Aspen Ideas to Go

Aspen Ideas to Go is a show about big ideas that will open your mind. Featuring compelling conversations with the world’s top thinkers and doers from a diverse range of disciplines, Aspen Ideas to Go gives you front-row access to the Aspen Ideas Festival and other events presented by the Aspen Institute.


  • David Brooks on Building Trust and Connection

    Sep 28 2022

    Are we experiencing a “crisis of connection"?” Fifty-four percent of American adults report that not a single person knows them well. Our political and social divisions are at the forefront of public life right now, and distrust is widespread. New York Times columnist David Brooks is on a mission to spread the skills of deep listening and engaged conversation, which lead to real recognition and understanding between humans. If you want to get to know someone, you need to know how they see the wo...more

  • Is It Time for New Economic Metrics?

    Sep 21 2022

    Do we really understand what’s happening in the economic lives of regular Americans? How is inflation hitting people with middle and lower incomes, and what impact will higher interest rates have on them? What societally valuable assets are we ignoring because we don’t measure them? Some economists believe we’re not collecting the right data, and therefore, we’re not getting an accurate picture of what’s happening to individuals. Gene Ludwig founded the Ludwig Institute for Shared Economic Prosp...more

  • Bringing the Democratic Party Back to the People

    Sep 14 2022

    Have Democrats become too identified with technocratic ways of speaking — about the economy, the pandemic, climate change? Has this deepened the political divide between those with and those without college degrees? Can Democrats reconnect with working-class voters who were drawn to Donald Trump? A few people inside the Democratic Party, including Colorado senator Michael Bennet, are speaking up to do just that, and figure out how to reorient the party to a compassionate and winning strategy. Ha...more

  • Managing Our Eco-Anxiety

    Sep 07 2022

    Heat waves. Wildfires. Floods. This summer has served up some of the most extreme weather on record, and it’s clear many of us are overwhelmed by climate change news. We usually hear more about problems than solutions, and it’s often difficult to find helpful information about managing our fear and discomfort. Alaina Wood is a scientist and climate communicator, known for her TikTok videos about uplifting climate-related news. She believes that amplifying positive messages helps people lead heal...more

  • Time for a Friendship Reset?

    Aug 31 2022

    For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown became an unexpected opportunity to take stock of our relationships. Some friendships deepened and transformed, some slipped away, and many social circles shrank. Which isn’t always a bad thing. Our friendships have an enormous impact on our lives, but this type of relationship hardly gets any attention from social scientists and the media, and we have a lot of misconceptions about friendship. The writers and researchers in this panel from the 2022...more

  • Following Dirty Money Around the World

    Aug 24 2022

    We are in a golden age for organized crime and corruption, according to watchdog groups. Technological innovations like cryptocurrency have given criminals new tools for covering their tracks, and allowed them to spread out around the globe. Bad actors have spent decades building tangled webs of enablers and tactics, and they now have more resources and capital than ever to invest in new crime enterprises. The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has reporters and editors on every co...more

  • When it Comes to Education, Do Parents Know Best?

    Aug 17 2022

    Parents have always cared about what their kids are learning in school, but education debates have become particularly explosive in the U.S. in the last couple of years. All over the country, parent groups have introduced bills that try to control and restrict what children learn – especially around issues of race, history, and LGBTQ identity. What’s behind the recent push for parental power over education? And is it pitting parents against teachers? Parents who are also educators, researchers a...more

  • Free Speech: Where Should We Go From Here?

    Aug 10 2022

    In public forums and institutions all across America, people are arguing about what free speech means in the age of the internet. What are the rules, and are they the same in every context? What are the consequences of taking action against hate speech, and what are the consequences of not taking action? Is “cancel culture” real, and what is it? Are we in need of a fundamental reset of the bedrock principles and law regarding freedom of speech? In this rousing and passionate panel from the 2022 ...more

  • Will Inflation Come Down Anytime Soon?

    Aug 03 2022

    Inflation is dominating the financial news headlines, and millions of Americans are really hurting from high prices for gas and food. The unemployment rate is still low, but some companies are announcing layoffs and hiring freezes, and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the economic tunnel. There are more questions than answers: What caused the highest inflation rate in 40 years, and how do we get out of it? What can the Biden Administration and the Federal Reserve do to help? Are we facin...more

  • A Firsthand Report of Ukrainian Suffering and Resolve

    Jul 20 2022

    As Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, reporters bring us more and more heart-wrenching stories and images of suffering caused by the conflict. The scale of the damage can feel overwhelming, but a firsthand account can sometimes help us process the impact and ground us in what’s happening in the region. Yuliya Tychkivska is a longtime activist and the executive director of Aspen Institute Kyiv. She recently fled the war in Ukraine with her three children, traveling through at least six countri...more

  • Is the Supreme Court Still the Weakest Branch?

    Jul 15 2022

    Alexander Hamilton called the U.S. Supreme Court the “weakest” branch of government, because it has no direct control over the military or budget. But the court’s recent cluster of decisions on hot-button issues has demonstrated that it can have an enormous impact on the American people and life in this country. Is the judiciary becoming more powerful, and therefore more dangerous? And what will be the consequences if the Court’s power is undermined by ongoing questions about its legitimacy? The...more

  • Beyond Roe and Dobbs: the Future of Reproductive Rights

    Jul 14 2022

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, 2022, has clear consequences: abortion is no longer a protected federal right in the U.S, and many clinics are shutting down. But the legal arguments the decision relies upon are much more complex, and those details often get lost in the headlines. The 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival brought together a conservative and a liberal constitutional scholar to break down the ruling, explain the nuances and speculate ...more

  • SCOTUS: Roe v. Wade is Overturned

    Jul 13 2022

    The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, revoking the federal right to an abortion. The Aspen Ideas Festival kicked off the next day, so we quickly shifted gears for the Opening Session and pulled together a stellar panel discussion that centered this groundbreaking legal decision. Laws banning abortion have already gone effect in several states as a result of this decision, and some clinics have reduced services or shut down entirely. Questions remain about what other kin...more

  • Digital Surveillance and the Fight for Reproductive Rights

    May 17 2022

    The reversal of Roe v. Wade would make it difficult or impossible for millions of people to obtain abortions, but would also open the doors to criminally prosecute people who seek or obtain an abortion. And in our technological age, that criminalization brings new, frightening opportunities for digital surveillance by law enforcement agencies or anti-abortion vigilantes. In this panel from Aspen Digital, “Digital Surveillance and the Fight for Reproductive Rights,” three experts in digital priva...more

  • Reckoning with America’s History of Slavery

    Apr 14 2022

    History is taught with textbooks and lectures, but it’s also passed down in more informal ways, within families from generation to generation. Different groups of people can become attached to varying stories of the same past, and some narratives are erased or distorted. Writer and scholar Clint Smith takes a close look at the mechanisms and consequences of those distortions in his new book, “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America.” He visited historical s...more

  • Remembering Madeleine Albright

    Mar 29 2022

    The Aspen Institute remembers and mourns Secretary Madeleine K. Albright, who passed away on March 23, 2022. She was a diplomat, professor, author, business leader, and the first woman to be the U.S. Secretary of State. In 2018, she raised the alarm on dangerous world leadership with her book “Fascism: A Warning,” calling out the regimes of Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin, among others. In July of that year, Aspen Institute President and CEO, Dan Porterfield, interviewed her about the book in fro...more

  • A New and Improved Social Contract

    Mar 16 2022

    The industrial revolution and consequent terrible labor conditions sparked a wave of revolutions in Europe, and then a string of laws and protections for workers. As author and innovation expert Alec Ross describes it, we “rewrote the social contract.” But, Ross says, we may be due for another rewrite, as we transition from an industrial economy to one based on information and knowledge. He writes in his book, “The Raging 2020s: Companies, Countries, People – And the Fight For Our Future,” that ...more

  • The Russian Cyber Threats Facing Ukraine

    Mar 02 2022

    Any organization, public or private, with any connection to Ukraine, should be exercising extreme technological vigilance, says cybersecurity expert Sandra Joyce, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Intelligence at Mandiant. In addition to the attacks on the ground, Russia could come at Ukraine virtually, with a wide range of targets and tactics and varying levels of sophistication. On February 18th, 2022, a few days before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Chris Krebs, the Senior Newmark Fe...more

  • How to Build Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that Sticks

    Feb 16 2022

    We may have moved from a time of reckoning on racial equity to a time of transformation, says business leader Dr. Rohini Anand, and that gives her hope. The author of “Leading Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Systemic Change in Multinational Organizations,” Anand advises leaders all over the world on how to get to work and make DEI improvements that stick. Each situation is unique, but the principles Anand has come up with help leaders adapt her expertise to their own organiza...more

  • How Can Activism Repair Our Democracy?

