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 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

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

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.

Imagining 2024: Urban America

After decades of urban depopulation, US cities are experiencing a reversing of that trend, led by millennials, 40 percent of whom say they plan to live their lives in urban settings. But families and empty nesters are moving to the city too, and for the first time since the 1920s, population growth in US cities is outpacing the growth of the suburbs. What will this reshaping of the American landscape mean for society? How will cities grow and change to accommodate new populations, a changing environment, and a global economy? What will drive innovation and economic growth in the new urban context? And how can cities best plan, govern, and design for the future?

Bruce Katz, Jeff Speck, Janette Sadik-Khan, Kasim Reed, Sommer Mathis, Mitch Landrieu

In Conversation with “House of Cards” Creator Beau Willimon

The creator of "House of Cards" discusses the future of television and movies with legendary entertainment industry leader Michael Eisner.

Beau Willimon is an American playwright and screenwriter whose early work, before working in entertainment, included volunteering for the political campaigns of Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Bill Bradley, and Howard Dean.

Willimon wrote the play “Farragut North”, the basis for the George Clooney film “The Ides of March”, which premiered in off Broadway in 2008. His other plays include “Spirit Control” and “Lower Ninth”

In 2012, Willimon developed the show House of Cards for Netflix. The show is an American adaption of the BBC series of the same name. House of Cards premiered on Netflix on early 2013. The show has run for two seasons and a third season is currently in production.

Beau Willimon, Michael Eisner

Hybrids to Hydrogen to Robots? Delivering the Future of Mobility Today

From Toyota's big bet on hydrogen fuel cell technology to the development of cars that drive themselves, connected vehicles and even robots, the world's largest automaker is delivering the future of mobility. Andrew Ross Sorkin and Toyota's Osamu Nagata will discuss what's in the works now and how we'll be getting around tomorrow.

Osamu Nagata, Andrew Ross Sorkin

Spotlight: Health Closing Session – A Conversation with the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius was the 21st United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. She served from 2009-2014.  Sebelius resigned her post as President Obama’s head of HHS in April 2014. She was the key person involved in implementing health care reforms under the “Affordable Care Act” aka “Obamacare”. Sebelius had previously served as Governor of Kansas (2003-2009).

Kathleen Sebelius, Walter Isaacson

The Power of Play

Jun 27, 2014

The Power of Play

We know that sports and exercise are essential for still-developing bodies and minds, building not only muscle power and better coordination, but confidence, focus, creativity and teamwork. But we also know that youth aren’t getting the physical activity they need — school gym classes and recess have been cut in the US, technology is pulling people inside, and poverty and terror are curtailing active living around the world. What impact will all that have on the leadership capacity of the next generation? What will it mean for productivity, the capacity to learn, and global health?

Angela Diaz, Asa Firestone, Caitlin Morris, Tom Farrey, Chris Klug

How Do We Nourish Nine Billion People?

About half the world’s population suffers from some form of malnutrition – 2 billion people are undernourished, 1.4 billion are overweight or obese, and 800 million are hungry – and as climate change advances, the threats will likely worsen. In the US, cutbacks in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program mean some Americans run out food every month. Lacking the right nutrients to grow and thrive, billions around the globe cannot rise from poverty. What food and nutrition priorities should the international community set as the UN’s Millennium Development Goals expire? What is the blueprint for strengthening access to nutritious foods and sustainable agriculture? What is the role for the private sector?

Josh Lozman, Ronald Shaich, Marc Van Ameringen, Dan Glickman, Toni Verstandig, Derek Yach

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