Aspen Ideas Festival

Aspen Ideas Festival 2012

June 27 – July 3, 2012
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Hosted in Partnership With

Aspen Institute

The Aspen Ideas Festival is the quintessential gathering of leaders from across the nation and the world. Altogether unique among large-scale gatherings, the Festival is equal parts cerebral and celebratory – marrying the intellectual experience of a conference with the social and artistic stimulation of an entertainment festival – all within the breathtaking setting of the Aspen Institute’s magnificent campus, and in the rarefied company of leaders from the world over.

Spanning one week from June 27 to July 3, the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival featured seven days of idea-driven dialogue in the form of discussions, presentations, evening exchanges, and one-on-one conversations. Approximately 2,200 attendees heard from more than 340 leaders in the fields of journalism, arts, science, culture, technology, religion, philosophy, business, economics, and politics. Featured speakers included designer Tory Burch, Governor Mitch Daniels, physicist Brian Greene, former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, actor Stanley Tucci, and more.

Each year the Festival’s programming is curated based on the key issues of the day and organized into tracks which act as themes for the week. Below is a list of the tracks from the 2012 Festival:

Week-Long Tracks: June 27 – July 3

  • World Affairs: Democracy on Trial - The U.S. Position in a Changing World Order
  • The Economy: Is the Crisis Permanent? - Job Creation and U.S. Competitiveness
  • Our Planet: Life in a World of Seven Billion - Natural Resources and Human Life - Food, Water, Transportation, Energy, Health, and Mobility
  • Arts and Culture: Art Matters - Art, Design, and Life
  • American Agenda: The Choice 2012 - The Issues Driving the Candidates and Their Parties

Session One Tracks: June 27 – June 30

  • What We Believe and Why: An Exploration of Values - Personal, Societal, Religious, and Corporate Values
  • Sports Taken Seriously - Physical and Digital Gains, the Culture of Sports, Active Lifestyles, and Health
  • Radical Disruptions: The Transformative Power of Technology - Innovations and Breakthroughs from
  • Communications and Social Media to Manufacturing, Logistics, Health, and Education

Session Two Tracks: June 30 – July 3

  • War & Peace in the Modern World - Global Dynamics and Homeland Security
  • Raising the 21st Century Child - The Mind of the Child: Education and Influence that Shape our Growth
  • Cracking the Genetic Code - DNA Advances and Impact on Life and Health in the Next Century

Visit to access videos, photos, and highlights from 2012 and also to receive updates on the ninth-annual Aspen Ideas Festival, which will be held June 26 - July 2, 2013.


Presented by

Atlantic Live

Hosted in Partnership With


Presenting Level

Supporting Level

Also in This Series

  • Aspen Ideas Festival 2020

    Imagine some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders — all gathered in a single place.

  • Health Care

    Aspen Ideas: Health 2020

    Aspen Ideas: Health is the conference where healthcare’s biggest challenges meet its biggest thinkers.

  • Health Care

    Aspen Ideas: Health

    Aspen Ideas: Health is the opening segment of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival.

Upcoming Events