new book that all of us are innately creative. We might not be tapping it properly; we might have a fixed mindset that restricts us to a certain comfort zone. But, suggest the Kelleys, we are all creatively capable: "Creativity, far from requiring rare gifts and skills, depends on what you believe you can do with the talents and skills you already have." We don't have to know how to draw, program apps, or play the piano; we don't have to solve page-long algebraic formulas or channel James Joyce to consider ourselves "creative."
What can psychologists, neuroscientists, educators, designers, and artists tell us about the creative mind? Are we wired a certain way? Where do innovators come from? Are they a distinct breed of thinker, alien to the rest of us? Why will some take risks and others hold back? What can we do to foster the spirit of creativity in our schools, workplace, and personal pursuits? Ten years from now, might we be more confident in our own ingenuity? How so?
Across this track, we will examine these questions through presentations, discussions, case studies and even some design workshops. You will find that you and those around you possess unlimited ideas and creative instincts. Perhaps we will unleash them.