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.

From the archives, two speakers from Aspen Ideas Fest, 2011, James Fallows, national correspondent from the Atlantic and Nancy Aossey, CEO and President of International Medical Corps.

Good afternoon, this is Spotlight Health, on Aspen Public Radio. This is the third of six episodes in our series on key health issues.

Today we’ll untangle why seeing a doctor can be so confusing...

“Despite all the medical advances, there seems to be increasing controversy about what is the right thing to do, even about your most common conditions.”

We’ll hear one solution for making that whole treatment experience cheaper and more effective, too.

“We estimate that we’re taking at least $400 million per year out of Intermountain’s cost of operation, through better care.

Coming up today on Spotlight Health.

Episode 3 of 6 in a series to explore key health issues with guests also participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health programming this summer.

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

Deciding between doctors, treatments, and, surgeries can be exhausting, and often especially hard when juggling a serious diagnosis. Boston Physician Pamela Hartzband noticed this after practicing medicine for years, and she and a colleague have written a book on how to navigate those decisions. It’s called Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You. Dr. Hartzband will speak at the Aspen Ideas Festival this summer. As part of our spring series on key health issues, Dr. Hartzband spoke with APR’s Elise Thatcher. 

CeDAR/University of Colorado Hospital

Treating drug addictions can be gender specific, and that's part of the therapy at the Center for Dependency, Addiction, and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. Ben Cort represents the Center, and sat down with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Good afternoon, this is Spotlight Health, on Aspen Public Radio. I’m Elise Thatcher, and this is the second episode in our series on critical health issues.

Today we’ll find out how gender plays a role in treating drug addicts…our guest has personal experience with tackling inner demons.

“At 26 was a director at an S & P five firm, but I’d never done anything with my recovery, that was separate.”

We’ll also hear from a former Pepsi Executive about why he believes we should feel empowered to choose exercise or fresh fruit over other unhealthy foods and behaviors.

“What I learned in the food industry, is that many of those tobacco prescriptions don’t apply as easily to food.”

That’s coming up... on Spotlight Health.

Episode 2 of 6 in a series to explore key health issues, with guests also participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health programming this summer.

Chicago Tribune

For many people, changing bad habits can be incredibly difficult. But it’s those personal choices that can take us from being in decent health… to feeling miserable. As part of our spring series on key health issues, APR’s Elise Thatcher talks with Derek Yach, Senior Vice President of the Vitality Institute, a New York think tank. 

Abel Cárdenas/Portafolio

Whether you reach old age can really depend on how much money you have… that’s true in the US and around the world. Peggy Clark would love to change that. She’s passionate about health, especially for people living in other parts of the world. Clark is Executive Director of Aspen Global Health and Development, part of the Aspen Institute. She’ll speak about health at the Aspen Ideas Festival this summer. Clark sat down with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Exploring critical health issues in partnership with Aspen Ideas Festival.

Alzheimer’s Disease and global health are the topics in this episode. APR's Elise Thatcher talks with Dr. Huntington Potter, Researcher and Professor of Neurology with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Peggy Clark, Executive Director of Aspen Global Health and Development of the Aspen Institute.

Episode 1 of 6 in a series to explore key health issues, with guests also participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health programming this summer.



One of the researchers trying to better understand how Alzheimer's works is Dr. Huntington Potter. He’s a researcher and Professor of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. Dr. Potter recently spoke with APR’s Elise Thatcher, as part of a series with health experts. She asked him what we know now about treating Alzheimer’s.

Paula Broadwell is an American writer, academic, and former military officer who is known for the extramarital affair ending the career of David Petraeus as the Director of the CIA .

She spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in the summer of 2012, before the scandal broke.

Dr. Mitchell Besser is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and founder of mothers2mothers, in which mothers living with HIV are employed to work in health centers, educating and supporting pregnant women and new mothers with HIV.

Since its inception in 2001, mothers2mothers has grown to provide services in seven countries in Africa, with nearly 3 million contacts with women each year.

File Photo

Big tech news came yesterday with word of Google paying $3.2 Billion in cash to purchase Nest Labs. Nest creates "smart thermostats" developed by original iPod designer and company CEO Tony Fadell.

Tom Freston, Former President MTV Networks and Viacom is current a consultant for Moby Media and VICE. He was a speaker at this year's Aspen Ideas Festival.

From the iPod to the AC - Tony Fadell of Nest Labs

Jul 8, 2013
File Photo

In 2001, Tony Fadell’s design for Apple revolutionized the music player and eventually the cellphone. Today, he’s the CEO and chief designer at Nest Labs - a company aiming to making your thermostat more beautiful, intuitive and energy efficient. Fadell was in town this week to present at the Aspen Ideas Festival and he spoke to Aspen Public Radio’s Rob St. Mary.

For more about Nest Labs:

Fear and Hope: Climate Change and Policy Solutions

Few people appreciate just how badly our society will suffer under likely climate change. We are on the verge of unleashing runaway changes, wherein nature’s forces accelerate the impacts of humanity’s emissions, and we get cascading, unstoppable change. This is important to understand, for we will leave an earth a far diminished place, with many parts unrecognizable. Avoiding such a fate is possible, but only with rapid, serious actions. Presenting climate dangers at length, and without an antidote, just leaves depression in the wake. An emerging story is positive: There are new technologies growing at an astounding pace that can reverse CO2 emissions trends. Recent developments in Germany, Denmark, and China and several US states show the potential. This story begins darkly, but transitions to a discovery of solutions that can help build a much more useful conversation on climate change.

Hal Harvey, James Fallows

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

Aspen Ideas Festival - Afternoon of Conversation

Jun 30, 2013

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

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

Aspen Ideas Festival - Politics of the Possible

Jun 28, 2013

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

Staring at the Sun, Looking for Answers and Awe

Jun 28, 2013
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - flickr

The Aspen Ideas Fest kicked off its second day of heady talks and colloquia on Thursday. Attendees and speakers from all over gathered to discuss the most pressing issues of culture, media, and foreign policy facing us here on earth. But others were turning their backs, literally, on our planet to get a different viewpoint. Science reporter Ellis Robinson explains.

Aspen Ideas Festival - The Inverse Logic of Life

Jun 27, 2013

The Inverse Logic of Life presented by David Brooks