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

Upcoming Events

  • Economy/Business

    Future Economy Summit

    The path to the new economy is being charted today. The Atlantic will explore what the future might hold for Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum.

  • In Pursuit of Happiness

    The Atlantic will host a live event that explores the human hold on happiness—and aims to find ways to build a more meaningful life.

  • Health Care

    The Atlantic's Health Equity Summit

    The Atlantic will explore what the health-care system is doing to combat inequities across race, age, and gender and to improve health outcomes for all Americans.