Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2018.
Population growth, shifting agricultural practices, and altered weather patterns are weighing on the food supply, a pressure that will only intensify over the next 30 years, when the planet holds an estimated 10 billion inhabitants. Rising temperatures will reduce crop yield and spawn more pests, higher carbon dioxide levels will lessen the nutritional value of food, and fish will move away from the equator, where the greatest population growth is expected, and closer to the poles.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is the third leading killer in the US, yet it rarely commands the attention paid to #1 heart disease and #2 cancer. As both advocate and patient, Grace Anne Dorney-Koppel is fighting to change that. After being given less than five years to live in 2001, Grace Anne embarked on an ambitious rehab program, and now helps fund pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation clinics across the country.
The states shoulder a significant amount of responsibility for tackling the opioid epidemic, reversing obesity trends, and reducing tobacco use within their borders. They also have policy decisions to make about expanding Medicaid, developing health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, serving undocumented residents, and strengthening their public health systems. Budget constraints, politics, demographics, and health indicators all influence their response.
The sequencing of the human genome – a complete map of the body’s three million base pairs – opened a window into disease processes, led to new diagnostic tools and personalized therapies, and heralded an age of medical discovery. A brief documentary produced by Retro Report describes the historic race to unlock the genomic code, the birth of precision medicine, the use of CRISPR technology, the evolution of gene therapy, and the potential of genetic testing.
Although infectious disease outbreaks, from influenza to Ebola, surface with alarming frequency, more than 80% of the world has not yet developed an adequate response plan. Does your nation have one in place? Resolve to Save Lives has launched a new website that assigns an epidemic preparedness score to 180 countries, giving journalists, advocates and citizens the tools they need to drive change.
Who is responsible for keeping us healthy? Provocative questions about responsibility, control, and power are being vigorously debated as models of health care are redesigned, prevention gains cachet, and the roles of individual behavior, advocacy, public policy, and government responsibility are weighed. Creative Tensions is a conversation that moves, one in which participants reveal where they stand on an issue by where they stand in the room.
Federal funds could not be used to pay for sugar-sweetened beverages under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps), if recommendations from the Bipartisan Policy Center are adopted. In its 2018 report, Leading with Nutrition, the center calls for restrictions and incentives that would recast SNAP as a tool for healthy eating.
Cancer is on the rise in Africa, with the World Health Organization predicting that by 2020, it will take the lives of one million people a year across the continent. The most common forms of the disease in Africa -- breast, cervical and prostate cancers -- are also the most treatable, but drugs have been in scarce supply, and the price of treatment remains a huge obstacle.
Community health workers bring lifesaving care to hard-to-reach locations. More than one billion people inhabit areas so remote that they lack any access to healthcare, but not too remote to trigger fast-moving epidemics. Enter community health workers, who can detect disease outbreaks, identify malnutrition and malaria, and provide basic primary care.
Gun violence in the US is a public health epidemic. With partisan battles currently making state and federal legislative solutions elusive, private sector trendsetters are quietly exploring other avenues of opportunity. The Smart Tech Challenges Foundation funds research to advance biometric identification and other security technologies that allow only authorized users to fire their guns.
Despite repeated attempts, Congress has not repealed the Affordable Care Act, although the Trump Administration has chipped away at some of its provisions. The requirement that all insurance plans offer “ten essential benefits” has been softened and the individual mandate to carry a minimum level of coverage has been repealed. Conservatives remain united in their distaste for the law and want bolder action, but they are divided about where to go next.
Universal health care involves much more than providing insurance coverage to everyone. It also means ensuring that appropriate, affordable, and timely medical services are available to all, in keeping with the view of health as a fundamental human right. In the US, the framework of Medicare for All is gaining traction.
Larry Smarr believes in being the CEO of his own body, and for years, he has been measuring inputs (food and drink) and outputs (caloric expenditure and excretion patterns), and juxtaposing that data with imaging and analyses of his blood and stool samples. “Transparent Larry” ultimately created a three-dimensional model of his inflamed colon, a virtual image that shortened and simplified his surgery for Crohn’s disease.
Development in the Global South is fundamentally about dignity – the dignity of people, of planet, and of all life. In a new anthology by the Aspen New Voices Fellows, the authors offer a balanced view of global health and development, presenting a fresh perspective in an increasingly polarized world. Hear them tell stories of their quest for dignity and share engaging insights from Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.
Sometimes, a single data point can arouse new insights, inspire a novel problem-solving approach, encourage a career shift, or even change a life. In an hour of fast-paced, sensory-rich storytelling, ten trailblazing development leaders from the global South share frontline stories about a piece of data that altered their journeys toward global health — and explain why their learnings should matter to all of us. (Underwritten by Johnson & Johnson)
Whether the headlines describe a “cancer moonshot” or a “war on cancer,” they capture a yearning and determination to eliminate the scourge of malignancy. Artificial intelligence, huge genomic data sets, and expanded access to clinical trials are pushing forward knowledge about the package of diseases we call cancer. As the treatment arsenal expands, it highlights both the promise and the limits of immunotherapy, targeted drugs, and other advances.
Illness and death are universal challenges, but not something we anticipate in our 30s. Kate Bowler and Lucy Kalanithi understand that any of us can confront these harsh realities at any time. Bowler was 35 when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She tried to make sense of it in Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved.
Discover the courage of compassion through the eyes of parents journeying toward acceptance of their unique children. Based on Andrew Solomon’s best-selling book, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, the film offers a deeply personal view of what it means to parent a child with autism, Down syndrome, or short stature, or to have raised a teenager who murders a little boy.
College presents opportunities for students to test their wings, explore new relationships, pursue their personal best, and develop an enduring passion for learning. Often the first opportunity for real independence, the college years can also pose serious health risks — among them, mental health issues, binge drinking, sexually transmitted diseases, date rape, infections, and sleep deprivation.
Human beings swarm with bacteria, viruses, and fungi — trillions and trillions of them, inhabiting virtually every part of our bodies. Known collectively as the microbiome, they play a vital role in keeping the immune system strong, synthesizing nutrients, maintaining heart health, and so much more. But when these synergistic communities of microbes are disrupted, we become more susceptible to infections and disease.