Big ideas, bold ideas, brave ideas — in the seven days of the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival, all types of ideas on all types of subject matter were discussed, debated, tossed around, and hopefully absorbed. This is a second in a two-part series looking back on the festival and plucking out its best parts. In the last post, we focused on Spotlight Health, three days’ worth of panels, discussions, lectures, and interactive sessions focused solely on health. Here, you’ll find notable nuggets and thought-provoking quotes drawn from the myriad themes of the broader Ideas Festival. Enjoy. Continue reading
This year’s Aspen Ideas Festival featured around 400 speakers — experts, scholars, and pundits — leading discussions, engaging in dialogues, answering questions, and generally provoking thought on a wide variety of topics. It was the first time a sitting vice president spoke at the event (Vice President Joe Biden’s conversation with Walter Isaacson can be watched here), and other big speaker names included Secretary of State John Kerry, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. While it’s impossible to summarize an event of that magnitude — themes of conversation over the seven days spanned the spectrum from global insecurity to sex in America, from the mysteries of the universe to the university at a crossroads — we attempt to offer a glimpse into the ideas and issues discussed over the seven days of the Aspen Institute‘s flagship event Continue reading
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Every year after the Aspen Ideas Festival, we look back on ten days’ worth of stimulating talks and dialogues, mind-expanding discussions, big ideas, small ideas, prescient ideas, and everything in between. Combing through our notes, we bring you the highlights of the Aspen Institute‘s flagship event, in the form of quotes and explanatory nuggets. In this post, we focus on Spotlight Health, the three-day exploration of ideas related to health and well-being that kicks off this annual feast of the mind. Look for a selection of ideas on broader topics in the next edition of The Aspen Skinny. Continue reading
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At the closing session of Spotlight Health, the health-focused segment of Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute’s Kitty Boone made an announcement that an anonymous donor had stepped up the day before, pledging money to all finalists of the Aspen Ideas Award contest. The contest, in its inaugural year, invited all Aspen Ideas Festival speakers and scholars to to submit for consideration a project that addresses a challenge to the well-being of the planet and of society. It culminated with the five finalists in each of the Festival’s three sessions (Spotlight Health, Fest 1, and Fest 2) pitching their projects in front of a live audience, with a jury determining the $25,000 prize winner. The anonymous donor, feeling that all the finalists represented worthy projects, pledged $5,000 to each finalist in the three contests to help realize their ideas.
That’s just one example of how Ideas Fest, which just wrapped up its eleventh year, is seeking to turn ideas into action. Yet the heart of the ten-day confab is still its popular, mind-stimulating series of panels, lectures, and other gatherings meant to spark deep thinking about various issues, generate conversations, and cultivate ideas.
For those who didn’t make it to the Festival this year, or perhaps attended too much or too little, we’ve curated some of the best ideas Continue reading
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It may be impossible to summarize the Aspen Ideas Festival — the weeklong juggernaut of thinking that included 240 events featuring some 300 experts speaking on five overarching themes at the Aspen Institute campus and all around town last week. But it is interesting how a few strands of similar thought emerge — whether it’s on the latest issues in the news (the Middle East, the economy), or the newest innovations in technology and education, or the great social questions of the day (income inequality, the role of fathers). In any case, it is possible to pull out some of the highlights, take a step back, and get a snapshot of the current thinking in the world. Continue reading
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In honor of its tenth anniversary this year, the Aspen Ideas Festival was extended from seven to ten days, starting with a three-day mini-fest focused exclusively on health. From June 24 to 27, Spotlight:Health explored an array of health topics, ranging from global nutrition to health care policy to the latest scientific and medical innovations to the role of the arts and music in health care. All of these topics were examined through the lens of the Festival’s theme this year: Imagining 2024 — meant to nudge leaders in their fields to look to the future in terms of solutions toward a healthier world.
Over the course of three days, we heard many inspirational ideas — and many challenges. Here’s a selection that, we hope, gives you a snapshot of this in-depth examination of one of the foremost issues of our time. (And if you want to see more, the Ideas Festival website has full videos of most sessions, plus highlights, blogs, and speaker bios.) Continue reading