Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2017.
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.
Today’s structural problems — globalization, displacement, automation — are compounded by social strains — extremism, protectionism, disinformation. New leaders must defend ethics, prove that change and consensus is possible, and pioneer more equitable futures. Meet individuals who have brought their skills and spirit to bear on critical problems that others have failed to solve, or even attempt. How can you bring transparency to a corrupt media and government?
Every day, 91 Americans die following an opioid overdose. The misuse of opioids such as prescription pain relievers, heroin, and fentanyl is a national crisis, with a profound impact on social and economic well-being and on the public health. Although effective treatments for opioid addiction do exist, they are sorely underutilized.
We often take biology for granted, rarely recognizing the incredible technological feats of an organism as it grows, heals, and self-assembles—sustainably. As our ability to read, write, and design DNA grows, this power of biology is enabling amazing new biotechnologies to impact numerous industries, from everyday products brewed by designed microbes to programmable materials and living medicines.
Bob Chapman, the CEO of $3 billion global firm Barry-Wehmiller who was recently named the No. 3 CEO in the world in Inc. magazine’s article “They Lead in a Totally Unique Way,” will share his transformation from manager to leader and his realization that business could be the most powerful force for good in the world.
What are the factors that will affect economic growth? A distinguished panel of investors and business leaders are joined by a top observer of economic issues to share perspectives. What kinds of policies — planned or hoped for — will boost our economy and keep it steady?
Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) is actively working with Republicans to foster innovation and competitiveness. He is eager to enjoin Capitol Hill in policies to grow manufacturing jobs, and to equip workers with the skills they need to fill them. The senator, just recognized by the Bipartisan Policy Center for his commitment to working across the aisle, has become a strong voice for job creation and the innovation economy.
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.
The health care industry is one of the largest employers in the United States, and the need for skilled health workers has grown to crisis proportions as the population ages and lives longer. How can we provide career ladders for lower-level workers, such as home health care aides, and create decent jobs with benefits and growth potential? Hear from experts who are reimagining health care jobs and piloting new ways to value workers and provide the highest quality care.
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?
Big philanthropy can contribute to a democratic society by addressing problems that neither government nor the private sector will take on. Yet philanthropic institutions and foundations are institutional oddities within a democracy: exercises of power by the wealthy with little accountability, donor-directed preferences in perpetuity, and generous tax subsidies. What, if anything, confers democratic legitimacy on foundations? Might foundations be a threat to democratic governance?
Atlantic Media owner David Bradley offers a personal story of what he knows now, at 64, that he didn’t know in his youth about coping with setback and disappointment. In small part a personal narrative, though much more the uncommon story of an American journalist held hostage by al Qaeda for 660 days — the talk focuses on the inescapability of personal setback and known frames for getting through the worst.
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, coauthors of the 2014 best-seller The Second Machine Age, will preview their new book at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Machine, Platform, Crowd brings together economics, computer science, and several other fields to present a practical, action-oriented guide to the changes and disruptions brought by the amazing technological progress of today and tomorrow.
Job loss from automation is not inevitable. It is a choice. The fundamental technology design pattern is that economic activity increases and jobs grow when you use technology to do more, rather than just to cut costs. What is the nature of the “more” we should be doing? What are the policies that might encourage it? What is the future shape of the economy that we already see emerging and that we ought to be supporting if we want a better, more human-centered economy? Underwritten by EY
Social capital “is the network and scaffolding, seen and unseen, that allows determined individuals to succeed,” writes the Aspen Institute’s Raj Vinnakota. “It eases barriers to entry and provides tremendous leverage and ‘insider status’ for those who have it.” And for those who do not? They are increasingly shut off from opportunity and likely to have dramatically worse health outcomes. Today, the gap between those with and without social capital is perhaps the largest in history.