The Aspen Ideas Festival
Why an Ideas Festival?
For 60 years the Aspen Institute has been the nation’s premier place for leaders from around the globe to explore timeless ideas and address the toughest challenges of the day. Since 1857, The Atlantic magazine has shaped national debate on the defining issues of our times. Together, we’re working to touch as many people as we can to create a “public commons” for the 21st century, where a diverse group of intellectually curious people can gather to talk, listen, debate, question, and learn what they can do to make our world — and our children’s world — a better place.
Divided into two overlapping four-day sessions, the Aspen Ideas Festival offers a substantial array of lectures, presentations, debates, and panel discussions by leading thinkers who span a vast range of critical topics, from the economy to the environment, from science to the arts, and from across ideological spectrums.
Who Will Be There?
From early in the morning until late at night, inspiring and provocative writers, public officials, artists, scientists, business executives, scholars, economists, foreign policy specialists, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all kinds — drawn from myriad fields, from across the country and from around the world — will gather to address audiences on the campus of the Aspen Institute and in the town of Aspen. Attendees will meet other concerned and curious participants on the footpath, over lunch, and at the coffee bar — civically engaged and intellectually charged individuals who share a common enthusiasm for engaging on the serious topics of the day as well as the inspiration that a new idea has sparked. This is a place to challenge one’s thinking and learn about the world and the ideas that are shaping it.
Daily forums throughout the week will include:
- Plenary sessions offered three times a day: panels, one-on-one interviews, and presentations;
- Multiple, concurrent tutorial sessions twice daily, where attendees pick and choose from a menu of discussions across the programming spectrum;
- Casual conversations, book signings, and action-oriented discussions on campus between attendees and speakers, offering further opportunities for exchange;
- Evening Exchanges and in-town events in venues around Aspen that will bring Aspen Institute moderators, Atlantic editors, and other prominent national journalists together with presenters for substantive conversation. Films, performances, and presentations will also take place.
The Festival is designed around a series of program strands, or “tracks," each of which offers a variety of discussions relevant to a certain topic area. The tracks offer participants the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest during their time with us, or cover a lot of ground with a menu of diverse ideas across a number of topics.
More information on the festival can be found at www.aifestival.org.
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