    Feb 02 2022

    The cornerstone of democracy is the principle that all citizens have the right and ability to participate in their own governance, either directly or via representation. While many Americans today may believe that we’ve lost sight of that inclusive ideal, Rashad Robinson, racial justice activist and the president of Color of Change, points out that for some, the system has never worked as well as it was supposed to. He wants us to come together and look ahead to build a new, more inclusive, more...more

  • A Conversation with Author Anthony Doerr

    Jan 20 2022

    Anthony Doerr is probably best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. Just like that book, his latest work, Cloud Cuckoo Land, features protagonists who are dreamers and outsiders who find hope in the midst of danger. He talks with Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes, about the inspiration for his latest book and its focus on technology, destruction, preservation, and humanity’s vast interconnectedness. Doerr and Keane spoke as part of the Winter Words conv...more

  • What the Ancients Got Right about Happiness

    Jan 05 2022

    People have been thinking about happiness for thousands of years. In fact, ancient thinkers came up with strategies for cultivating pleasures over a lifetime, or creating a lasting capacity to take joy in the world. This long-term flourishing is different from immediate pleasures — it’s a richer notion of happiness. Laurie Santos is a professor of psychology at Yale and an expert on human cognition and the cognitive biases that impede better choices. She’s joined by Yale philosophy professor Tam...more

  • Brain Health and the Pitfalls of "Bikini Medicine" (Encore)

    Dec 28 2021

    Even though women are likely to live longer than men, their hormonal changes make them far more susceptible to age-related memory loss like Alzhemier’s disease and other conditions. Yet gender is often not a primary consideration by the medical community  — but more and more research shows that it should be. Professor of neuroscience, neurology, and radiology Lisa Mosconi directs the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her latest book is “The XX Brain.” She discusses the f...more

  • The Remarkable Brain of the Bird (Encore)

    Dec 22 2021

    It used to be that having a “bird brain” was an insult. Now, it’s practically a compliment! Turns out the brain of a bird, which is small enough to fit into a nut, is full of neurons. These animals are capable of complex cognition — they can solve problems, count, understand cause and effect, and even communicate in ways that resemble language. Jennifer Ackerman chronicles birds’ intelligence in her book, “The Genius of Birds.” She sits down with Alexander Taylor, an animal psychologist who’s be...more

  • Psychedelics for the Win

    Dec 15 2021

    In the 1950s and 60s, mental health providers used psychedelics to help patients open up about difficult memories. Then, the drugs were banned. Now there’s a resurgence. Psychedelics like MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine are being studied as solutions for anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Findings show that drugs like MDMA are especially useful in the context of healing from trauma. Rachel Yehuda, director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research, and Gita Vaid, a psychologist ...more

  • How Do We Build Wealth for Everyone?

    Dec 07 2021

    The global Covid-19 pandemic has worsened inequality. Oxfam International found that while billionaire fortunes returned to pre-pandemic highs in just nine months, a recovery for the world’s poorest people could take over a decade. In the United States, wealthier people have kept their jobs and decreased their expenses as they transitioned to working from home, while others have either gone to work on the frontlines or lost their jobs altogether. What caused this widening gap and can it be rever...more

  • We're in a science moment. What will come out of it?

    Nov 30 2021

    The Covid-19 vaccine was developed at an unusually rapid pace, and now the public's expectations are high for what science can deliver. It's a good thing we're in a science moment. Gobs of data are being produced, researchers are collaborating more, and the public is engaged. But is the pace of discovery keeping up with the science? Alison Snyder, managing editor at Axios, interviews Darío Gil, senior vice president and director of IBM Research at IBM, Serpil Erzurum, chief research and academic...more

  • The Most Important Rule for a More Civil Thanksgiving: No Eye Rolling (Rebroadcast)

    Nov 23 2021

    Current political fault lines are fracturing American society as people grow farther apart from one another due to differing beliefs and opinions. We often see people we disagree with as caricatures, and think we can never reconcile our differences. Yet despite that sense of contradiction we are much closer to each other than we think. To bridge the divide, we have to strengthen the bonds that make us human. In this special Thanksgiving conversation, Krista Tippett longtime host of the radio pro...more

  • Mark Bittman on Reimagining America's Food System

    Nov 18 2021

    Longtime food journalist Mark Bittman says America's food system needs to be reimagined so land is used fairly and well and people have access to food that promotes health, not illness. His latest book, Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal, tells the story of humankind through the lens of food. The frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments from slavery and colonialism to our current moment of Big Food. Big Food—driven by...more

  • Why Our Partisan Differences Are Threatening National Security

    Nov 09 2021

    It's clear the United States isn't united right now. A Pew Research poll done before the 2020 election showed about 9 in 10 voters worried a victory by the other party would lead to lasting harm for the country. Our partisan divides aren't just endangering relationships and slowing progress in Washington, they're threatening our national security. "The greatest gift the United States can give to our national foes is hating each other. Why? Because it’s the ultimate distraction," says Arthur Broo...more

  • QUICK TAKE | We Need to Treat the Pandemic like a Global Security Threat | Gayle Smith

    Nov 06 2021

    Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features Gayle Smith, the State Department’s coordinator for the global response to Covid-19. Watch her full conversation from the Aspen Security Forum. The talk was co-presented with the Aspen Institute Health, Medicine, and Society Program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYXL0PpkvYEFollow us on instagram.com/aspenideas Follow us on facebook.com/aspenideasFollow us on twitter.com/aspenideas

  • Bad Things Do Happen to Good People

    Nov 02 2021

    We try our whole lives to avoid pain and suffering and when it does show up, we try to solve it. In her new book, No Cure for Being Human, religious scholar Kate Bowler says we try to out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. Truth is, bad things do happen to good people and if we're going to tell the truth, we need one another. As someone who lives with cancer, Bowler knows first-hand about the everything-works-out fantasy common in American culture. She speaks with Adelle Banks, natio...more

  • QUICK TAKE | Rules Schmules | Adam Grant

    Oct 29 2021

    Want to raise creative kids who learn how to think for themselves? Go easy on the rules. Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at The Wharton School and author of The Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. Listen to his entire talk from the Aspen Ideas Festival https://www.aspenideas.org/podcasts/originalshow-nonconformists-move-the-worldFollow us on instagram.com/aspenideas ...more

  • Journalism's norms are changing. Here's why you should care.

    Oct 26 2021

    Norms in newsrooms across the United States are being upended thanks to deep polarization, a racial reckoning, and the pandemic. Hallmark journalistic traits like neutrality and objectivity are being redefined. Eric Deggans, TV critic for NPR, says it's impossible to be objective, and journalists have long been advocates for the status quo. “We’ve seen newspapers apologize for how they covered the Civil Rights Movement because they marginalized civil rights advocates." Still, today's challenges ...more

  • QUICK TAKE | How a Cosmic Perspective Could Unify Earthlings | Jill Tarter

    Oct 22 2021

    Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features astronomer Jill Tarter. She co-founded SETI, or the “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute.” Watch her full conversation from the Aspen Ideas Festival https://www.aspenideas.org/sessions/searching-for-aliens-finding-ourselvesFollow us on instagram.com/aspenideas Follow us on facebook.com/aspenideasFollow us on twitter.com/aspenideas

  • Will this Anti-Poverty Measure Stick?

    Oct 19 2021

    When President Biden expanded the nation's Child Tax Credit in March, US Senator Michael Bennet applauded the move. Bennet, a democrat from Colorado, has been working to increase support for families since he introduced the American Family Act in Congress in 2017. Now he wants to make the Credit, which pays most American families $250 or $300/child each month, permanent. He says it will cut childhood poverty in half. Still, Republicans reject an effort to extend it saying it's a waste of taxpaye...more

  • QUICK TAKE | Get Off Your Duff to Improve Your Brain | Sanjay Gupta

    Oct 15 2021

    What if the key to a healthier brain is as simple as getting up out of your chair?Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Listen to the full episode https://www.aspenideas.org/podcasts/building-brain-health-at-any-ageFollow us on instagram.com/aspenideas Follow us on facebook.com/aspenideasFollow us on twitter.com/aspenideas

  • Whose Job Is It to Protect Your Online Data?

