Aspen Ideas Festival 2015

June 25 – July 4, 2015

Hosted in Partnership With

Aspen Institute

The Aspen Ideas Festival, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, gathers the most influential thinkers in America and abroad. The 11th annual flagship event convened some of the biggest names in an array of industries to foster idea sharing, learning and forward thinking and address issues that affect us on individual and societal levels.  

To see photos from this event, please visit our Facebook page.

For more information about the event, please click here.

Presented by

Atlantic Live


Note: Agenda will be updated as sessions are added.

Click on a title to view a video of the session.

    Welcome & Opening Session: Big Ideas 2015
       •  Walter Isaacson
       •  David G. Bradley

      Compromisers: They May Not Make Great Heroes, But They Do Make Great Democracies
         •  Amy Klobuchar
         •  Interviewed by Walter Isaacson

        Cartel Land
           •  Tom Yellin
           •  Interviewed by Matthew Heineman

             •  Thomas Perez
             •  Interviewed by Kai Ryssdal

              The Path Forward
                 •  Penny Pritzker
                 •  Interviewed by Walter Isaacson

              Planning for a Life Well Lived
                 •  William E. Mayer
                 •  Interviewed by Keith Banks

                The Obama Doctrine: America's Role in a Complicated World
                   •  Ben Rhodes
                   •  Interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg

                  America’s Role in the World and the Role of Democracy at Home
                     •  Lindsey Graham
                     •  Interviewed by Jeffrey Goldberg

                    Climate Clarity and Complexity
                       •  Kathryn Sullivan
                       •  Interviewed by Andrew Revkin

                      Deep Dive: The Fish We Eat
                         •  Paul Greenberg
                         •  Timothy Fitzgerald
                         •  Carrie Brownstein
                         •  Margaret Spring
                         •  Kristofer Lofgren
                         •  Nakul Saran
                         •  Moderated by Barry Gold

                        Deep Dive: Drought
                           •  David M. Kennedy
                           •  James Famiglietti
                           •  Pete McBride
                           •  William Phillimore
                           •  Noah Diffenbaugh
                           •  Buzz Thompson
                           •  Moderated by Patricia Mulroy

                          How I Learned about Capitalism from J.S. Bach and a Penniless Swami
                             •  Arthur C. Brooks

                            Might Our Past Predict Our Future? What Climate Says about Human Evolution
                               •  Peter de Menocal

                              Restarting Opportunity in the Connected Age
                                 •  Leila Janah
                                 •  Allen Blue
                                 •  Michael Crow
                                 •  Zoë Baird
                                 •  Moderated by Joe Garcia

                                By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission
                                   •  Charles Murray

                                  Thomas Jefferson Then and Now: The Legacy and Lessons of an American Original
                                     •  Jon Meacham

                                    Why Libraries Are the Original and Future Open Source Platform
                                       •  Arianna Huffington
                                       •  Interviewed by Anthony W. Marx

                                      Counterterrorism, Counterinsurgency and Contradictions: America's Lessons Learned in Afghanistan
                                         •  Karl Eikenberry
                                         •  Interviewed by Rebecca Blumenstein

                                        What is the Future of Free Speech in China?
                                           •  Emily Parker
                                           •  Michael Anti
                                           •  Moderated by Rebecca Blumenstein

                                          What Every American Should Know
                                             •  Eric Liu
                                             •  Interviewed by Anne-Marie Slaughter

                                            JR: Images of Immigration
                                               •  Charles "Lil Buck" Riley
                                               •  Interviewed by Damian Woetzel

                                              Deep Sea Exploration
                                                 •  Sylvia Earle
                                                 •  David Gallo
                                                 •  Philippe Cousteau
                                                 •  Moderated by Andrew Revkin

                                                What's Character Got to Do with It?
                                                   •  Aaron Sorkin
                                                   •  David Brooks

                                                  The UN and the World's Security
                                                     •  Ron Prosor
                                                     •  Vitaly Churkin
                                                     •  Moderated by David Greene

