Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2018.
The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to expand the number of excellent community colleges, to increase opportunity at elite colleges, and to strengthen the college presidency. Get to know the Aspen Institute’s higher education strategy through a fireside chat between two experts who are well-versed in this field. Q&A moderated by Tania LaViolet.
George Soros said social media platforms are the largest threat to democracy. Marc Benioff said we should regulate them like tobacco. Why? Every day, platforms like Facebook and YouTube point their supercomputers at two billion people’s minds to capture their attention, and in the process create social harms that include digital addiction, amplifying genocide, political polarization, and election manipulation.
America is at a critical and potentially existential moment. Tribal polarization is at an all-time high. Yet veteran representation in Congress is at an all-time low. Veterans know how to work together and get things done in tough places. Can a surge of next-generation, principled veterans who have pledged to form a cross-partisan coalition win in November, break down divisions, and get Congress working again?
Colin Kaepernick. Charlottesville. Identity politics. Travel ban. Black Lives Matter. Build That Wall. Trump. A decade after the United States elected its first black president and pondered whether it had become a post-racial society, race is a more prominent and intransigent problem than ever. In this dialogue about racism’s complexities and societal implications, we’ll ask: How did we get here?
It is no secret that leaders, at home and abroad, have a problem with journalists. Rants against news organizations and individuals punctuate conversations in Europe and Asia as easily as they do in the United States. How do members of the media navigate their profession in such a climate?
While Congress looks less and less likely to take on any meaningful move on comprehensive immigration reform, hundreds of thousands of people live in limbo every day. Many of them face daily trials, ranging from inconveniences to crippling uncertainty to, in some communities, hatred and outright danger. What’s it like to be at the mercy of our immigration system today?
What does the science of psychology say about how to live a happier life? Professor Laurie Santos shares the top insights from her class at Yale, Psychology and the Good Life, the most popular course in the university’s 300-year history.
“To be principled means to consistently operate with principles that can be clearly explained,” writes Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates and one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs. Dalio has written and shared the principles that guide him in life and business in his best-selling book, Principles: Life & Work, in hopes that others will do the same.
Following all-but-unopposed reelections this year, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin both appear to be settling in as presidents for life. But while they’ve been consolidating power at the same moment, their two countries face vastly different trajectories and futures. Join two experts with unique insights into each leader for a discussion about the rise of these two modern authoritarians and what makes them alike — and different.
What possibilities unfurl when a symphony reaches Skid Row? How does music create healing on a street corner? Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta and internationally renowned soprano Camille Zamora are expanding access to classical music through their organizations Street Symphony and Sing for Hope, which bring music out of symphony halls and into the spaces of underserved communities.
Every major social platform has to wrestle with its influence on society and how its leaders’ decisions affect people. But one site that hasn’t made many headlines is Reddit, a network of hundreds of thousands of communities for people to connect across shared interests, in politics, jokes, hobbies, life struggles, and countless other topics. From new content policies to protecting user privacy, Reddit’s approach to human connection sets it apart from its peers.
Facebook is at the center of some of the most important questions in American life: How can we distinguish truth from fiction online? How can society develop fairly in an era of artificial intelligence? Can technology bring us together, or will it drive us apart? Chris Cox, chief product officer at Facebook, will discuss all these questions and more with Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief of Wired.
Big Tech firms bristle at the mention of regulation, and unlike major industries including finance, energy, and pharmaceuticals, tech has so far managed to avoid the strong arm of governmental control. But companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon wield an out-sized amount of influence over how we shop, communicate, and get the news. Just in case these companies don’t have our best interests at heart, what is the government’s role in protecting society from monopolies?
Luckily for us, a truly sustainable world already exists. Life on Earth had been in perfect balance for 3.8 billion years, and the secrets to that sustainability are still all around us. Biomimicry is the emulation of nature’s genius in design, engineering, even business. Today, biomimics are learning to repel bacteria like a shark, gather fog like a desert beetle, and circulate resources like a forest. The resulting designs are beautiful, functional, and — not surprisingly — sustainable.
After The Atlantic ran a cover story with the headline “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation of Kids?” a spate of stories and opinion pieces followed. The media was flooded with rants in comments sections, a former Facebook exec warned that social media is ripping apart our society, and Apple investors formally asked the company to take measures that would prevent iPhones from harming children.
When asked about faith in our larger institutions and organizations, citizens globally suggest that CEOs, not government, should take the lead on creating change. That said, many business organizations are still far from meeting the standards that employees and the consuming public hold them to. Some, however, are. Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, has not only driven increases in pay, he has announced an investment in higher education for US associates.
The last year has seen a clear trend toward a more authoritarian China at home and a more aggressive China overseas. As the world’s most populous country becomes increasingly economically dominant from the South China Sea to Africa — and embarks on the world’s most ambitious global infrastructure project since the Marshall Plan — what’s the reality of the threat from America’s most important “frenemy”?
What does it take for a team, business, or nonprofit to achieve audacious goals? Venture capitalist John Doerr argues that success has everything to do with how organizations — starting with their leaders — establish thoughtful objectives and transparent and measurable key results. With inside stories from Google to the Gates Foundation, from start-ups to giants, and from our families to our government, Doerr shares how to measure what matters most.
As consumers increasingly get their news online, and many news outlets shift from advertising-based business models to digital subscription-based business models, what role should tech platforms like Facebook play in supporting quality journalism? How do publishers tackle the challenges of breaking through various online channels to establish trust and relationships with readers directly? And what responsibility do platforms have to ensure quality news is thriving on and off their apps?