    Oct 12 2021

    When you tick a box on an online privacy notice, just how much personal information are you giving away? Is the tradeoff worthwhile? When it comes to data, the relationship between companies and consumers is uneven — customers are getting a raw deal because there's no limit on what a company can collect. Whose job is it to regulate this space and better protect consumers' data? Tom Wilson, CEO of Allstate, thinks the federal government should step in with a digital Bill of Rights that would incr...more

  • QUICK TAKE | How a Dating App is Making the Internet more Humane | Whitney Wolfe Herd

    Oct 08 2021

    Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. Watch her full conversation from the Aspen Ideas Festival https://www.aspenideas.org/sessions/the-billion-dollar-bumble-that-changed-the-dating-game-foreverFollow us on instagram.com/aspenideas Follow us on facebook.com/aspenideasFollow us on twitter.com/aspenideas

  • Why Big Social can't Coexist with Democracy

    Oct 05 2021

    Technology has changed the way we think and interact with one another, and social media platforms are intentionally engineered to be addictive and manipulative. Those messages are in the documentary "The Social Dilemma," which was created by Jeff Orlowski's filmmaking company Exposure Labs. "Big social," says Orlowski, is transforming our information ecosystem. He tells Vivian Schiller, executive director of Aspen Digital, that an unregulated social media landscape cannot co-exist with a healthy...more

  • QUICK TAKE | How to Leave a Conspiracy Movement | Yasmin Green

    Oct 01 2021

    How can technology be used to help people leave conspiracy movements? A technologist for Google weighs in.Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features Yasmin Green, the director of research and development for Jigsaw, a unit within Google that works to use technology to solve global security challenges. Listen to the full episode https://www.aspenideas.org/podcasts/how-can-we-fix-a-broken-and-dangerous-internetFollow us on instagram.com/aspen...more

  • Conquering Fear Everywhere, from the Office to Everest

    Sep 29 2021

    John Hagel, author of The Journey Beyond Fear, says there's increasing fear and uncertainty in the world and it's not just from the pandemic. Competition for jobs, mounting performance pressure, and a rapidly accelerating pace of change are escalating fears, especially in the workplace. But fear exists in other places — far-flung locales few people visit. Alison Levine is a polar explorer who made history when she skied nearly 600 miles from west Antarctica to the South Pole. She and Hagel talk ...more

  • QUICK TAKE | This Moment in Education | Tim Shriver

    Sep 24 2021

    What classrooms need now: A focus on emotional health.Quick Take is a weekly dose of ideas and insights delivered in short form.Today’s episode features Tim Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics and founder of Unite, speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Watch the full conversation, produced in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation:  https://www.aspenideas.org/sessions/the-classroom-of-the-future-better-education-for-all

  • Are We on the Brink of Finding Life on Mars?

    Sep 21 2021

    The history of exploration on Mars reads like a good book with twists and turns and unexpected findings. None of these findings, though, have turned up evidence of life. After decades of searching, scientists are hopeful a NASA rover called Perseverance, which touched down on Mars in February, will reveal ancient, long-dead, fossilized life. Sarah Stewart Johnson, planetary scientist and author of The Sirens of Mars, says Perseverance is scouring the surface of a crater and producing rock sample...more

  • 9/11: The Hinge of History

    Sep 15 2021

    Twenty years ago, terror attacks on September 11th took place in the United States over the course of a morning but the effects have been felt ever since — politically and psychologically. Journalist Garrett Graff says America lost its innocence that day and the attacks led to a series of consequential blunders by political leaders. The anger, hatred, and fear that emerged from 9/11 and the resulting War on Terror are to blame for the distrust and divisiveness that exists in America today. Graff...more

  • When the 'Woke Playbook' Kills Free Speech

    Sep 08 2021

    How is social justice best pursued in a time when America is facing a reckoning on race? In today's cancel culture, many believe making the world a better place means banishing some opinions from the public sphere. John McWhorter, associate professor of English at Columbia University, says this censorious mindset threatens the value of free speech. McWhorter, a linguist and author of over 20 books, speaks with Jane Coaston, host of The New York Times podcast "The Argument," about pop culture, th...more

  • A 'Weather Map' of Viruses Could Prevent the Next Pandemic

    Aug 31 2021

    Before Covid-19 began spreading across the globe last year, virologist Nathan Wolfe already knew what was becoming abundantly clear: The world was woefully unprepared to prevent the spread of novel viral threats. To prevent similar devastation, he challenges people to imagine a different future where viruses are regularly tracked in groups of individuals—providing a sort of weather map of viruses. "We should have always-on systems that are capable of monitoring for all of the viruses present, al...more

  • Why Do Some People Succeed and Others Fail?

    Aug 25 2021

    A person with grit, says psychologist Angela Duckworth, uses passion and long-term perseverance to reach goals. Reaching success, she says, is about stamina over months and years, not talent or a high IQ. In her research, Duckworth studied cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in a national spelling bee. She speaks with Aspen Institute President Dan Porterfield about her book Grit: The Power of Passion and ...more

  • The Culture of Dogdom

    Aug 17 2021

    People are in constant conversation with their dogs, says dog scientist Alexandra Horowitz, and dogs pick up on things like our tone of voice. "We think meaning is all in the words but for them, the meaning is in the context, and they’re working very hard to understand it.” Horowitz studies dog cognition and the relationship between dogs and their human owners. She runs the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College and has written widely about dogs. In a wide-ranging discussion with Aspen Id...more

  • An Insider's Take on the Capitol Riot Probe

    Aug 10 2021

    Representative Liz Cheney is one of nine lawmakers investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The Republican is part of a House select committee that held its first hearing last month. It's critical the committee get to the bottom of what happened that day, says Cheney, but equally important is Americans' acknowledgement that change is needed beyond Washington. “We need to have a very serious, sustained national discussion about American history, about civics, about the Constitution, a...more

  • How Can We Fix a Broken (and Dangerous) Internet?

    Aug 03 2021

    Instead of coming together during the pandemic, many Americans have grown farther apart. People are increasingly living in different realities of news, politics, and information, which is putting public health, elections, and democracy at risk. False and misleading information online are partly to blame, says Vivian Schiller, director of Aspen Digital. "Much of this stems from malign actors, some who are driven by profit and others, like foreign intelligence services, strategically weaponize our...more

  • Politics Minus Politicians

    Jul 27 2021

    Imagine a new kind of democracy — one that puts governance back in the hands of the people. This is the idea behind political theorist Hélène Landemore's book Open Democracy. Contemporary representative democracies, like in the United States, are broken, she says, so why not reinvent popular rule? In a conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic, she describes a new paradigm of democracy where a randomly selected assembly of citizens could define an agenda for the polity ...more

  • Is Cryptocurrency a Good Bet?

    Jul 20 2021

    Cryptocurrency is revolutionizing the global financial system and shaking up our perception of trust. Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum, says the digital currency’s open-source, decentralized system is the opposite of what we’re used to — a bank-led financial system built in backrooms. “It’s a new kind of trust foundation for the planet,” he says. In a conversation with Gillian Tett, US editor at large of the Financial Times, Lubin talks about the difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin, what...more

  • Learning from the Pain of the Pandemic

    Jul 13 2021

    As many of us know personally, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on mental health. As lockdowns were enacted, loneliness, isolation, and depression increased. Concerns of loved ones dying and fear of contracting the virus affected our well-being. Since April of 2020, about 40 percent of US adults have reported symptoms of depression and anxiety. In 2019, that figure was just 11 percent, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Arthur Brooks, a Harvard business profes...more

  • Can the Promise of America Be Renewed?