                                                      The Aspen Idea Award $25,000 Final

                                                        Is Violence a Function of our Culture?
                                                           •  Mitch Landrieu
                                                           •  Ta-Nehisi Coates
                                                           •  Moderated by Jeffrey Goldberg

                                                          The Law and Campus Rape
                                                             •  Nancy Gertner
                                                             •  Interviewed by Caitlin Flanagan

                                                            The Robotic Moment: Who Do We Become When We Talk to Machines?
                                                               •  Sherry Turkle

                                                              What is College For?
                                                                 •  William Deresiewicz
                                                                 •  Interviewed by David Brooks

                                                                The New Golden Age of Television
                                                                   •  Ted Sarandos
                                                                   •  Interviewed by Katie Couric

                                                                  Deep Dive: Get a Job — Youth, Employment, and the 21st Century Economy
                                                                     •  Martin Walsh
                                                                     •  Mitch Landrieu
                                                                     •  Mark Warner
                                                                     •  John Fallon
                                                                     •  Michael Crow
                                                                     •  Blair Taylor
                                                                     •  Melody Barnes
                                                                     •  Moderated by Amanda Ripley

                                                                    The Middle East, Art, and Overcoming Division
                                                                       •  Merlijn Twaalfhoven
                                                                       •  Frédéric Brenner
                                                                       •  Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar
                                                                       •  Moderated by Philip Kennicott

                                                                      Women and Work
                                                                         •  Ai-jen Poo
                                                                         •  Erin Currier
                                                                         •  Heather McGhee
                                                                         •  Anne-Marie Slaughter
                                                                         •  Moderated by Deborah Clark

                                                                        The New Quantitative Journalism
                                                                           •  Jordan Ellenberg
                                                                           •  Interviewed by David Leonhardt

                                                                          Civil-Military Relations and the Future Challenges of National Security Strategy
                                                                             •  Karl Eikenberry
                                                                             •  David Greene
                                                                             •  Moderated by David M. Kennedy

                                                                            Passion to Flow: Innovation in the Mountains and in Life
                                                                               •  Gretchen Bleiler
                                                                               •  Chris Davenport
                                                                               •  Moderated by Jerry Murdock

                                                                              The Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling: The Most Consequential Ruling in Our Lifetimes?
                                                                                 •  David Boies
                                                                                 •  Theodore B. Olson
                                                                                 •  Moderated by Neal Katyal

                                                                                Deep Dive: Is Math Important?
                                                                                   •  Jordan Ellenberg
                                                                                   •  David Coleman
                                                                                   •  Elizabeth Green
                                                                                   •  Pamela Fox
                                                                                   •  Jo Boaler
                                                                                   •  David Leonhardt
                                                                                   •  Steven Rattner
                                                                                   •  Moderated by Steven Strogatz

                                                                                  Global Competition and the U.S. Airline Industry
                                                                                     •  Jeff Smisek
                                                                                     •  Interviewed by David Greene

                                                                                    Disrupting Political Campaigns: Shifting Influence from the Money to the Many
                                                                                       •  John Pudner
                                                                                       •  Ben Rattray
                                                                                       •  Heather Smith
                                                                                       •  Lucas Welch
                                                                                       •  Heather McGhee
                                                                                       •  Moderated by David Leonhardt

                                                                                      How Can the Private Sector Increase Economic Mobility?
                                                                                         •  Mark Weinberger
                                                                                         •  Dave Dillon
                                                                                         •  Zeynep Ton
                                                                                         •  Tom Fanning
                                                                                         •  Chet Cadieux
                                                                                         •  Moderated by Steve Clemons

                                                                                        The Power of Youth
                                                                                           •  Thomas J. Wilson
                                                                                           •  John Bridgeland
                                                                                           •  Craig Kielburger
                                                                                           •  Moderated by Stephen Patrick

