Washington Ideas Week 2016

September 26 – 29, 2016
Washington, DC

Hosted in Partnership With

Aspen Institute

Washington Ideas Forum is an unparalleled experience in the nation's capital, drawing​ some of the country's most ​intriguing​ people to the ​stage.

Leaders in policy, ​business, technology, science, history, arts and culture ​engage​ with top journalists on the most consequential issues of our time.  In the midst of an epic debate about this country's future, we grappled with the issues and ideas the next president and Congress need to understand. ​

Beyond the two-day forum, Washington Ideas expanded across the week. With the entire city as our campus, we added new dimension to the Washington Ideas experience​. Participants joined a debate watch party, caught​ a film screening, enjoyed networking nights and more.

8:30 — 11:00 am ET
Healthy Cities, Healthy Towns: An Atlantic Forum

The Atlantic convened public health experts and municipal leaders from across the country to showcase proven strategies for achieving healthier communities nationwide.

7:30 — 11:00 pm ET
Presidential Debate Watch Party

We hosted a night of networking, cocktails and commentary from The Atlantic’s Politics & Policy editors around the 2016 Presidential campaign season’s first general election debate.

9:30 — 11:00 am ET
We The People featuring Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, joined The Atlantic for a fireside chat on the President's efforts to mobilize leaders across politics, business and communities and how to move the ball on some of the biggest issues shaking the country.

7:00 — 8:00 pm ET  (Doors open at 6:00 pm ET)
An Evening with Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Atlantic’s National Correspondent and best-selling author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, reflected on American culture, race and politics.

9:00 am — 12:00 pm ET
The Forum, Day One Morning Session
Attendees experienced a full day of diverse on-stage programming, dedicated networking time and custom event experiences.

12:00 — 2:00 pm ET
Food for Thought Breakout Lunch Sessions

During the first day of the Forum, guests had the opportunity to attend a Washington Ideas Food for Thought breakout lunch. Hosted at locations steps away from the Harman Center for the Arts, The Atlantic curated thought-provoking deep dive sessions on some of the most consequential issues of our time.

2:00 — 5:00 pm ET
The Forum, Day One Afternoon Session

5:00 pm ET
Cocktail Reception & Evening Entertainment

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s Forum program, guests were invited to join us for a cocktail networking reception.

5:45 pm ET
Screening of “Loving”

We hosted a special early screening of the highly anticipated Focus Features film “Loving.” This is one of the first showings outside of the film festival circuit, and comes five weeks before the film's November release. The film follows Richard and Mildred Loving over the course of a decade leading up to the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case. Prior to the screening, we hosted a discussion on the legacy of the case.

6:00 pm ET
Documentary Screening of “Inside Charlie Hebdo”

The Newseum and The Atlantic presented a screening of the documentary, which provides an inside look at the French satirical magazine that became the target of violent extremism. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

9:00 am — 12:00 pm ET
The Forum, Day Two

Attendees experienced a half day of diverse on-stage programming, dedicated networking time and custom event experiences.

Presented by

Atlantic Live

Hosted in Partnership With


Presenting Level

Supporting Level

Contributing Level

With Support From

Also in This Series

  • Washington Ideas

    For its ninth year, the Washington Ideas Forum will convene the nation's leaders, from politics and government to business and culture for two days of idea sharing and thought provoking conversation.

  • Washington Ideas Forum

    Washington Ideas is an unparalleled experience in the nation's capital, drawing​ some of the country's most ​intriguing​ people to the ​stage.

  • Culture

    Washington Ideas Week:
    Screening of "Loving"

    The Atlantic will host a preview screening of "Loving," the critically acclaimed film that tells the story of the plaintiffs in the 1967 US Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia.

Upcoming Events

  • Energy/Sustainability

    The Business of Green: An Atlantic Forum

    The Atlantic will gather leaders from across industry, experts and consumers alike, to explore the way business is employing sustainability to protect the environment.

  • Culture

    Race + Justice: Tucson

    The Atlantic will explore What comes next in creating a more effective and fairer justice system for Tucson and surrounding areas?

  • Culture

    Unfinished Business: The Atlantic's LGBTQ Summit

    The Atlantic will convene policymakers, activists, scholars, legal experts, students and shapers of the national dialogue for a series of conversations on where the LGBTQ movement stands, what its aspirations are and what obstacles lie ahead.