Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.
Spotlight Health returned to Aspen, Colorado, June 23-26, 2016, as the opening segment of the Aspen Ideas Festival. Celebrating its third year, Spotlight Health drew speakers and audience members from around the world to talk about the cutting-edge health issues of our times during three days of conversations, stories, films, interactive activities and more.
2016 Spotlight Health Programming Tracks
Technology and human ingenuity are partnering to propel health and medicine forward. Pioneers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, some fueled by the energy of youth, others steeped in the wisdom of experience, are using computing power, new tools and profound insights to advance prevention, unlock the key to longevity, repair genetic flaws, reinvent health systems and create a new normal for people living with once-devastating diseases. The future belongs to those with the courage to dream it and the skills to research, hack, engineer and design it into reality. What is on the horizon, and who is taking us there?
From infancy through childhood and adolescence, the early years of life determine the adults we become. Molding the next generation into vigorous, productive global citizens demands effective parenting, nourishment for the developing brain, ample time for play and smart choices about tough calls like genetic screening. A whole child needs stimulation, protection from danger, and the right medical care delivered at the right time. How do we allow children to thrive? What should older generations bequeath to the youngest one? What fosters resilience?
Future of Food: The Hype, Our Health
Nutritious and flavorful food is an essential ingredient of good health and joyful living. We’re making strides against global malnutrition and fortifying basic foods with vitamins. Mission-driven restauranteurs are introducing kids to the land, urban gardens and farmer’s markets are sprouting, and sustainability is the watchword. But debate rages on about what constitutes healthy eating, with full-fat milk back on the table, and supplements flying off the shelves, despite the disappointing science behind them. Where are the gaps between what we know and what we eat? How should nutrition science influence our choices?
As science and medicine transform the realm of the possible, ethical choices grow ever more complex. We are compelled to consider how to use fetal genetic testing; whether to pay people to become organ donors; how to design clinical trials in low-resource countries; how best to protect the autonomy of an aging population; and the role of the physician in assisted suicide. Resource limitations, religious beliefs, political structures, gender roles and cultural norms all shape the debates. What’s the process for resolving tough ethical dilemmas? Are there “right” answers and who decides what they are?
Med School: Challenging the Status Quo
Medicine keeps improving as we learn more at the clinic and in the lab. Along the way, some treasured assumptions are falling by the wayside. Maybe we don’t really need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Possibly the best way to prevent nut allergies is to feed children peanuts. Perhaps we shouldn’t treat every cancer we detect. Data about our own bodies and health might actually belong to someone else. Learn what’s true, what’s a myth and why we sometimes can’t tell the difference.
Hosted in Partnership With
- Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health Opening and Welcome
- The Future of Medicine
- The Choice 2016: What Does it Mean for Health and Health Care
- Can Zika Be Contained?
- Banishing Hunger: Inventive Strategies to Feed the World
- Neuroprosthetics: Testing the Limits of the Brain
- Curbing the Opioid Epidemic: Partnering to Meet the Challenge
- Aspen Lecture: Regulating E-Cigarettes, Cigars and Hookah — How Far Has the Government Gone?
- Secrets of Successful Kids: Grit, Purpose and Artificial Intelligence
- Deep Dive: The Technological Revolution in Medicine and Public Health
- Deep Dive: Drug Prices and Access to Medicine
- Planetary Health: The Interdependence of Human and Natural Systems
- What Matters to Kids When They’re Sick?
- Girls, Unleashed
- Blue Zones: Can Communities Eat Their Way to Longer Lives?
- Aspen Lecture: Sensing the Whole — Big Data, Big Indicators and the Future of Planetary Health
- In Conversation: J. Craig Venter
- Deep Dive: 6 FDA Commissioners Take the Stage
- Deep Dive: How the Brain Develops, from Fetus through Adolescence
- Waste Not: Keeping Good Food Out of the Trash
- Undaunted: Looking for the Finish Lines of Global Health
- The Science of Meditation
Also in This Series
Aspen Ideas Festival 2018
The Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.
CityLab is a celebration of urban life, bringing together mayors from around the world, along with policymakers and business leaders, artists and activists.