                                                                                          Deep Dive: Police and Violence in America
                                                                                             •  Jeffrey Rosen
                                                                                             •  Tracey Meares
                                                                                             •  Joe Nocera
                                                                                             •  Clifton Kinnie
                                                                                             •  Connie Rice
                                                                                             •  Moderated by Michele Norris

                                                                                              Do We Need to Rethink Policing in America?
                                                                                                 •  Raymond Kelly
                                                                                                 •  Interviewed by John Dickerson

                                                                                                Why California is Leading the United States in Energy Innovation
                                                                                                   •  Tom Steyer
                                                                                                   •  Interviewed by Ronald Brownstein

                                                                                                  I am or AI am?
                                                                                                     •  Edward Frenkel

                                                                                                    Why Democratic Capitalism Needs Design Thinking
                                                                                                       •  Tim Brown
                                                                                                       •  Roger Martin
                                                                                                       •  Moderated by Alexis Madrigal

                                                                                                    Our Climate Future Is Brighter Than It Looks
                                                                                                       •  Mark Tercek
                                                                                                       •  Fred Krupp
                                                                                                       •  Moderated by Ronald Brownstein

                                                                                                      Advice From Women Who Lead
                                                                                                         •  Pamela Reeves, Andrea Kates, Sochua Mu, Karla Ruiz Cofiño, Ai-jen Poo, Michele Norris, Shiza Shahid, Fiona Hill, Alyse Nelson,Rebecca Blumenstein, Hannah Jones, Leila Janah, Raney Aronson-Rath, Amy Cuddy, Vicky Dinges, Latondra Newton, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Robin Chase, Jacqueline Novogratz, Bina Venkataraman

                                                                                                        Retweeting, Regramming, Reimagining our Relationship with Technology
                                                                                                           •  Arianna Huffington

                                                                                                          Racing Extinction
                                                                                                             •  Louie Psihoyos
                                                                                                             •  Leilani Munter
                                                                                                             •  Hilary Sparrow
                                                                                                             •  Moderated by Suzanne Goldenberg

                                                                                                            How Should We Combat Income Inequality?
                                                                                                               •  Lawrence H. Summers
                                                                                                               •  Interviewed by David Leonhardt

                                                                                                              A Meaningful Life
                                                                                                                 •  Richard Dawkins
                                                                                                                 •  Interviewed by Jane Shaw

                                                                                                                Will Business Lead a Middle-Class Resurgence?
                                                                                                                   •  Judy Samuelson
                                                                                                                   •  Maureen Conway
                                                                                                                   •  Mark Warner
                                                                                                                   •  Joseph Echevarria
                                                                                                                   •  Moderated by Blair Taylor

                                                                                                                  How Do We Sustain Economic Growth?
                                                                                                                     •  Mark Warner
                                                                                                                     •  Tom Fanning
                                                                                                                     •  Zoë Baird
                                                                                                                     •  Moderated by Gillian Tett

                                                                                                                    Count or Die: Why the Humanities Need Numbers to Survive
                                                                                                                       •  David Coleman

                                                                                                                      Afternoon of Conversation (Full session. Individual segments listed below.)
                                                                                                                         •  Elizabeth Alexander Poetry Reading
                                                                                                                         •  Valerie Jarrett in Conversation with Walter Isaacson
                                                                                                                         •  Brian Greene Science Lecture
                                                                                                                         •  Susan Desmond-Hellman in Conversation with Walter Isaacson
                                                                                                                         •  Paul Ryan in Conversation with Bill Kristol
                                                                                                                         •  Peter Thiel in conversation with David Bradley
                                                                                                                         •  Town Hall with Gwen Ifill on American Identity
                                                                                                                         •  David Petraeus in Conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg

                                                                                                                          The Fast Pace of Tech: Doing Good, Driving Change
                                                                                                                             •  Biz Stone
                                                                                                                             •  Interviewed by Kevin J. Delaney

