The Aspen Institute

Live broadcasts from Aspen Institute events, including the McCloskey Speaker Series, Aspen Ideas Festival and more. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values.

The Past, Present and Future of Humor

Aug 15, 2014

“The Past, Present and Future of Humor” with Robert Mankoff, the cartoon editor for the New Yorker.

More than 950 of his cartoons have been published in the magazine including their best-selling cartoon (captioned "No, Thursday's out. How about never – is never good for you?"). The line also serves as the title to his newest book, a memoir released in March 2014. Mankoff wrote The Naked Cartoonist: A New Way to Enhance Your Creativity (2002) and edited The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker (Black Dog Leventhal), the best-selling coffee-table book featuring all 68,647 cartoons ever published in The New Yorker since its debut in 1925.

Hurst Lecture Series – Reforming American Public Diplomacy: A Conversation with Richard Stengel, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs followed by a distinguished panel.

Richard Stengel will speak on his plans for the future of American public diplomacy followed by a panel discussion featuring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Dina Powell, President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation; and Alec Ross, former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Sec. Clinton; The panel will be moderated by Walter Isaacson, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

A Conversation with Democratic Governors

Aug 4, 2014

McCloskey Speaker Series - A Conversation with Democratic Governors

Democratic governors will discuss how their priorities are making a difference and the challenges that lie ahead. Featured special guests include: Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Gov. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri, Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, and Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont.

This event will be moderated by Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson.

A Conversation with Republican Governors

Jul 25, 2014

McCloskey Speaker Series - A Conversation with Republican Governors

A panel of Republican governors will address the economy, how they are building skills for a 21st century workforce and share their ideas for improving their state’s education, tax and immigration policies.  Featured special guests include: Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The event will be moderated by Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson.

Hurst Lecture Series: This We'll Defend -- The Army's Role in Defending the Nation Against Today's Security and Fiscal Challenges

Featuring US Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno. Gen. Odierno has also served as the Commander of United States Joint Forces Command, Commanding General of the United States Forces – Iraq and as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he was the primary military advisor to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award. General Odierno will survey the foreboding global scene and explains how the Army can rise to meet the threats facing us, despite fewer troops and less money with moderator Wolf Blitzer, Host, “The Situation Room”, CNN.

McCloskey Speaker Series - A Conversation with U.S. Representative John R. Lewis

Congressman John R. Lewis (D-GA), civil rights leader, and co-author of the bestselling graphic memoir March: Book One (Top Shelf Productions), is the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His new graphic memoir trilogy, March, is a vivid first-hand account of Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Book One spans Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Aspen Institute's Security Forum starts next week. Today on CrossCurrents, Clark Kent Ervin the Director of the Aspen Institute's Homeland Security Program. 

From his Aspen Institute Bio: Clark Kent Ervin is the Director of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Program. He joined the Institute in 2005. Before doing so, he served as the first Inspector General of the United States Department of Homeland Security, from January, 2003 to December, 2004. Prior to his service at DHS, he served as the Inspector General of the United States Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, from August, 2001 to January, 2003. His service in the administration of President George W. Bush is preceded by his service as the Associate Director of Policy in the White House Office of National Service in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

Mountain Edition - July 3rd, 2014

Jul 3, 2014

Sunday marks an anniversary of a local tragedy. A wildfire near Glenwood Springs 20 years ago, killed fourteen firefighters.

As the cycling world gears up from the Tour de France, the sport is still dusting itself off. We hear from Lance Armstrong who was found guilty of doping.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was in Aspen this week, discussing two hot topics at the Aspen Ideas Festival - marijuana and fracking.

Another Ideas Fest speaker was Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

A natural history documentary screens on PBS next year and this one is unlike any other nature film. We’ll tell you why.

Finally, we’ll take you to Snowmass Village where a giant yoga festival gets underway today.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition.

21st Century Workforce

Jul 3, 2014

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?

Jul 2, 2014

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?

Jul 1, 2014

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

Jun 30, 2014

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?

Jun 30, 2014

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

Jun 30, 2014

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

Jun 30, 2014

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

Airbnb: How the Sharing Economy is Redefining the Marketplace and Our Sense of Community

Airbnb does business in 34,000 cities, has a valuation of over 10 billion dollars, and in a very short time has disrupted the world of hospitality and travel. Its co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky envisions the future city as a place where sharing is front and center — where people become micro-entrepreneurs, the local mom and pops will flourish once again, where space isn’t wasted, but shared, and more of almost everything is produced, except waste. But the journey from here to there won’t be all smooth sailing. What are the ups and downs of the sharing economy, as businesses like Airbnb confront critiques about regulation, economic development, and fairness? What role might businesses play in creating more shareable, more livable cities? How will the sharing economy, with its de-emphasis on ownership, be a tool for addressing urban inequality?

Brian Chesky, Jennifer Bradley

Wealth and the Modern American Family

Jun 30, 2014

Wealth and the Modern American Family

The president of one of the nation's top investment institutions shares how changing family roles and dynamics affect wealth management.

Keith Banks, Gillian Tett

Keith Banks is president of U.S. Trust, which provides integrated investment, trust, banking, and lending services to wealthy and ultra-wealthy clients. He also oversees wealth management banking and Bank of America Global Capital Management. Banks joined FleetBoston Financial in 2000 as CIO and CEO of the asset management organization before its merger with Bank of America in 2004. With Bank of America, he served as president of Global Wealth and Investment Management and president and CIO of Columbia Management Group.

Gillian Tett writes two weekly columns for the Financial Times, covering a range of economic, financial, political, and social issues worldwide since 1993. In 2014, she was named columnist of the year by the British Press Awards. In 2012, she received a SABEW Award for best feature article. She was previously awarded a President’s Medal by the British Academy in 2011 and was recognized as Journalist of the Year in 2009 and Business Journalist of the Year in 2008 by the British Press Awards, as well as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year (2007) by the Wincott Awards.