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.

The 21st Century Diplomatic Toolbox: Soft Power, Economic Statecraft, and Technology


The changing face of diplomacy in the 21st century is driven by new tools of statecraft: soft power, economic support, access to technology, and public-private partnerships. Why will these be successful?

Madeleine K. Albright, David Ensor, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Richard Wilhelm

Transportation for the 21st Century

Americans took over 10 billion trips on public transit in 2012—that’s the highest number since 1957. At the same time, 2013 has been dubbed the year of the bikeshare as more and more cities establish their own bikeshare programs. As Americans in both urban and rural communities increasingly demand a wider range of transportation options, what can local and federal transportation planners do to give them what they want? Ray LaHood will offer his vision of what the next generation of transportation looks like—from high-speed bullet trains to smart cars capable of talking to one another. You can be sure that it won’t be your grandparents’ transportation system.

Ray LaHood & Ronald Brownstein

Afternoon of Conversation

Elena Kagan, Eric Lander, Robert McDuffie, Anna Deavere Smith, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Katie Couric, Dick Costolo, Jeffrey Rosen, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, James Fallows, Beth A. Brooke, Eric Cantor, Ramesh Ponnuru

What Do TV Shows Tell Us about Ourselves?

How much can we learn about our society through our TV shows? Can they break social barrier, or even help catalyze social change? Writer/producers of some of television’s most influential programs and characters—James Brooks (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Taxi, The Simpsons) and Brian Grazer (24, Parenthood, Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights)—consider what relationship onscreen life has to real life.

James L. Brooks, Kurt Andersen

Are We Safe?

A conversation about terrorism today.

Jane Harman, Mike McConnell, Elliot Gerson, James Fallows

Arts Strike: Transforming through the Arts, a Demonstration and Discussion

Arts Strike is a dialogue between artists, schools and communities first piloted by Yo-Yo Ma and Damian Woetzel in 2010. This special discussion and demonstration for the Aspen Ideas Festival highlights the unique power of the arts to educate and engage, and will feature local Colorado children alongside renowned artists, several of whom have participated in Arts Strikes in schools across the country.

Yo-Yo Ma, Cristina Pato, Charles "Lil Buck" Riley, Damian Woetzel, Tracy Straus, Anna Deavere Smith

Politics of the Possible

Where are the opportunities for bipartisan consensus and policy solutions? What's required to make that happen?

George Mitchell, Thomas J. Wilson, Melody Barnes, Tim Pawlenty, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rita Braver


The Inverse Logic of Life presented by David Brooks

Pakistan at a Crossroads

With the accelerated US drawdown of forces in Afghanistan, what lies ahead for Pakistan? What remain the greatest threats to stability in Pakistan? How can the international community play a positive role in Pakistan’s economic development and political stability? Is there a substantial role for the United States?

Stanley A. McChrystal, Husain Haqqani, David Ignatius

PLEASE NOTE: Due to technical problems at the location some of the audio may drop out at times and return. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Future of the Republican Party

The Republican Party has seen its share of fractures, factions, and disruption of late: some in the party openly suggest that rifts within are caused by “right-wing religious nuts” and other extremists; others, especially the young in the party, complain that conservative platforms have become closed minded, racist, inflexible, and old-fashioned. How will the GOP build internal consensus on what it stands for? And who is poised to lead the charge?

Elaine L. Chao, Karl Rove, Vin Weber, Michael Gerson

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