Aspen Ideas Festival

The Aspen Ideas Festival is an annual week long gathering that offers a variety of programs, tutorials, seminars, discussions and events that bring together vibrant intellectual exchange. You'll hear on some of the live sessions from the Aspen Ideas Festival here on Aspen Public Radio.

21st Century Workforce

Interview with Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

Penny Pritzker, Walter Isaacson

Penny Pritzker is US secretary of commerce, since June 2013. Previously, she was CEO of PSP Capital Partners and has developed such diverse companies as Vi, The Parking Spot, and Pritzker Realty Group. During the Obama administration, Pritzker has served on the President’s Council for Jobs and Competitiveness and the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. She is also a board member of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Marmon Group, and LaSalle Bank Corporation. Much of Pritzker’s civic work focuses on public education. In 2012, she received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.

In Conversation with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy, Hari Sreenivasan

Gina McCarthy is the administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Appointed by President Obama in 2009 as assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment. Previously, McCarthy served as the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. During her career, which spans over 30 years, she has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.

In Depth: What the States Say About American Politics-Are We Facing a Different Kind of Political Future?

24 states with 50% of the nation’s population is moving in one direction. 13 states with 25% of the population is moving in another. What gridlock? Underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton

Grover Norquist, Mickey Edwards

Grover Norquist is the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. He is the creator and organizer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a public written commitment to oppose any and all tax hikes, signed by most GOP members of the US Congress. Norquist serves on the board of directors of the Center for the National Interest, the Parental Rights Organization, and the National Rifle Association. He is the author of Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives.

Mickey Edwards is vice president and director of the Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership at the Aspen Institute. He represented Oklahoma in Congress from 1977 to 1992, serving in the House Republican leadership. Afterward, he taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He has also been a visiting professor at University of Maryland Law School, Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. Early in his career, he was a reporter and editor and worked in advertising and public relations. Edwards authored Reclaiming Conservatism and The Parties Versus the People.

A New Cold War with Russia?

US-Russian relations have reached one of their lowest points since the end of the Cold War. Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia and author of such books as Russia’s Unfinished Revolution, will shed light on the tenuous relationship between Moscow and Washington. As Russia and the US face off over Ukraine, can they continue to cooperate on Syria and Iran?

Michael McFaul

The Dope on Pot: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Katie Couric in Conversation

Recreational pot became legal in Colorado last year and retailers started selling it in January. While regulations were set up before retail sales started, the State of Colorado has enacted new laws to fine tune aspects of concern to lawmakers. Two new measures signed into law this spring included labeling for marijuana edibles as well as dosage regulations. Over the past seven months, the new marijuana industry is a tax revenue boon. It’s expected to bring in between $60-$80 million in taxes for Colorado in 2014.

John Hickenlooper, Katie Couric

Will the Humanities be Extinct by 2024?

There has been a lively debate about the purposes of a higher education and the degree to which it is about acquiring skills for employment, versus meeting personal and societal objectives for fulfillment and civic participation. This panel will explore the issue from the point of view of whether and how the humanities in the undergraduate curriculum contribute to both goals, and how well today’s institutions of higher learning are prepared to fulfill the humanities’ promise.

Afternoon of Conversation

* PepsiCo Chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi in conversation with David Bradley

* Former Vice President Al Gore with David Gergen

* Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in conversation with Andrea Mitchell

* The Race Card Project with NPR’s Michele Norris and Guests

* Gen. David Petraeus (Ret., US Army) in conversation with Bob Schieffer

Fracking: Is There a Fix to the Fight?

Domestic shale gas has transformed the US energy equation, but its development can have unacceptable impacts on air and water quality, while methane emissions from oil and gas development can undo the climate benefit of burning natural gas instead of other fossil fuels. Colorado has led the way with the nation's strongest air pollution standards for oil and gas development, including the first direct regulation of methane. Governor John Hickenlooper and Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp, who worked closely on the breakthrough rules in Colorado, lead a discussion of the way forward for shale gas.

Fred Krupp, John Hickenlooper, Gillian Tett

The Road to Depth: Thinking about what Character Is

Some people seem to lead inner lives that are richer and more substantive than the rest of us. How do they do it? This talk is a survey of some of history's most substantive characters. How love, suffering, struggle, surrender and obedience lead them to their depth.

David Brooks has been an op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003 and is a commentator for “PBS Newshour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Brooks also teaches at Yale University. He was a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic, a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, and worked at The Washington Times. Brooks began his journalism career as a police reporter for the City News Bureau. He has authored three books, most recently The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.

The Service Year: Creating a New Cultural Norm

Imagine a world in which most young Americans completed a year of national service. How would this contribute to transforming our country and our world? How do we reinvigorate our sense of civic duty and redefine success for the next generation in a way that integrates and institutionalizes national service into our culture? How can government, higher education, philanthropic organizations, the private sector, media, and service organizations can work together to foster a culture of national service over the next decade? How can we work together to make a service year a rite of passage and common expectation for young Americans through the creation of 1 million annual service-year positions? The panel will discuss the potential economic, political, international, community, and individual benefits that could be gained through large-scale national service.

Stanley A. McChrystal, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Elliot Gerson

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