Video and Audio
Select video and audio from Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. All video and audio is from 2017.
By every measure — including life expectancy, infant mortality, and rates of heart disease and cancer — people of color fare worse than white people, even after controlling for education and income. Social policies that foster segregation, discriminatory employment and housing practices, and inequities in the criminal justice system can all have dire health consequences.
Technology used to be a lot more accessible, open, and ethical. It was driven by optimistic tinkerers rather than big companies. That changed. The entire industry and ecosystem is now ruled by a handful of companies rather than upstarts. American tech giants are now among the most powerful institutions in the world, rivaling governments in their power over media, culture, and politics.
As climate change increasingly becomes a fact of daily life, the health hazards of rising sea levels, catastrophic storms, water and food shortages, respiratory and vector-borne diseases, and temperature extremes are coming into sharper focus.
“When we [Americans] talk about the rule of law, we assume that we’re talking about a law that promotes freedom, that promotes justice, that promotes equality,” US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said in 2007. The rule of law is fundamental to our democracy. Critical challenges loom, however, as our citizens today disagree sharply over some of our nation’s most vexing issues, ranging from national security to our economic future to the very functioning of our political process.
It has become almost impossible to have a reasoned conversation about reproductive rights. From birth control to abortion, this minefield is strewn with political passion, convictions of faith, and seemingly irreconcilable moral choices. Women’s health writ large is in jeopardy as a result. What do women want and need? How do we engage in reasoned dialogue in search of common ground?
As the United States leaves the Paris Agreement, how will the leadership vacuum be filled? Will China continue to surge ahead, tackling air pollution and investing in renewable energy? Will India soon abandon its commitments, favoring coal development over clean air? If choices that individual countries make in regard to their energy mix have planet-wide consequences, does abandoning Paris signal the end of the US-led international order?
In the innovation process, ideation is the creation of a great idea. But that’s not enough. Scaling is required to create value for great ideas, and this stage requires skills the entrepreneur often does not natively possess. Braddock Scholars is a response to this need. This Aspen Institute program chooses promising business ventures, profit or not-for-profit, from the widespread Aspen innovative family, and couples them with a handpicked mentor, who works with the business for a year.
It’s been called one of the worst self-inflicted political wounds of modern times. British Prime Minister Theresa May, seeking to solidify her mandate for a hard exit from the European Union, called for snap elections on June 8th, which ended up dealing the Tories a massive political blow and producing a hung parliament.
From election meddling and economic espionage to financial fraud and personal identity theft, it’s becoming clear that cybersecurity is increasingly central to every aspect of the way we live. Both state-sponsored cyber-spies and transnational organized crime groups pose urgent threats online to our nation’s critical infrastructure, our security, and our fundamental values in a democratic society.
Why do some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight? How do habits work, and where, exactly, do they reside in our brains? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, explores what Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks, and the civil rights movement can teach us about how habits can shape how we think, behave, and live.
Fake news. Extremist propaganda. Religious intolerance. Trolling. Sexual harassment. Bullying. And we haven’t even talked about grumpy cat emojis. Social media is being successfully used and abused by hate groups to promote a toxic agenda that often marginalizes and targets religious and ethnic minorities and women. Every day, it seems that a handful of bad guys have the upper hand. How can we push back?
Scientists at the cutting-edge of neurobiology are studying the rhythms of electrical activity within the brain and learning more about how malfunctioning neural circuitry links to mental illness. Kafui Dzirasa, one of the pioneers in the field, is trying to build a “pacemaker for the brain,” drawing on new technologies to stimulate neurons, alter electrical patterns, and change the communications pathways that underlie complex social behavior.
By 2055, it is estimated that 50 percent of today’s work activities will be automated. This means that some work will be automated within certain professions, while other professions may completely cease to exist. It means a glaring need for new jobs and a new conception of “work.” It means reorganized industries and reorganized landscapes. What else does it mean? Which jobs are safe for now, and which are doomed?
Has the great American experiment in liberty gone off the rails? Best-selling novelist, public radio host, and acclaimed cultural critic Kurt Andersen tackles that question in his latest book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History, due out in September. Get a sneak preview of this provocative chronicle of magical thinking and make-believe that provides a new paradigm for understanding the post-factual present, in which reality and illusion are dangerously blurred.
To many Americans, Christianity and Islam are on a collision course — one of the many fissures that are pulling our nation apart. But instead of being implements of division, could these faiths play a role in national healing? As Muslims are targeted with travel bans and menacing public displays of Islamophobia, what obligations do Christians have to them, and why? Could these faiths set examples for empathy, respect, and even finding common ground?
Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson's national best-selling book looks at the hidden psychology of why we like what we like and reveals the economics of cultural markets that invisibly shape our lives. Shattering the sentimental myths of hit-making that dominate pop culture and business, Thompson shows that nothing “goes viral,” that quality is insufficient for success, and that some of the most popular products in history were one bad break away from utter failure.
The rise of radicalization and violent extremism is a worldwide threat that seems to defy military solutions and cannot be countered only by the vigilance of law enforcement.
Data from a 2007 voluntary research scan helped Steven Keating identify his own brain tumor in 2014 when he began to notice a phantom vinegar scent. After an MRI confirmed the presence of a tennis ball-sized tumor, Keating immediately began collecting his own clinical, research, and self-generated data.
Regardless of the fate of the Affordable Care Act, the American health care system will continue to undergo an historic transformation, fueled by evolving science and technology, new approaches to reimbursement, restructured provider networks, and demographic shifts. The health policies of the future are likely to reflect the influences of both conservative and progressive thinkers.
Especially since the 2016 election, the term “rural America” is tossed around casually and constantly in our national political and economic dialogues. But those conversations are often one-dimensional, overly general, or worse, miss the mark completely. What is mainstream coverage overlooking? What is it getting wrong? What matters most to people in America’s rural areas? What kinds of holistic, local, and sustainable economic opportunities exist, and how can they best be realized?