                                                                                                                            The Internet of Things: Design, Technology, Industries, and Cyber Security
                                                                                                                               •  Mike McNamara
                                                                                                                               •  Interviewed by David Kirkpatrick

                                                                                                                              Free Education for Everyone — Anytime, Anywhere
                                                                                                                                 •  Richard Levin
                                                                                                                                 •  Interviewed by David Leonhardt

                                                                                                                                Debate: Smart Technology — Future Employer or Job Destroyer?
                                                                                                                                   •  Andrew Keen
                                                                                                                                   •  Jonathan Zittrain
                                                                                                                                   •  Moderated by Alexis Madrigal

                                                                                                                                  Beyond Traffic: The Future of Transportation
                                                                                                                                     •  Anthony Foxx
                                                                                                                                     •  Interviewed by Steve Clemons

                                                                                                                                    Greece's Debt Crisis: The New Source of Global Market Contagion?
                                                                                                                                       •  Arianna Huffington
                                                                                                                                       •  Lawrence H. Summers
                                                                                                                                       •  Nicholas Burns
                                                                                                                                       •  Moderated by Gillian Tett

                                                                                                                                      2016 and the Politics of Inequality
                                                                                                                                         •  Michael Gerson
                                                                                                                                         •  Jim Wallis
                                                                                                                                         •  Ronald Brownstein
                                                                                                                                         •  David Frum
                                                                                                                                         •  Angela Glover Blackwell
                                                                                                                                         •  Grover Norquist
                                                                                                                                         •  Moderated by Heather McGhee

                                                                                                                                        Best of Enemies
                                                                                                                                           •  Sam Tanenhaus
                                                                                                                                           •  Marie Nelson
                                                                                                                                           •  Moderated by Matt Tyrnauer

                                                                                                                                          Empathy, Is It All It's Cracked Up to Be?
                                                                                                                                             •  Paul Bloom
                                                                                                                                             •  Interviewed by Richard J. Davidson

                                                                                                                                            The Sound of Tomorrow: Cameron Carpenter in Conversation with Michael Eisner
                                                                                                                                               •  Cameron Carpenter
                                                                                                                                               •  Interviewed by Michael Eisner

                                                                                                                                                Money and Politics
                                                                                                                                                   •  Theodore B. Olson
                                                                                                                                                   •  David Boies
                                                                                                                                                   •  Moderated by James Bennet

                                                                                                                                                  Iran: How the Deal Could Shape the Middle East
                                                                                                                                                     •  Karim Sadjadpour
                                                                                                                                                     •  David Petraeus
                                                                                                                                                     •  Vali Nasr
                                                                                                                                                     •  Moderated by Nicholas Burns

                                                                                                                                                    The Promise and Peril of Improving Education in Our Urban Public Schools
                                                                                                                                                       •  Rahm Emanuel
                                                                                                                                                       •  Interviewed by Timothy Knowles

                                                                                                                                                      Millennials Losing Faith
                                                                                                                                                         •  Mark Oppenheimer
                                                                                                                                                         •  Naomi Schaefer Riley
                                                                                                                                                         •  Jordan Alam
                                                                                                                                                         •  Casper ter Kuile
                                                                                                                                                         •  Moderated by Jane Shaw

                                                                                                                                                        Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis
                                                                                                                                                           •  Robert D. Putnam
                                                                                                                                                           •  Interviewed by James Fallows

                                                                                                                                                          Data Ethics in the Age of the Quantified Society
                                                                                                                                                             •  Kate Crawford
                                                                                                                                                             •  Jonathan Zittrain
                                                                                                                                                             •  Ashkan Soltani
                                                                                                                                                             •  Moderated by Alexis Madrigal

                                                                                                                                                            The $70,000 Minimum Wage
                                                                                                                                                               •  Dan Price
                                                                                                                                                               •  Interviewed by Kelly Evans

