The Aspen Ideas Festival, which ran from June 26 to July 2, was full of big ideas. Here are some images from key moments.
Educate all girls, everywhere.
Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by members of the Taliban while riding the school bus last fall, joined opening session virtually to share her big idea. "Today, I do want to share my idea -- my big idea -- and that is girls' education. When we get education, we get big change in our society. If we educate one girl, it means we educate the whole society. So let us work for it, together."
Make art an education priority.
STEM (the acronym for "science, technology, engineering, and mathematics") is now ubiquitous in policy conversations, but cellist Yo-Yo Ma argues that it is off by one vowel: He wants to turn STEM into STEAM, with the "A" standing for "arts, culture, and humanities." "When we tell a story using all of our senses, with touch, with our eyes, with our ears, with our experiences, with movement, we make that memorable. And then we become curious .... It all starts with turning STEM into STEAM."
Change the way America gets its TV news.
Al Jazeera has made a big bet: They're launching a TV news network in America, and they're not being shy about the investment. As of January, they had posted more than one hundred U.S.-based job positions, and they've snagged big names like former CNN anchor Ali Velshi. Despite a period of post-9/11 suspecion toward the network, its executive director of international operations, Ehab Al Shihabi, says there's now an audience for it in the U.S.
Put pianos in public parks.
Soprano singers Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus met as students at Juilliard in the late '90s. A decade and a half later, they both have brilliant careers in opera -- and a shared mission to help artists engage in local communities. This summer, their organization, Sing for Hope, placed 88 artist-designed pianos in parks and public spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York. Later, they'll be donated to schools, hospitals, and community organizations.
The self-portrait isn't dead.
Artist Paula Crown has created a new kind of self-portrait. "The genre of the self-portrait is very well-known to all of you," she explained. "The earliest-known reaches back to 2350 B.C. Each time a new medium emerges, we think we can claim some sort of objective improvement about the representation. But like the camera and the computer, we know that they have proved to be unreliable and manipulated in many ways. With 3-D imaging technology and the use of my brain MRI scans, I'm trying to shift perception and create self-portrait from a different angle, literally from the inside out."
Abraham Lincoln, MBA.
Who knew Harvard Business School hires historians? Nancy Koehn, who mainly studies the history of leadership, has identified lessons from Lincoln that the business world can learn and use. She spoke about Lincoln's pragmatic ability to know which battles to fight; his ability to step outside of himself and evaluate alternative perspectives; how to work with others to accomplish desirable outcomes; and how to mobilize in the face of the most important challenges. Perhaps one of the country's most beloved presidents might have succeeded in the business world.
Egypt needs a revolution for women, too.