    Jul 06 2021

    The American Promise—that all men and women are inherently equal—is not being fulfilled because racism continues to corrode our society. Author and veteran Theodore R. Johnson says what’s need is a more multi-racial national solidarity, and the Black American experience has lessons on how to get there. In his book, When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America, Johnson writes that a blueprint for unity can be found in Black Americans’ exceptional citizenship...more

  • Breaking the Blue Wall of Silence: Reflections on the Derek Chauvin Trial

    Jun 29 2021

    The emotionally charged trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd was a milestone case in a country whose legal system has historically been resistant to convict officers for alleged abuses. What did it take to break the blue wall of silence, the informal code among police officers protecting their own? Is it possible to get a fair trial and an impartial jury with this degree of pre-publicity? Was this a one-off victory, or a new beginning for increased accountability in law enforcem...more

  • Why America Should Be Safer than It Is

    Jun 23 2021

    Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. As a nation, America has cycled through the same defense and intelligence issues since the end of the Cold War. In her book Insanity Defense, Congresswoman Jane Harman chronicles how four administrations have failed to confront some of the toughest national security policy problems and suggests achievable fixes to move America toward a safer future. She joins Nicholas Burns, President Biden's no...more

  • Battling the Increasing Threat of Ransomware

    Jun 16 2021

    Ransomware attacks on Colonial Pipeline and top meat producer, JBS, have catapulted malware into the mainstream. Ransomware isn't a new threat but it's getting significantly worse, say cybersecurity experts. In recent years, thousands of schools, government agencies, healthcare providers, and small businesses have fallen prey to it. The malicious software that's designed to block access to computer systems represents a direct threat to national security, physical and digital infrastructure, and ...more

  • Building Brain Health at Any Age

    Jun 08 2021

    People often talk about maintaining their physical health but brain health is an afterthought. It turns out brain fitness at any age heightens and protects brain function and can even prevent brain disease. Sanjay Gupta, author of Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age, Maria Shriver, founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and Natalie Morales, West Coast anchor of NBC’s Today Show, all have personal stories about dementia. In this episode, they talk about why it's important to link li...more

  • An Outsider's Search for Belonging in America

    Jun 02 2021

    Award-winning author and playwright Ayad Akhtar grapples with identity and belonging just like the protagonist in his book Homeland Elegies. "In some ways being an outsider has given me a freedom to be able to withstand and bear some of the forced outsiderness. It gives me a perspective," he says. His fictional book, named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by the New York Times, draws from Akhtar's personal experiences and the political climate in the United States. Through the story of an im...more

  • Unequal from the Start: Racism’s Deep Roots in American Medicine

    May 25 2021

    Throughout American history, racism has been embedded in health and health care. To justify slavery, scientists promulgated falsehoods about African Americans and health. More recently, social policies rooted in racism have led to less access to care, higher disease rates, and lower life expectancies for communities of color. Science writer Harriet Washington says structural racism is a well-oiled, perpetual motion machine. "Once the structure of racism has been installed — the mythologies, beli...more

  • Why Good People get Caught Up In High Conflict

    May 18 2021

    The type of conflict that's permeating America today is the intractable kind where normal rules of engagement don't apply. High conflict is the opposite of useful friction or healthy conflict. It's when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud — an us and a them. Sound familiar? In this time when everything is political, including aspects of the pandemic, everyday Americans are at each other's throats. How can we break free? In her book, High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We ...more

  • Christine Lagarde: The European Economy Is "on Crutches"

    May 11 2021

    The world's largest economy is rebounding from the pandemic more slowly than other global powerhouses. The European Union's economy is "on crutches," and isn't yet ready to stand on its own, says Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, which serves the 19 EU countries that use the Euro. Now that Europeans are getting vaccinated and the pandemic's peak has likely passed, she predicts a robust economic rebound in the second half of 2021. She speaks with Carlyle Group co-founder ...more

  • Women Changing the Game in Pro Sports

    May 04 2021

    The professional sports industry in the United States has historically been a man's game. Men have held leadership roles, designed competition formats, chosen which sports stories get elevated, and dictated how athletes are treated. What if pro sports were owned, designed, and run by women? It's already happening, in part, because fans are demanding it. But in the midst of this change, pro sports faces financial challenges from the pandemic and waning interest from younger generations. Angela Ru...more

  • Introducing: SOLVERS

    Apr 27 2021

    Rodney Foxworth says the racial “wealth gap” is a misnomer because it implies something that’s achievable to close. “Wealth chasm” is more on the nose since we’re talking about disparities created by centuries of oppression. Growing up in Baltimore, Rodney witnessed firsthand what many Black and brown communities face in America—systemic racism, over policing, economic dislocation. Now, as CEO of Common Future, he draws on that lived experience to create a network of organizations across the cou...more

  • Can We Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change by Putting a Price on Carbon?

    Apr 20 2021

    There's no denying the world is already paying for climate change. The price is stronger hurricanes, bigger wildfires, and unpredictable heat waves. So, how can people living on a changing globe literally pay to mitigate the effects of climate change? One solution is to utilize the social cost of carbon, says economist Michael Greenstone. He co-led the development of the US government’s social cost of carbon as chief economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. President Biden h...more

  • America's Unspoken Caste System

    Apr 13 2021

    America has been shaped by a hidden phenomenon that touches all of our lives. A rigid hierarchy of human rankings, or caste system, influences our culture, politics, and even our health. Race is the metric by which one’s position in the caste system is determined. In her book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson describes how these inherited rankings have been passed down through generations from the country's very founding. She says this system is the underlying architecture...more

  • Is National Unity Possible?

    Apr 07 2021

    The United States is facing one of the most difficult tests in its 244-year history. American democracy is struggling, economic and social justice are under interrogation, faith in institutions is declining, and a pandemic is touching us all. Is national unity a far-off dream? Jon Meacham, presidential historian, Samar Ali, research professor of political science and law, and Bill Haslam, former Tennessee governor (R), say history, research, and reasoning can unite Americans. They're part of the...more

  • How One Woman's Detective Work Uncovered a Racist Tax System

    Mar 30 2021

    In tax law, most people think the only color that matters is green. But, after more than two decades of research, tax scholar Dorothy A. Brown discovered that America's tax system is not color-blind. In fact, societal racism is deeply embedded in it. "Regardless of what white and Black Americans do, tax policy subsidizes white Americans and disadvantages Black Americans," she says. From attending college to getting married to buying a home, Black Americans are financially disadvantaged compared ...more

  • Finding the Strength to Leave: One Woman's Story of Domestic Abuse

    Mar 23 2021

    When she met him, Tanya Selvaratnam thought New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was her perfect match. But as time went on, Schneiderman became controlling, mean, and manipulative. In her new book, Assume Nothing, Selvaratnam chronicles how domestic violence took away her voice, how she managed to get it back, and her decision to use it to help other women find their way to freedom. In a conversation with contemporary artist and personal friend Carrie Mae Weems, Selvaratnam talks a...more

  • Walter Isaacson on the Next Great Innovation Revolution

    Mar 16 2021

    Biographer Walter Isaacson's latest book tells the story of biochemist Jennifer Doudna. She helped develop a controversial tool that has the power to transform the human race. CRISPR can edit genes to cure diseases but can also be used to create designer babies. Doudna's involvement in pioneering the technology won her the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Before CRISPR, Doudna was known as the scientist who cracked the code for what the molecule RNA can do. RNA is well known now as playing a role ...more

  • Women Beating the Odds in Business

    Mar 09 2021

    In the United States, the odds are stacked against women and people of color who want to start a business. As a Black entrepreneur, Danielle Kristine Toussaint understood this first-hand. Before opening her creative agency She Thinks Purple, she dealt with barriers only a community of women could help her overcome. In her book, Dare to Think Purple: A Survival Guide for Women in Social Entrepreneurship, she tells still-in-progress success stories of women leading companies and organizations. As ...more

  • Net Zero or Bust

    Mar 03 2021

    The sobering impacts of the pandemic, and the need for a rapid transition to a clean energy economy compel us to consider opportunities that lie at the intersection of the two. President Biden wants to invest $1.7 trillion toward the mid-century goal of a net-zero America, creating ten million new, high-quality jobs, his administration predicts. Recent announcements from major auto companies coupled with enormous commitments from financial institutions lend the new administration strong tailwind...more

  • Stop Being an Unreliable Narrator of Your Own Story

    Feb 24 2021

    Grappling with the challenges and problems life throws at us is difficult, especially during a pandemic. Psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb says the stories we tell about ourselves and others can make it even harder to cope. She says we must look closely at the running commentary in our own minds to see if we are being too self-critical, or if we are not taking responsibility for our situation. Making connections with others can help us to hold a mirror up so we can better see ourselves. Aspen Instit...more

  • How Racism Feeds the Hunger Crisis

    Feb 17 2021

    In this pandemic recession, millions of Americans are going hungry, and Black and Hispanic households are hit harder than white ones. Throughout US history, hunger and health have been tied to race. Slave owners gave slaves just enough food to survive. “To be enslaved was to experience hunger,” says food historian Fred Opie. Now, Covid-19 is affecting low-income, communities of color disproportionately. Poor access to healthcare, bias in clinical settings, underfunded educational and health inst...more

  • Are Leaders Born or Made? (Rebroadcast)

    Feb 09 2021

    President Trump’s second impeachment trial is beginning. In his first days in office, President Biden is navigating a pandemic and an economic crisis. With presidential leadership once again at the forefront and President’s Day just around the corner, we’re revisiting an episode featuring presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. In her book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, Kearns Goodwin examines the leadership qualities of past presidents. Were presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt,...more

  • Are Posts and Tweets the Greatest Threats to Democracy?

