Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2017.
Together, organizational behavior professor Matthew Feinberg and sociologist Robb Willer have extensively studied why liberals and conservatives so rarely succeed at persuading each other — and how to overcome these challenges. They find that people tend to make arguments that appeal to the ethical code of their own side, rather than the values of those they are trying to persuade. This, they say, is because people tend to view their own moral values as universal.
The Aspen Challenge presents three high school teams from Philadelphia and one team from Chicago who developed brilliant solutions to issues they see plaguing their communities. See these young change-makers take to the stage to prove that effective community solutions can be created at any age.
With their flights to DC snowed out and votes imminent on the House floor, these two Texas congressmen took to the road to travel the 1,600 miles to the nation’s capital in a rented Chevy Impala. They invited America to join them via Facebook live, and through their spontaneous town hall on wheels, they learned a lot about the issues Americans are dealing with, each other’s core values, and the inextricably linked processes of listening and finding common ground.
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.
While the act of spacing out has long been attributed to fueling creativity, many of us are downright uncomfortable with being bored. In fact, a prominent social science study reveals that a surprising number of people would rather be electrically shocked than left alone with their thoughts. Add a constant stream of updates, texts, and other technological distractions to an already tense relationship, and it can feel like we’re doomed.
Mental health disorders are rampant in America’s correctional facilities — in many cases, our prisons and jails are the main providers of mental health treatment in their municipalities. Furthermore, prisons and jails routinely subject people with mental illness to environments that radically exacerbate their condition, often to the point of suicide or self-harm. Why do so many mentally ill people end up behind bars, and what are the consequences for those inmates?
The Trump Administration says it is “committed to a foreign policy focused on American interests and American national security” and that “the world will be more peaceful and more prosperous with a stronger and more respected America.” Others have called Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement, waffling commitment to NATO, and abandonment of the TPP dangerous acts of isolationism that will create a vacuum of American leadership, and openings for others to reorder the world.
If you’re white and middle class, you were probably raised thinking that discussing race was impolite. Color blindness was seen as a virtue — and it’s a persistent one. A 2014 poll revealed that almost three-quarters of millennials believe we should not see the color of someone’s skin. But in truth, color blindness is an insidious form of racial oppression.
What went right and what went wrong with health care under the Obama Administration? Surely some reasoned, thoughtful answers lie between the firmly held poles where ideologues have staked their ground.
The Trump Administration has said that “all options are on the table” in North Korea. What actually are the options, and how might they play out? Can the international community come together to find a diplomatic solution to avoid a new Korean War?
The health effects of climate change sound a clarion warning that we must attend to a rapidly deteriorating environment. Polluted cities, severe droughts and flooding, and devastating storms are portents of a world in which risks to the health of the planet and the health of families are closely linked.
As the prospect of mass implementation of artificial intelligence begins to alter realistic expectations of its impacts (large and small, positive and negative), the consequences for the business community are only just beginning to be imagined. Unlike the internet, AI is not a new industry — yet its application will radically alter industry. Says one CEO, “Everything invented in the past 150 years will be reinvented using AI within the next 15 years.” But what does this really mean?
High drug prices have seized headlines, angered patient advocates, and prompted congressional hearings. Many causes have been suggested — among them, a fragmented pharmaceutical market that limits competition, the quest for profits (whether to fund expensive R&D or otherwise), and government regulations that bar Medicare from negotiating prices. Harder to find are solutions for patients who cannot afford their therapies.
Artificial intelligence has rapidly and deeply permeated our lives; and for much of the public, these infiltrations were unexpected — some even remain unrecognized. As we develop machines driven by human-created algorithms, it is imperative for us to examine how our moral and ethical biases and assumptions inform our creations, which will in turn change the world. Can and should we approach a consensus on what ethics to instill in AI?
As the United States leaves the Paris Agreement, how will the leadership vacuum be filled? Will China continue to surge ahead, tackling air pollution and investing in renewable energy? Will India soon abandon its commitments, favoring coal development over clean air? If choices that individual countries make in regard to their energy mix have planet-wide consequences, does abandoning Paris signal the end of the US-led international order?
In the innovation process, ideation is the creation of a great idea. But that’s not enough. Scaling is required to create value for great ideas, and this stage requires skills the entrepreneur often does not natively possess. Braddock Scholars is a response to this need. This Aspen Institute program chooses promising business ventures, profit or not-for-profit, from the widespread Aspen innovative family, and couples them with a handpicked mentor, who works with the business for a year.
It’s been called one of the worst self-inflicted political wounds of modern times. British Prime Minister Theresa May, seeking to solidify her mandate for a hard exit from the European Union, called for snap elections on June 8th, which ended up dealing the Tories a massive political blow and producing a hung parliament.
From election meddling and economic espionage to financial fraud and personal identity theft, it’s becoming clear that cybersecurity is increasingly central to every aspect of the way we live. Both state-sponsored cyber-spies and transnational organized crime groups pose urgent threats online to our nation’s critical infrastructure, our security, and our fundamental values in a democratic society.
Rachel Dolezal is a white woman who has identified as African American. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has identified as Native American. Both women have expressed feelings of solidarity for demographic groups that some would argue they ought not claim as their own. What’s wrong with claiming to belong to a historically subordinated population group? This spring, Rebecca Tuvel published an essay, “In Defense of Transracialism,” in the respected academic philosophy journal, Hypatia.
When Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation giving birth to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1937, he brought a decade of political wrangling to a close and created the world's foremost cancer research and training infrastructure. Eighty years later, with an annual budget of some $5 billion, NCI remains at the forefront of investigations into cancer biology and clinical trials that sustain cancer patients around the globe.