Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2018.
While more than 100 countries have adopted democracy over the last two centuries, it’s already been a decade since political scientist Larry Diamond posited a “democratic recession” sweeping the globe. The revolt of the middle class, the rise of China, and power grabs through military coups are just a few factors that suggest a disturbing trend of democratic deterioration.
Most of us are repulsed by hateful actions and feelings, and it often seems that the easiest — and most just — way of getting rid of hate is by getting rid of the speech that promotes it. Nadine Strossen has dedicated her career to the defense of civil liberties, and as a champion of the First Amendment, she cautions us to remember that speech, painful as some of it might be, is justifiably protected.
Historically, globalization has been characterized by cross-border flows of resources and products. Financial exchanges follow, allowing for direct investment at home and abroad. In the digital economy, we see massive flows of information and data, which are perhaps even more critical to economic growth, crossing borders everywhere. In an era of anti-globalism, can the pace and flow of digital information be slowed, let alone stopped?
Writer Wajahat Ali talks to The Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg about his trip — and subsequent feature story and short documentary — to meet with Jewish settlers in the West Bank. How does this conflict impact the Muslim and Jewish relations in the region, and is there a solution moving forward? Or are we doomed to witness an absolutist tragedy?
When we speak and associate with others in real life, the First Amendment governs interactions, granting broad rights of individual speech and association. Yet when we interact online, we submit to terms of service from private companies. The consequence is that private platforms have become the new governors of speech and association.
The evolution of the English language is more often thought of as a devolution, particularly with the infiltration of texting abbreviations and jargon into our everyday use. John McWhorter, linguist and associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, pushes back against this assumption. He’ll guide us through the evolution of the English language and invite us to laugh about, marvel at, and celebrate its vitality.
President Obama told incoming President Trump that North Korea would likely be the toughest item on his to-do list, and through the first 500 days of the administration, the prediction has proved correct. Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program has made regional allies, like South Korea and Japan, nervous, and heightened nuclear fears in the United States for the first time since the end of the Cold War.
Since 2016, we’ve watched women rack up unprecedented wins in statehouses, city halls, and even Congress — and thousands more are throwing their hats into the ring. How did factors like Donald Trump’s win and #MeToo influence this wave, and why does the movement seem to be taking hold now?
For more than three decades, artist Carrie Mae Weems has created a body of work — including photographs, fabric, text, audio, and video — that probes the fault lines of race, gender, class, politics, and power. In this session, the Prix de Rome and MacArthur Fellowship winner stages a collaborative performance of her work and discusses how it merges the personal and the political. Weems will be joined by her frequent collaborators Sarah Lewis and Tanya Selvaratnam.
The CEOs of two of the top apparel companies — Patagonia and Eileen Fisher — discuss their motivation to make clothing manufacturing kinder to the environment and the people who make our clothes. With the shared value of social consciousness, Rose Marcario and Eileen Fisher delve into why a holistic approach, one that goes beyond a single company and its bottom line, is essential to doing business that’s good for everyone.
Most of us know the entrepreneurial success stories of places like Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, and Boston. But if great ideas are everywhere, why aren’t entrepreneurial businesses thriving worldwide, in places large and small? What can we do to promote entrepreneurship in unusual places, and make sure the prosperity-creating and problem-solving power of entrepreneurs is fully leveraged in Allentown or Accra, as well as in Austin?
The rise of digital platforms and explosion of corporate mergers and consolidation is profoundly changing the global competitive landscape. In the United States, there is a growing debate over the role of antitrust and competition policy in protecting competition and American consumers. What role will antitrust play going forward in a consolidating media industry? Is antitrust law the solution to the power of digital platforms?
Last year, the US was besieged by catastrophic natural disasters that included three major hurricanes as well as wildfires, flooding, and mudslides. More than 47 million people were affected, and the damage is estimated at $300 billion. How can we use the disasters as opportunities to rethink how we rebuild, and what is the private sector’s role in recovery — and in mitigating future disasters?
Readers, viewers, and subscribers want and need accurate news and information, but as we attempt to navigate among publishers and platforms and networks, who is ultimately responsible for telling us the truth? Who should be held accountable for information that is inaccurate, intentionally misleading, or straight-up fake? And what can media and information organizations do to win back our trust?
Cybersecurity is increasingly a major concern of modern life, coloring everything from the way we vote to the way we drive to the way our health care records are stored. Yet online security is beset by threats from nation-states and terrorists and organized crime, and our favorite social media sites are drowning in conspiracy theories and disinformation. How do we reset the internet and reestablish control over our own information and digital society?
Words hurt, words heal — or do they? As we’re exposed to the broad range of messages through media and social networks, and as we hear more people saying controversial (and historically taboo) things, do the words we use have the power they once did? This session will look at the power, or lack of power, of the most simple tool we have: words. We’ll look at words that people now exclude from their vocabulary, words that have become loaded, and ask what constitutes hate speech in this moment.
The United States and Germany have much in common: advanced industrial economies, high living standards, first-class universities, and leading companies. They also share the same pressures from globalization — trade competition, technological change, movement of people and ideas — around which to innovate and adapt. But the data makes it clear that Germany has better maintained its share of manufacturing in the global economy.
Silicon Valley is notoriously a boys’ club, perhaps to society’s detriment. What effects do discrimination and inequality in this sector have on our culture, society, and economy? What happens to technology when the executives, engineers, and designers who produce it are mostly male? Who are our most powerful advocates for diversity in the tech industry, and how are they fighting this stubborn monoculture?
Moved by her own deep hunger to belong — to have an identity that matters and a tribe of her own — Alex Wagner, author and host of Showtime’s “The Circus,” set off on a quest to find the truth about her family history. It became the memoir Futureface, and it took her from Burma to Luxembourg, from ruined colonial capitals to high-tech genetic labs. But as she closed in on the mystery of her own ancestry, she began to grapple with a deeper question: Does it even matter?