    Feb 03 2021

    America’s Founders didn’t envision activist groups mobilizing on social media and disinformation spreading across the internet. Thanks to the web, new threats to democracy — like the January 6th attack on the US Capitol — have emerged. Following a similar deadly march in 1787, the Founders questioned the strength of the democracy they built. Shays’s Rebellion led to more support among the Founders for a stronger national government. But the protective barriers they thought would safeguard democr...more

  • Religious Freedom for All, Not Just the Majority

    Jan 27 2021

    Most Americans see religious freedom as an important right. Yet how that freedom is defined and applied isn’t consistent, and efforts to safeguard the religious freedom of some may be discriminatory for others. Experts say it is critical to address this issue politically, socially, and culturally or risk alienating people from all backgrounds. Religious liberty lawyer Asma Uddin works for the protection of religious expression for people of all faiths. She speaks with Montse Alvarado of the Beck...more

  • How Joe Biden’s Successes, Failures and Tragedies Prepared Him to Be President

    Jan 20 2021

    Joe Biden is a centrist who believes in the power of bipartisanship. To get both sides to listen to each other, he’ll have to break down the barriers created by today’s polarized politics, says New Yorker magazine staff writer Evan Osnos whose latest book is “About Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.” Osnos speaks with Margaret Brennan of Face the Nation on CBS News. They discuss how Biden’s experience with loss and grief gives him the ability to connect with people in relevant w...more

  • Unpacking Cybersecurity and Social Media Failures: Where Do We Go from Here?

    Jan 13 2021

    Last year Russia infiltrated the digital networks of federal agencies and many of America’s largest corporations, and last week’s armed insurrection on the US Capitol was fomented through disinformation campaigns on social media. Cyberattacks and manipulation of elections and domestic affairs threaten national security and global relations. John Carlin of the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity & Technology Program leads a conversation with Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, the cybersecurity company tha...more

  • Brain Health and the Pitfalls of "Bikini Medicine"

    Jan 06 2021

    Even though women are likely to live longer than men, their hormonal changes make them far more susceptible to age-related memory loss like Alzhemier’s disease and other conditions. Yet gender is often not a primary consideration by the medical community  — but more and more research shows that it should be. Professor of neuroscience, neurology, and radiology Lisa Mosconi directs the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her latest book is “The XX Brain.” She discusses the f...more

  • The World Needs Women in Leadership Roles

    Dec 29 2020

    Today’s women are warriors and peacemakers, athletes and artists. Women in leadership roles can play a crucial role in leading us toward a better and more equitable future, and women must be part of the solution to the current global crises. Former US secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright and former prime minister of New Zealand the Honorable Helen Clark are trailbreaking leaders and powerful advocates for women’s empowerment. They speak with the Aspen Institute’s Forum on Women and Girls co-...more

  • Can Character Be Learned? (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 22 2020

    Psychologist Angela Duckworth explains how to raise a child with strong character. Duckworth, who's the author of Grit and a MacArthur "Genius," talks with Jackie Bezos about how young people learn to be grateful, vulnerable, and fearless by modeling the adults in their lives. (This conversation is from the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival.)

  • Profit and Purpose Go Hand in Hand: Corporate Leaders Dan Schulman and Mellody Hobson on Values-Driven Business

    Dec 16 2020

    Corporations can play a critical role in closing the wealth gap and confronting systemic racism in America. Taking a hard look at diversity in their workforces, supply chains, and customer bases will pay off — not just in a better corporate image but in an improved economy that benefits everyone, including the corporations. “We as leaders, those of us in positions of power, have an obligation to stand up and act as true corporate citizens, says Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal. “It also gives us comp...more

  • Building Public Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines

    Dec 09 2020

    With millions of Americans already infected with COVID-19, public health officials are working to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine is available for every American who wants one. They also want to be sure people aren’t afraid of getting those shots. Nancy Messonnier, M.D., is director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She leads the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts in the areas of distribution, administration, implementation, safety, and...more

  • How Meritocracy's Luster Tarnishes The American Dream

    Dec 02 2020

    The American Dream says hard work will lead to a better life. But Harvard professor Micheal Sandel says climbing the ladder of success is getting harder in the United States, because the rungs on the ladder are growing further apart. He says inequality is deeper and upward mobility has stalled — and that’s a failure of the meritocracy, the governing elites, a group desperate to hold on to status and wealth as evidenced by recent college admission scandals. Elliot Gerson, executive vice president...more

  • The Most Important Rule for a More Civil Thanksgiving: No Eye Rolling

    Nov 24 2020

    Current political fault lines are fracturing American society as people grow further apart from one another due to differing beliefs and opinions. We often see people we disagree with as caricatures, and think we can never reconcile our differences. Yet despite that sense of contradiction we are much closer to each other than we think. To bridge the divide, we have to strengthen the bonds that make us human. In this special Thanksgiving conversation Krista Tippett longtime host of the radio prog...more

  • Beyond Good Intentions: Facing Racism in America Head On

    Nov 18 2020

    It’s time to slow down and start again to remake American culture and undo systemic racism, says author and Yale professor Claudia Rankine. White Americans must wade into the waters of whiteness, and interrogate their own responses to Blackness. They need to see how policies and institutions continue the patterns of segregation and legacies of white supremacy. Eric Liu of the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity Program speaks with Rankine about her new book, “Just Us: An American...more

  • Can We Draw on Civil Rights History to Combat Systemic Racism Today?

    Nov 11 2020

    The civil rights movement has affected all Americans, whether they realize it or not. The opportunity for everyone to vote represents a major shift, but changes in education, housing and even sports reflect the strategic leadership of activists throughout American history. Civil rights experts and Stanford University professors Pamela Karlan and James Steyer discuss the history of civil rights movements in this country including racial equality, women's and LGBTQ rights and how those efforts inf...more

  • Elevating The Common Good Over Self-Interest

    Nov 02 2020

    Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks says liberal democracy has become about “me” instead of “us.” In his new book, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times, Sacks says we are losing our strong, shared moral code and that’s challenging our sense of community and common good. Growth comes from an openness to others who may not be like us and, he says, developing a moral bond based on mutual acceptance will reduce conflict. In today’s show he speaks with Reverend Serene Jones, the first woman pre...more

  • A Look Behind The Scenes of Coronavirus Vaccine R&D

    Oct 28 2020

    As scientists work to develop a vaccine to battle the coronavirus pandemic, many people question whether the process has been rushed and if the results will be effective and safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for approving new vaccines in this country. FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and former FDA commissioner Dr. Peggy Hamburg say the agency uses data driven techniques to review and approve any new medication and they aren’t cutting corners with this one. They speak w...more

  • An Insider's Perspective: Trump’s National Security Advisor

    Oct 21 2020

    From domestic election security and counterterrorism, to U.S. interests around the globe, the National Security Advisor provides solutions to the most critical challenges of our time. President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Ambassador Robert O’Brien, joins former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. Theydiscuss critical issues including Washington’s response to China and Russia’s rising global influence, America’s future role in the Middle East and the growing North Korean nuclear thre...more

  • A Crack In Creation: The Power and Ethics of Gene Editing (Encore)

    Oct 13 2020

    The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to molecular microbiologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier for their work on CRISPR, the revolutionary technology that gives scientists a way to accurately cut DNA and transform the genetic code of life. Likened to a pair of “genetic scissors,” CRISPR could open the door to cures for some cancers, sickle cell anemia, and other diseases. But it is not without controversy. It’s already been used to manipulate embryos. That could be the fir...more

  • Heart Disease Isn’t an Adults-Only Condition

    Oct 06 2020

    Usually, heart health is only addressed in adults. But recent research shows that cardiovascular damage is detectable as early as age 15. The good news is teaching even very young children about good nutrition, exercise and ways to deal with stress, may help combat heart disease, the leading cause of death around the world. Two cardiologists discuss recent discoveries and research in improving cardiovascular outcomes throughout all phases of life — including strategies to improve heart health, a...more

  • Bridging Social Divides With Better Arguments

    Sep 30 2020

    Tensions are mounting across the United States and around the world. People from all walks of life often feel like their opinions aren’t respected or heard, leading to bitter disagreements that drive wedges between family members, neighbors, and communities. That’s where the Better Arguments Project comes in. Designed to foster a culture where we can learn to come together by arguing and directly addressing our differences, Better Arguments helps bridge divides by giving people the tools they ne...more

  • A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Rebroadcast)

