Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2018.
As secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres led the global adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015. But she was not always so hopeful, and recalls a turning point as she consciously shifted her attitude from despair to stubborn optimism. Jeff Goodell, author of The Water Will Come sits down with Figueres to reveal how individuals can harness hope and take action as they face the seemingly impossible.
A defining feature of the American Dream is upward income mobility — the ideal that children will achieve a higher standard of living than their parents. Economist Raj Chetty’s research shows that children’s prospects of reaching that benchmark have fallen from 90 percent to 50 percent over the past half century.
How do the arts of poetry, painting, journalism, fashion, architecture, television foster social justice?
With a dramatically reduced budget, a new system for categorizing race, an unprecedented proposal to count only American citizens, and a move to all-digital implementation (that’s right, no more knocks on the door), the plan for the 2020 Census has many policymakers and close observers deeply concerned. Changes like these, combined with the charged political climate around immigrants and race, could ultimately result in a deeply flawed count.
We know that men and women are different — but how exactly, and why? Though some differences lie in anatomy and biology, that’s not the whole story. How do our brains dictate our manliness or womanliness, and what differences between males and females exist only in our imaginations? Do boys really have more trouble in the classroom, do girls innately care more about beauty, and what does nonbinary identity teach us about how we define ourselves?
The data on social mobility and opportunity in the United States can be discouraging, especially for communities of color. While significant structural barriers to social mobility exist, these barriers can be lowered through the application of good policies and programs. During this session, panelists will discuss what the data tells us about social mobility and describe the work being done to challenge the obstacles to opportunity.
The Founders created a representative republic rather than a direct democracy, designed to slow down deliberation so that majorities could rule based on reason rather than passion. But in the age of Facebook and Twitter, new social media technologies have unleashed populist passions and accelerated public discourse to warp speed, creating the very mobs, demagogues, echo chambers, and factions that Madison and Hamilton feared.
Do we have a right to health care? The United States remains the only developed country in the world unable to come to agreement on the answer. While many feel that the US government crossed a line with the Affordable Care Act’s mandate, others hope the program will expand. But do we even maintain consensus on the status of rights such as security, water, and shelter — and to what extent should government prioritize these protections?
In the US marketplace,11.6 million businesses are owned by women. Growth in this sector has increased by 114 percent since 1997 — 2.5 times the national average — but male-led firms are still more likely to get start-up funding. That’s not simply unfair, it’s stupid, because it turns out firms started by women regularly outperform those founded by men.
What factors motivate people to make it to the polls in any given year, and what keeps them away? One thing we learned from 2016 is that predicting not only how people will vote, but if they will vote, is extremely complicated. How much impact do positive or negative ads on TV or social media have on voting rates? How and where will gerrymandering, or redistricting, be most consequential?
Hear the story of #MeToo from its founder, leaders, and chroniclers. Join Tarana Burke, founder of the original Me Too campaign, peoples’ champions Ai-jen Poo and Senator Sara Gelser, and Pew Research Center’s Kim Parker for an in-depth look on the formation of the movement, its socially transformative battle, and what the numbers say about how society is changing.
We don’t need fewer arguments in American civic life today, we need less stupid ones. That means we need arguments that are more emotionally intelligent and more deeply rooted in our history. It also means recognizing that America is an argument: between liberty and equality, strong national government and local control, color blindness and color-consciousness, pluribus and unum.
The Poetry Jam Session brings together some of the nation’s leading young poets for a spirited 80-minutes of cross-disciplinary performance, collaboration, and discussion. Lyrical and musical acrobatics will introduce ideas and issues central to this year’s arts track, bringing poetic life to the intersection of art and justice. This session is led by dancer turned director Damian Woetzel.
Following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria — not to mention the floods, wildfires, and storms that put 2017 on the books as one of the most disastrous years ever — some 4.7 million people registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But what exactly is FEMA’s role in relief and recovery? A conversation with the agency’s leader takes you inside the oft-misunderstood agency and its challenges.
What is the role of design in addressing climate change and social fragmentation? Landscape architect Kate Orff of SCAPE explores how to generate new forms of ecological citizenship through participation, engagement, and stewardship. Projects such as the Venice Biennale Lagoon installation, Living Breakwaters in New York’s Harbor, Detroit’s Open Spaces, and Town Branch Park in Lexington, KY will be examined within a framework of landscape-driven, neighborhood-scale activism.
Words come at us in print, online, and on the air; in podcasts, movies, editorials, and advertorials; through e-mail, texts, and tweets. Words may shock, like those of Samantha Bee and Roseanne. They may be code, like pro-life or climate change, for political ideas or beliefs. But how do words affect on our democracy — and us? Do we flatten the power of words through repetition or familiarity, as in, “Let me be honest”? Do we all receive the same message when we hear the same words?
The way history books tell it, the story of science and technology is one where the heroes are almost exclusively men. But we as a country have recently come to think of female and trans leadership differently, allowing the stories of past scientific pioneers to surface. This new perspective has enabled talented technologists to take greater leadership in the innovation sector and break down barriers to equality.
In the nearly 18 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has made an array of foreign policy changes. It began with withdrawing from the TPP, instituting the travel ban, and calling for strikes in Syria in the early months of 2017, continues through recognizing Jerusalem, announcing tariffs, pulling out of the Iran Nuclear deal, and culminates just weeks ago during a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Charlottesville, the iconic home of Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and the University of Virginia, is now also permanently associated with the 2017 white supremacist hate rallies — and their tragic outcome. Why did those groups choose Charlottesville? What was the impact of the violence on the community, and how has the city worked to move forward? What has Charlottesville learned, and what can it teach America about healing and resilience in a time of resurging hate and divisiveness?
The forces of division have been tearing America's social fabric for decades. But a new coalition of community builders with a new set of beliefs is rising to turn things around. Here's how you can help. Underwritten by Nestlé Waters North America.