Aspen Ideas Festival

Live coverage of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival

Aspen Public Radio is proud to continue its long-term partnership with The Aspen Institute to bring you another summer of informative and stimulating keynote lectures. 

The Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that shape our lives and challenge our times. It takes place June 26 to July 4, 2015. This year's theme is Smart Solutions to the World's Toughest Challenges.  You can read more about this year's Festival and about the program tracks on The Aspen Institute's website.

Corporate support for the Ideas Festival broadcasts is provided by Obermeyer Asset Management. Celebrating 15 years of managing customized investment portfolios for individuals, corporations, and foundations in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. Learn more at obermeyerwood.com.

Ways to Connect

Ambassador Wendy Sherman, lead negotiator of the Iran nuclear deal, shares takeaways from her experiences working the historic agreement. What does the Iran deal have to teach us about approaching today’s seemingly intractable conflicts?

When is the truth the truth, a lie a lie, and what constitutes mere BS in an era that many refer to as “post-truth”? This panel addresses the kinds of critical and largely ethical questions we confront in our modern-day discourse, exploring the intent of the First Amendment (does it protect lies?), the reasons we lie (or, in fact, are we just strategically misleading?), and, through the lens of a lawyer, a fact checker, and a scientist, the ways various of us define and “get to” the truth.

  Responsibility for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in line with Congressional intent, rests with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

courtesy photo

 

Genetically modified organism. Rarely have three words generated such passionate and polarized debate.

    

Speakers: Goldie Hawn, Michael Eisner

Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Goldie Hawn joins Michael Eisner over lunch for a discussion about her career and the work she continues to support through the Hawn Foundation, which takes up as its mission the needs of children. Learn how the Foundation uses mindfulness to help young people develop social and emotional intelligence, and, in turn, reduce the distress and distraction within their educations that leads to increased rates of dropout.

Should College Be Free?

Jul 3, 2015

Speakers: Jamie P. Merisotis, Joshua Wyner, Gene D. Block, Kevin Cary

The value of a college degree is at an all-time high. At the same time, the price of college is escalating while wages for working-class Americans stagnate. Whose responsibility is it to shoulder the increasing cost of higher education? Can Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other technology-driven education platforms drive costs down? Should community college be free, as is now the case in Tennessee and Chicago? Hear a dynamic panel of higher-education experts discuss the cost and value of a college education in an era of increasing demand for skilled labor and growing income inequality.

Sam Tanenhaus, Garry Wills, David Frum, Cory A. Booker, Jeffrey Rosen, Neal Katyal, Chris Coons, Alan Cooperman, Ken Davis and David Leonhardt discuss recent Supreme Court decisions. 

In the United States, 25 percent of young adults under age 30 do not claim affiliation with any particular religion.  What does this new reality mean for communities of faith, and culture at large, as a generation of Americans increasingly turns away from such identity-forming institutions? 

David Petraeus - Chairman, KKR Global Institute; Visiting Professor, CUNY; Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School; Former CIA Director and Retired US Army General 

Peter Thiel Co-Founder, PayPal; Technology Entrepreneur and Investor, Founders Fund

Paul Ryan represents Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, serving his ninth term in Congress. 

Pope Francis has generated headlines worldwide for his unorthodox approach to the papacy, public acts of humility, and renewed emphasis on compassion.

Feature speakers: Michael Gerson, Matt Malone, Garry Wills, Nancy Gibbs

Immigrants play an important role in the economy as consumers, taxpayers, workers, and business owners.

Feature speakers: Ronald Brownstein, Grover Norquist, Cristina Jiménez, Deepak Bhargava

Gwen Ifill - Moderator and Managing Editor, PBS’s "Washington Week"; Co-Anchor and Managing Editor, “PBS NewsHour" 

The $70,000 Minimum Wage

Jul 2, 2015

Featured speakers: Dan Price, Kelly Evans

Dan Price is the CEO of Seattle-based Gravity Payments. He now earns his company's minimum wage, which he recently set at $70,000. In an age of super-salaries for top executives and growing income inequality, Price says his decision was values based, but that he also expects it to boost Gravity's bottom line. Could the Gravity story be on the front end of a culture shift?

Money and Politics

Jul 1, 2015

Featured Speakers: Theodore B. Olson, David Boies, James Bennet

Facing the 2016 election and anticipating well over $1 billion raised to fund campaign coffers, is this the way to run a democracy? Ted Olson defended Citizens United; David Boies (no role in the suit) hotly debates it.

Featured Speakers: Jeffrey Rosen, Tracey Meares, Joe Nocera, Michele Norris, Clifton Kinnie, Connie Rice

Ferguson has changed the way Americans now see violence and those committed to protect us.  

Featured speakers: Katie Couric, Ted Sarandos

Is "netflix-ing" the way of our future? Wall Street sure thinks so.

Featured speakers: Kathryn Sullivan, Andrew Revkin

 While the basics of greenhouse-driven global warming are clear, translating these into specific local and regional impacts remains challenging — including how warm it will get and what will happen to regional weather patterns, particularly precipitation. 

Featured speakers: Ben Rhodes, Jeffery Goldberg

Benjamin J. Rhodes and Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, discuss the worldview of President Obama, focusing on Cuba, the Iran talks, and the continuing crisis across the broader Middle East.

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