    Sep 22 2020

    The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female justice confirmed to the US Supreme Court, told an Aspen Institute crowd in 2017 that her experiences as a woman gave her a unique perspective on the Court. She talked about her relationships with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and the late Antonin Scalia. She also explained what it was like to work with newly-elected Justice Neil Gorsuch. Her discussion with Elliot Gerson, an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, also touched on her book ...more

  • The Race to Develop a Covid-19 Vaccine

    Sep 15 2020

    Antibodies, convalescent plasma, gene-based vaccines — you may have heard these terms on the evening news, but what do they mean? How might they help in the battle against Covid-19? As the race to develop a vaccine continues, questions remain about effectiveness, testing, and whether people will actually get the vaccine once it’s on the market. Two medical experts involved in the fight explain the science behind developing effective protection. Judith Aberg is Chief of the Division of Infectious...more

  • Why the US Economy is Headed for a “Slog”

    Sep 09 2020

    When the US economy begins to recover, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers says there will be winners and losers. The recovery will be more bearable for the rich than the poor. He believes the recovery includes three stages: collapse, bounce-back, and slog. We’ve experienced collapse and bounce-back already. “Now we’re headed for a slog,” he says, “where we’re going to play mediocre wack-a-mole [with the virus] in the US and other parts of the world.” He thinks a recovery will be tepid...more

  • A Perfect Storm of Disinformation

    Sep 01 2020

    Disinformation online is on the minds of voters, candidates, government officials, and technology platforms as the US election gets closer. Already experts have seen disinformation campaigns around the Covid-19 pandemic, which could spell trouble in November, says Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy. “When you’re sowing doubt about the information the government is providing about the pandemic, you’re sowing doubt in citizens’ faith in their democratic institutions...more

  • Using 2020 as a Teachable Moment in Education

    Aug 25 2020

    The pandemic and social unrest around racism make it a challenging time for students and educators, but it’s also a period of opportunity. Janice Jackson, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, says it’s time to address long-standing inequities in education. In her district, the third largest in the country, students have been learning about justice and restorative practices — even before the death of George Floyd. With today’s crises unearthing large disparities, how can educators avoid returning to th...more

  • Confronting Systemic Racism in America

    Aug 19 2020

    Wes Moore, author of Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City (written with Erica Green), says communities around the United States must confront systemic racism. His book, about the life of Freddie Gray delves into the uprising that followed Gray’s death just days after he was taken into police custody. With the recent death of George Floyd, Moore says we’re reliving history. In a conversation with Dina Powell McCormick, former US Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, Moore t...more

  • Are Women the Most Powerful Political Force in America?

    Aug 11 2020

    One-hundred years ago this month, women suffragists celebrated the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. The hard-fought battle to win the right to vote lasted decades. Since then, what strides have women made toward gender equality? What hurdles remain? Cecile Richards, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says women are becoming the most powerful political force in America because they’re in the majority in many ways. Most voters are women, the majo...more

  • Our Emotional Health is Under Assault

    Aug 04 2020

    The time we’re living in is unusually tumultuous. The Covid-19 pandemic is causing loss, disruption, illness, grief, anxiety, and uncertainty. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others have fueled pain and anger around racial injustice. “We have all lost our fundamental way of life to some degree or another,” say psychologist Guy Winch, “We are all dealing with massive uncertainty and certain degrees of anxiety. Our emotional health is being impacted significantly.” He speaks...more

  • George Will on Modern American Conservatism

    Jul 29 2020

    George Will, author of The Conservative Sensibility, says conservatism is “an orphan persuasion.” Will, who changed his voter affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated four years ago, thinks conservatism is under threat — both from progressives and elements inside the Republican Party. In a broad-reaching discussion with Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA Today, he talks about the transformation of the Republican Party, the 2020 election, and the link between Christian evangelicals an...more

  • What Will Motivate Voters in 2020?

    Jul 21 2020

    As the presidential election approaches, voters are considering factors unique to 2020. While divides on a number of fronts and growing distrust in government may motivate some voters, there’s also deepening concern about America’s response to the Covid-19 crisis and the resulting recession. How will such a chaotic environment continue to shape the public's interests and discourse, and how much will swing voters matter? Rachel Bitecofer, senior fellow of elections at the Niskanen Center, says tu...more

  • Using Today’s Science and Tech to Improve Health

    Jul 14 2020

    David Agus, author of The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health, says we’re living in a golden age when the latest science and technology can customize care. Tools that track behavior like how much we sleep and walk are now widely available. Such technology, says Agus, can help us control chronic conditions, reverse aging, and improve health overall. In his conversation with Jessica Herzstein, a doctor who specializes in preventive medicine, he also talks about the Covid-19...more

  • Will Today’s Anti-Racism Marches Lead to Meaningful Change?

    Jul 08 2020

    Across the United States, from rural areas to cities and suburbs, people have been hitting the streets to protest racism and police brutality. How is the national fervor around anti-racism different than in the past when people rallied following the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012, or when Civil Rights protestors called for an end to segregation in the 1960s? Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter, says she hopes it’s a moment of change when institutions, like police departments, examine ...more

  • Showing Up and Creating Community

    Jun 30 2020

    Social unrest and physical distancing are not making it easy to connect with other people. Mia Birdsong says it’s particularly important that in this time we show up for one another to offer strength, support, and accountability. Birdsong’s new book, How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community, digs into why many people feel isolated in a society built on community. In this polarized time, she says the ever-present injustices built around race, class, gender, values, and beliefs...more

  • The Role of Art in an Uncertain World

    Jun 24 2020

    Nearly three decades ago, the play “Twilight Los Angeles” — about the Rodney King trial verdict — premiered. Just like in 1992, the world is seeing the problem of racial injustice come back into focus. How is art confronting a racist system in America? What has changed since the riots in LA? Oskar Eustis, artistic director at the Public Theater in New York, speaks with Anna Deavere Smith, the creator of “Twilight Los Angeles.” They discuss how, even though arts institutions are mostly closed bec...more

  • Race, Covid-19, and America’s Health Care System

    Jun 17 2020

    When Covid-19 first started appearing in the United States, it was perceived as an illness that affected travelers, like Tom Hanks. Soon, though, it became clear the disease was infecting people of color more than any other group. Black people are 3.5 times more likely to die of the virus than white people, and Latino people are nearly twice as likely to die, according to researchers at Yale and the University of Pittsburgh. Why is this? Part of the problem is that racism is embedded in the coun...more

  • We’re All Connected: The Importance of Global Literacy

    Jun 10 2020

    As we’ve seen with the coronavirus pandemic and anti-racism protests — distance no longer means much. What started in a Chinese city spread to the corners of the earth and what happened on the streets of Minneapolis launched action around the globe. We live in a global era and what happens thousands of miles away can deeply affect our lives. Richard Haass, author of the new book The World: A Brief Introduction, says global literacy is a must this day in age because what happens outside a country...more

  • What Is Antiracism and Can It Save Society? (Rebroadcast)

    Jun 02 2020

    Demonstrations over race and police brutality have erupted after the death of George Floyd. Floyd, and African-American, died in police custody in Minneapolis. A leading voice on antiracism, Ibram X. Kendi says countering racism is essential to the formation of a just and equitable society — so, how can we fight it? To recognize racism, we need to define it and then understand it’s opposite. Racism, Kendi says, is powerful and can change the way we see and value others and ourselves. In his conv...more

  • How to Be Less Lonely in the Pandemic

    May 27 2020

    Are Zoom connections and physical distancing making us lonelier? Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General and author of Together, says prior to the pandemic people dealt with loneliness, which affects our health and well-being. Now, feelings of disconnection may be more difficult to bear. “If we allow physical distancing to translate into social distancing, we will experience a deepening of our loneliness,” he says. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, we can choose a path of social revival ...more

  • How to Help Kids Process the Pandemic

    May 19 2020

    The Covid-19 crisis isn’t easy to bear as adults but what about young kids and teenagers? How are they coping with virtual learning, changes to their routines, and quarantine? Even before the pandemic, an increasing number of kids were experiencing anxiety, depression, and suicide. How can parents best support kids who may be dealing with additional stressors now? A panel of child experts including Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development, and Lisa Damour, adol...more

  • Adopting a Dog during Quarantine? You’re Not Alone

    May 12 2020

    Have you considered adopting a dog lately? You’re not alone. Animal shelters and nonprofits are seeing a rise in the number of people adopting and fostering pets during the Covid-19 crisis. Before you bring home a new canine companion, dog cognition expert Alexandra Horowitz says there are a few things to consider. Horowitz, who runs the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, wants these newly formed dog-human relationships to last beyond the pandemic. She also speaks with Brian Hare, professor o...more

  • Race, Society, and the Coronavirus Crisis

    May 05 2020

    The growth of American institutions like public education and organized labor has been stunted by racial hostility. Eduardo Porter, author of American Poison, explains how racial animus has blocked social cohesion throughout history. With the coronavirus pandemic, this stunted growth is partly to blame for why the United States has dealt with the crisis so poorly. While millions become infected and tens of millions lose their jobs, the components of country’s social safety net — health insurance...more

  • Digital Access: The Haves and Have Nots

    Apr 29 2020

    The Digital Divide is the gap between those who have easy access to computers and the internet, and those who don’t. The problem this gap creates is becoming more acute during the coronavirus pandemic. As schools move to distance learning, workers are displaced from their jobs, and public services move online, the need for an affordable, reliable broadband connection and productivity technology is great. Low-income Americans and communities of color are particularly disadvantaged. Aspen Digital’...more

  • How Will America Reopen? A Bioethicist Weighs In.

