Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2017.
A hip-hop musical about America’s founding fathers with a virtually all minority cast. A reimagining of La bohème as a rock musical uncovering the AIDS crisis in New York City. A coming-of-age musical about the anxieties of entering adulthood told through cartoons. These are just a few of the radically relevant and compelling concepts that Tony Award-winning producer Jeffrey Seller has turned into Broadway gold.
Has America lost its voice? For better or worse, our policies, protests, and pop culture have traditionally had a deep impact both abroad and at home. Do the voices we elevate today amount to a collective identity? Should they? Who lays claim to America’s voice, and what happens to the voiceless? Creative Tensions is not a panel — it’s a conversation that moves. Participants reveal where they stand on an issue by where they stand in the room.
Using fascinating personal stories, Sharon Begley explains the science of compulsive behavior and the deeper meanings behind it. Whether mild, such as hanging your tea towels in a very specific way, or extreme, such as OCD and hoarding, compulsion is a coping response to varying degrees of anxiety. Can’t Just Stop makes compulsions comprehensible and accessible, and explores how we can realistically deal with them, both in ourselves and in those we love.
We are on the cusp of a sweeping revolution — one that will change every facet of our lives. The changes ahead will challenge and alter fundamental concepts such as national identity, human rights, money, and markets. In this pivotal, complicated moment, what are the great questions we need to ask to navigate our way forward?
A grand strategy is a framework through which a country like the United States understands its place in the world: its goals, its biggest challenges, and the best way to promote its security and way of life. Post-war American grand strategy has typically been characterized by the notion of American global primacy and a commitment to the liberal international order, though different administrations have differed in their tendencies toward intervention versus restraint.
Long-range forces are changing the nature of work and how jobs will be created; they are also changing what kinds of jobs will be created. With tech and automation coming so quickly, which jobs will be replaced by machines? For those of us who will be hired, what skills should we possess? In this new, highly digitized economy, what kind of training will prospective employees need, and how might everyone prepare?
Suddenly, machines are learning from gigantic expanding data sets at rapid rates. Almost overnight, machines have acquired abilities that computer scientists have been spending decades to develop. How did a small group of brainy pioneers crack the machine-learning code? By designing machines that work like brains, of course. How are researchers and business innovators alike using machine brains to reinvent our world?
Who are you? That question has become ever more complicated over the last decade of scientific discovery. Our genomes show signs of ancestry from Neanderthals and other extinct hominins, not to mention the genetic fossils of ancient viruses. Our bodies are home to trillions of bacteria and other microbes that sculpt our organs, train our immune systems, digest our food, and influence our minds. Our brains are made up of about 80 billion neurons in 100 trillion connections.
From a young age, we are taught that answers matter more than questions. As adults, we experience powerful organizational and societal forces that keep us from asking (or hearing) uncomfortable questions. This creates an isolated, answer-centric world, often at our own peril. Business threats strike, seemingly out of nowhere. Innovations and new players, never before imagined, blindside us.
Hate groups and hate-fueled incidents are spiking in America. The Southern Poverty Law Center, through aggregating media reports and gathered submissions from its website, recently catalogued 1051 acts of intimidation and hate in the first month after Trump won the presidency. What is the evidence of this rising tide, and what does it look like in our communities? What groups are most frequently targeted today?
What has been predictable about the Trump Administration so far? What has been surprising? What have been the greatest successes — according to both pundits and the public — and the most significant failures? Will this administration ever settle in to “business as usual”? Underwritten by Southern Company
New genetic technologies have the potential to cure disease, alleviate hunger, and lead a clean energy revolution. But with these powerful new possibilities come with a range of consequences and ethical questions. Such questions might in theory be addressed in interdisciplinary, transparent settings.
Since 2009, the US unemployment rate has fallen from 10 percent to 4¼ percent, underpinned by steady job gains. Yet despite this employment strength, growth in output and wages has been disappointing. Many other countries have seen even worse economic performance. Are there policy changes that could help kick-start higher growth?
US Senator Mitch McConnell has just announced that he will bring health reform legislation to the Senate floor for a vote next week. What is actually proposed in this bill, which is designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and has been crafted largely out of public view? And what does it mean for health care?
For 60 years, the US government has been laying secret doomsday plans to save itself in the event of nuclear war — even while the rest of us die. Today, a third generation of doomsday planners are settling into life inside a network of bunkers that are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to house top government officials in the event of catastrophe.
This is not a moment to take democracy for granted. The 2016 emergence of Donald Trump and his populist counterparts in Europe didn’t signal the start of something new. Rather, they announced a long simmering, troubling trend away from liberal democracy in the United States and elsewhere. How did we get here? How are Western values shifting? What might the future hold?
Almost every kind of diversity is celebrated at American universities these days, but viewpoint diversity is increasingly suppressed. At Yale, Berkeley, Middlebury, Evergreen, and other schools across the country, students have disrupted or shut down guest speakers and called for faculty resignations, while “safe spaces,” free speech zones, and bias response teams have proliferated.
Health investors may be venture capitalists, willing to take big risks for the possibility of big returns; foundations that use program-related investments to generate a return on capital while supporting their charitable interests; or social entrepreneurs, who hope to do well by doing good. The health investment space is huge — a Google search for the phrase “investing in health care” turns up almost half-a-million responses — but it is also uncertain.
The world of health care, and how to deliver it, is a constant topic for headlines. Beyond congressional wrangling over the next iterations of public policy, however, what prescriptions might we look at to offer higher-quality, patient-focused, and lower-cost care? What are the transformative ideas that will improve health outcomes for all?
During this factious time in history, the founder of StoryCorps shares what he’s learned from the 400,000 participants in the StoryCorps archive — the largest collection of human voices ever gathered. He'll play memorable stories, answer questions, and talk about how the lessons learned from StoryCorps might help us begin listening across divides. Join us for an hour of wisdom and hope that reminds us of who we are at our very best.