                                                                                                                                                              Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and the Future of Religious Racism
                                                                                                                                                                 •  Arsalan Iftikhar
                                                                                                                                                                 •  Interviewed by Leon Wieseltier

                                                                                                                                                                The World Is Fast: The Global Challenge of Order and Disorder
                                                                                                                                                                   •  Gideon Grinstein
                                                                                                                                                                   •  Interviewed by Richard Haass

                                                                                                                                                                  Deep Dive: Is The Internet Taking Us Where We Want to Go?
                                                                                                                                                                     •  James P. Steyer
                                                                                                                                                                     •  Jason Pontin
                                                                                                                                                                     •  Leon Wieseltier
                                                                                                                                                                     •  David Kirkpatrick
                                                                                                                                                                     •  Kentaro Toyama
                                                                                                                                                                     •  Jeffrey Rosen
                                                                                                                                                                     •  Jonathan Zittrain

                                                                                                                                                                      Can the Next Generation in China and America Share the Future?
                                                                                                                                                                         •  Helen Gao
                                                                                                                                                                         •  Evan Osnos
                                                                                                                                                                         •  Julian Gewirtz
                                                                                                                                                                         •  Moderated by Rebecca Blumenstein

                                                                                                                                                                        Should College Be Free?
                                                                                                                                                                           •  Jamie P. Merisotis
                                                                                                                                                                           •  Joshua Wyner
                                                                                                                                                                           •  Gene D. Block
                                                                                                                                                                           •  Moderated by Kevin Carey

                                                                                                                                                                          Radical: My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism
                                                                                                                                                                             •  Maajid Nawaz

                                                                                                                                                                            Why Ethics (Usually) Pays, and How to Make it Pay More
                                                                                                                                                                               •  Jonathan Haidt

                                                                                                                                                                              The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World's Toughest Problems
                                                                                                                                                                                 •  Richard Pascale

                                                                                                                                                                                Circuit Training for Your Brain: Well Being Is a Skill
                                                                                                                                                                                   •  Richard J. Davidson

                                                                                                                                                                                  Deep Dive: The Four Sources of Happiness
                                                                                                                                                                                     •  Daniel Gilbert
                                                                                                                                                                                     •  Paul Bloom
                                                                                                                                                                                     •  Eli J. Finkel
                                                                                                                                                                                     •  Tim Kasser
                                                                                                                                                                                     •  Moderated by Jennifer Senior

                                                                                                                                                                                    Deep Dive: Will Tech Save the Planet?
                                                                                                                                                                                       •  Tsutomu Ioroi
                                                                                                                                                                                       •  Mika Järvinen
                                                                                                                                                                                       •  Yi Cui
                                                                                                                                                                                       •  Delia Milliron
                                                                                                                                                                                       •  Joel Dawson
                                                                                                                                                                                       •  Moderated by Alexis Madrigal

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Thirteenth Amendment
                                                                                                                                                                                         •  David M. Rubenstein
                                                                                                                                                                                         •  Interviewed by Jeffrey Rosen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Learn to Speak Money
                                                                                                                                                                                           •  Peter Orszag
                                                                                                                                                                                           •  Interviewed by David Leonhardt

                                                                                                                                                                                          What Is Moral Leadership
                                                                                                                                                                                             •  Jonathan Haidt
                                                                                                                                                                                             •  Interviewed by Jacqueline Novogratz

                                                                                                                                                                                            Dispatches from the Split Screen: Islam and the Media
                                                                                                                                                                                               •  Arsalan Iftikhar
                                                                                                                                                                                               •  Dalia Mogahed
                                                                                                                                                                                               •  Reza Aslan
                                                                                                                                                                                               •  Moderated by Mark Oppenheimer

                                                                                                                                                                                              The Church of Pope Francis
                                                                                                                                                                                                 •  Michael Gerson
                                                                                                                                                                                                 •  Matt Malone
                                                                                                                                                                                                 •  Garry Wills
                                                                                                                                                                                                 •  Moderated by Nancy Gibbs

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