    Apr 21 2020

    Zeke Emanuel was an architect of the Affordable Care Act, which turned 10-years-old this spring. With 22 million people unemployed in America because of the coronavirus pandemic, is universal coverage needed now more than ever? Emanuel says in such an uncertain environment, people are craving security. He thinks the pandemic will lead the Federal Government to rethink the importance of safety net programs like universal coverage. Emanuel, a bioethicist and oncologist, shares his thoughts on what...more

  • Lincoln's Leadership in a Time of Crisis

    Apr 14 2020

    Humility, loyalty, rhetorical mastery — these were the leadership traits of President Abraham Lincoln, says historian John Stauffer. When Lincoln entered office in 1861, the situation in America was dire. States were seceding and America was on the brink of war. How did he utilize his strengths in the face of great crisis? Should today’s leaders, who are challenged by the cataclysm of the coronavirus pandemic, look to Lincoln’s leadership? Stauffer, a professor at Harvard, speaks with Colleen Sh...more

  • A Coronavirus Stress Test for the World

    Apr 08 2020

    Journalist and New York Times op-ed writer Thomas Friedman says countries around the world are undergoing a stress test thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. This test, he says, is revealing the quality of nations’ governance, their health care systems, and the strength of their communities. Perhaps surprisingly, some autocratic regimes have fared well, he says, while some democracies – like the United States – have not. Friedman speaks with Elliot Gerson, an executive vice president at the Aspen ...more

  • China, Technology, and the Coronavirus

    Apr 01 2020

    China was the first country in the world to experience effects from COVID-19. Now the epidemic there is slowing. How did the country of more than 1 billion people make it through? Technology played a big role. In this episode, Lydia Lee, Gary Liu, and Andrew McLaughlin join Vivian Schiller, executive director of the Aspen Digital program at the Aspen Institute, to talk over the kinds of technology that were launched or re-purposed to address aspects of the crisis. How did technology help keep th...more

  • Highs and Lows: Unpacking Teen Emotions

    Mar 25 2020

    During the coronavirus epidemic, many families are spending lots of time together. Families with teenagers may notice extreme highs and lows – and it’s not just because of the global crisis. Once they reach adolescence, kids land on an emotional rollercoaster and even question their own extreme reactions. As parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors, how can we help teens communicate and navigate the intensity of their emotions? Leading experts on girls, boys, and the neuroscience of the adolescen...more

  • How to Be Less Fearful in Turbulent Times (Rebroadcast)

    Mar 17 2020

    What are the best tools for dealing with fear, particularly in an uncertain period? “Human beings wrestle with fear. We are living in anxious times,” says Kansas pastor Adam Hamilton. Hamilton, who founded the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, created five sermons to help people feel less fearful. In this episode, he explains what he wrote in the sermons and later in a book, Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. “People felt like these [sermons] were really helpfu...more

  • Reporting the News in a Fractured America

    Mar 10 2020

    Two major news stories are dominating headlines: the novel coronavirus and the 2020 presidential contest. Both are vulnerable to disinformation campaigns, so what are newsrooms and technology companies doing to combat false news? What did journalists learn in 2016 that they can apply to political coverage in 2020? Local news is the most trusted news source but many newspapers are folding. How can small town newspapers find their footing and continue to offer trusted information? The conversation...more

  • Straight from the Source: Experts Discuss Novel Coronavirus

    Mar 03 2020

    More than 100 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in the United States, as of March 3, 2020. Nine people in the country have died from the disease. That’s far less than in countries like China, Iran, and Italy. What’s being done to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in America and beyond? How quickly can a vaccine be developed? What can individuals do to stay safe? A panel of health experts including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, ...more

  • What Will We Eat in a Hotter, Drier World?

    Feb 25 2020

    Unpredictable weather is threatening crop production and a swelling population is increasing the demand for food. How will we eat in a hotter, more crowded world? The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and innovative solutions are already being served up. Meat produced from animal cells is one solution, says CEO of Memphis Meats Uma Valeti. "Can we start thinking about evolving our food system in a transformative way to feed 10 billion people and beyond?" He joins Amanda Little, auth...more

  • How to Talk About Race and Racism (Rebroadcast)

    Feb 19 2020

    When Americans elected their first black president more than a decade ago, some questioned whether the country had transitioned into a post-racial era. But today race is a more prominent and intransigent problem than ever. As the US grapples with issues like identity politics, the Travel Ban, a wall on the southern border, and Black Lives Matter, writers Jelani Cobb and Wajahat Ali question the likelihood of a post-racial America. Cobb, a staff writer at The New Yorker and journalism professor a...more

  • Putting Humanity Back Into Finance

    Feb 12 2020

    Societal problems like income inequality have emerged from a financial system that has taken a wrong turn, says Harvard finance professor Mihir Desai. “When finance goes awry, which I think it has, we all suffer. When finance is done well, it’s absolutely remarkable,” he says. Humanity needs to be re-infused into finance so that it’s led by personal stories rather than only value extraction. Desai, who wrote the book, The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, s...more

  • Exploring the Inner Chambers of Our Lives

    Feb 05 2020

    When psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb set out to write the stories of her patients she realized she should chronicle her own struggles too. The result was the bestselling book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. In it, she explores the human condition through the lives of her patients and herself. "We're all asking ourselves, how do I love and be loved, and how do I live in a world of uncertainty. So the patients I chose [to write about] have experiences that look different on the surface but we can ...more

  • How 'Isms' Are Ruining Political Discourse

    Jan 29 2020

    It's already difficult to talk about politics in a polarized United States, but a few choice words are making it even harder. Columbia linguistics professor John McWhorter says the original meaning of words like "liberalism" and "socialism" have changed. Now such words muddy up political discourse. In this episode, McWhorter talks about the history of political "isms": progressivism, conservatism, fascism, and others. He says the rules that govern why words' meanings change and our social climat...more

  • Confronting History, featuring Bryan Stevenson (Rebroadcast)

    Jan 21 2020

    Social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson is the subject in the new movie, “Just Mercy.” The film, starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, is based on Stevenson’s memoir with the same name. Stevenson, an attorney, founded the Equal Justice Initiative and has advocated for the release of more than 100 prisoners on death row. He’s passionate about fighting against racial injustice and using history to help America confront its troubling past. In 2018, his organization opened The Legacy Museum: Fr...more

  • What do Church and CrossFit have in Common?

    Jan 14 2020

    In the United States, the number of people attending church is declining. So where are people going to find meaning and community? Casper ter Kuile, Harvard ministry innovation fellow, says fitness classes, advocacy groups, and maker’s spaces are taking the place of congregations – they’re providing people with a sense of identity. Casper ter Kuile speaks with other spirituality experts in a conversation that touches on how modern-day communities can quash widespread feelings of social isolation...more

  • Neal Katyal: Why I Wrote “Impeach”

    Jan 08 2020

    Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal thinks American democracy is at risk if President Trump isn’t held accountable for abusing his office’s power for political gain. In December, the US House impeached Trump. Now Katyal believes the Senate should vote to remove him from office. Katyal, who has argued dozens of cases before the Supreme Court, says Trump’s actions — asking foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 presidential election — are exactly what the country’s Founders warned against...more

  • The Surprising Source of Joy

    Jan 01 2020

    Why is it that simple pleasures such as bubbles, rainbows, and hot air balloons bring joy to most people? Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee says, “there’s something really powerful in the idea that we all find joy in the same things,” especially items with little significance otherwise. Fetell Lee studied how our physical environment impacts our well-being, both physically and psychologically. She believes that our surroundings can be a powerful tool for cultivating happier, healthier lives … and joyfu...more

  • Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on Streaming, Competition, and What’s Next

    Dec 23 2019

    In the age of streaming entertainment, there’s Apple, Disney, Comcast, and many others. But it began with Netflix. In 2013 Netflix shifted from a distribution company (remember the mailed DVDs?) to a distribution and content creation business. Some of the company’s first shows were hits like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, describes this transition and how the company has grown since. He tells Derek Thompson, staff writer for The A...more

  • Daring or Reckless? Alex Honnold Explains the Difference

    Dec 17 2019

    In July of 2017, Alex Honnold became the first person to ever free-solo climb the face of Yosemite’s El Capitan. He climbed nearly 3,000 vertical feet alone and without ropes. The historic feat was captured in the Academy Award-winning film, “Free Solo.” He says self-confidence helped him complete the climb. “If you get scared while free-soloing, [your self-confidence] starts to crumble a little bit. You start to not trust your feet…they’re more likely to slip. Everything can spiral negatively.”...more

  • Don’t Call Kansas (Or Any Middle America State) ‘Flyover’

    Dec 10 2019

    Writers Tara Westover and Sarah Smarsh grew up in rural parts of the mid-section of America and chronicled the stories of their childhoods in best-selling books. While the books vary in emphasis, structure, and theme, both writers agree that people in the Heartland are easily stereotyped by the national media and politicians. “There’s a real gulf between the story we tell ourselves about a country and those conflict- and ratings-driven conversations in New York City studios, and what happens on-...more

  • How Your Data Powers Artificial Intelligence

    Dec 04 2019

    Artificial intelligence isn’t something we’ll see in the future. Thinking machines are already here, and nine powerful companies in the US and China control their development. The spam filter in your email inbox is AI. So are programs like Google Translate. The next level for thinking machines is when they begin learning the way humans learn. As artificial intelligence gets refined, who’s keeping track of whether these machines share our motivations, desires, and hopes for the future of humanity...more

  • Evangelicals and America’s Culture War

    Nov 26 2019

    In the 2016 presidential election, more than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for President Trump. At one point (in the 19th century) evangelicals were associated with malcontents who fought for prison reform, abolitionism, and even early feminism. Now, this group is “the most loyal and most vital element of the Trump coalition,” says Michael Gerson, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post. He sits down with Kate Bowler, author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel, ...more

  • Separating Myth from Reality in American History

    Nov 20 2019

    Two Pulitzer Prize-winning historians explain the difference between myth and reality in American history. David Blight, a professor at Yale, says we use myths to help process history, which can be dismal. “Much of history is dark because human nature is dark. We sometimes have to process the past in sentimentalism — in stories that allow us to wake up in the morning.” Annette Gordon-Reed, an American legal history professor at Harvard, says the point of history is to figure out how you got to w...more

  • "Educated" with Tara Westover

    Nov 13 2019

    Tara Westover's childhood was distinct. Raised by survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she encountered extreme adversity. She wasn't allowed to attend school, and instead worked in her father's junkyard. She suffered serious injuries, and was sometimes at the mercy of a volatile and abusive older brother. She chronicled her story in "Educated," a best-selling book she hopes people find relatable. "I wrote the book in such a way that people, I hoped, could have some little pieces of the experi...more

  • How to Quash Bias

    Nov 05 2019

    Bias is natural — it’s one way we make sense of the world. It becomes problematic when our biases become stereotypes and prejudices. So how do we manage bias, particularly in the classroom and workplace? Jennifer Eberhardt, author of “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,” sits down with Adam Grant, host of the WorkLife podcast to go over the science behind bias. How effective are workplace diversity trainings and how can we get at bias early before it b...more

  • Life Will Break Your Heart, with Kate Bowler

    Oct 29 2019

    When she was 35 years old, Kate Bowler was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She had been on an upward spiral: thriving in her career and loving life with her husband and newborn son. Bowler, who’s a scholar of Christianity, had just written the book “Blessed,” about the Christian idea that good things happen to good people. But through her experience of personal suffering, she realized no amount of determination can stop bad things from happening to anyone, no matter your level of faith. In...more

  • What Is Antiracism and Can It Save Society?

    Oct 22 2019

    Countering racism is essential to the formation of a just and equitable society — so how can we fight it? Ibram X. Kendi says to be able to recognize racism we need to define it and then understand it’s opposite: antiracism. In his new best-selling book, How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi explains that racism is powerful and can change the way we see and value others and ourselves. How can we recognize racism and work to oppose it? In his conversation with Jemele Hill, staff writer for The Atlantic,...more

  • Using Tech to Bring Humanity Back to Medicine

    Oct 15 2019

    In modern-day medicine, doctors have little time to spend with patients because rote tasks, like taking notes and performing medical scans, use up their precious time. Eric Topol, a prominent cardiologist, says there has been a steady degradation of the human side of health care – ever since medicine became big business. “We have de-humanized health care. We have gutted the care of health care. This is our only shot to get it back.” He believes artificial intelligence can help free time for doct...more

  • The Chief: Will a Swing Vote Change the Future of the Supreme Court?

    Oct 09 2019

    The Supreme Court will take up contentious issues like gay rights, health care, abortion, and DACA this term, which kicked off Monday. The outcome of these cases may hinge on one vote — from Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts is at the center of the Court not just because he’s Chief but because he’s a swing vote. Joan Biskupic, author of The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts, says Roberts wrestles with two competing impulses: his strong commitment to certain cons...more

  • Lawlessness on the High Seas

    Oct 01 2019

    One of the most lawless places on earth is the high seas – remote waters, often hundreds of miles from shore. These largely ungoverned waters play host to criminal acts like sea slavery, gun running, human trafficking, and abuse of stowaways. “The lack of protections for the people who work above the water line and the creatures below, I think, is a huge problem,” says New York Times investigative reporter Ian Urbina. Urbina spent five perilous years jumping aboard fishing vessels and talking wi...more

  • Getting the Biggest Happiness Bang for Your Buck

    Sep 24 2019

    When our bank accounts are full, are we happier? Does a pay raise at work equal increased joy? What is the link between money and happiness? Behavioral scientist Elizabeth Dunn says money can buy happiness if you follow some core principles of smart spending. She and Robert Frank, Cornell professor and author of the Economic View column in The New York Times, explain how changing the way we think about money can help promote happiness. Spoiler alert: The happiness trifecta, as defined by Dunn, d...more

  • Combating Climate Change One Protest at a Time

    Sep 17 2019

    Three decades ago, writer Bill McKibben gave a warning about impacts from global warming in his book The End of Nature. Since then, little has been done to tackle the problem, which is growing. Weather events are worsening and communities are suffering from stronger storms, heat waves, wildfires, and more. “The world is now in violent and chaotic flux,” he says. To address this emergency, he suggests transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy and hitting the streets. His organization 35...more

  • What's Facebook Doing to Protect Elections?

    Sep 10 2019

    With just five months until primary season ramps up in the United States, what’s being done to ensure bad actors don’t attack our elections? In 2016, Russia used cyberattacks and social media to sow division in the presidential race. What lessons were learned by companies like Facebook and entities like NATO and the Federal Government? Facebook’s head of election security, Katie Harbath, sits down with former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and Douglas Lute, a former US ambassador to NA...more

  • How Valerie Jarrett Overcame Race, Gender Barriers on Her Way to the West Wing

    Sep 03 2019

    How did an Iranian-born single mom make her way to the “room where it happened,” ultimately serving as one of the closest advisors to the president of the United States? As the longest running senior advisor to a US president in history, Valerie Jarrett worked with President Obama during his 8 years in office. Before reaching the White House, Jarrett dealt with hardships like a failed marriage and a purposeless job. Still, she went on to break race and gender barriers in the 1970s and 1980s and ...more

  • An Unstable Global Economy: What’s to Blame?

    Aug 27 2019

    As the US and China continue their trade war, economic instability is rising in countries around the world. Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, says the number one risk to the global economy is the trade war. The IMF is seeing weakening in industrial production, manufacturing, and investment. “All of this is very closely tied to trade, trade uncertainty, and policies related to that,” she says. In a wide-ranging conversation with Gillian Tett, editor at large for t...more

  • What Does Dignity Have to Do with Liberal Democracy?

    Aug 20 2019

    Starting in the 1970s, political scientist Francis Fukuyama says the world saw a significant expansion of democracy. Dozens of countries were becoming democracies and by 2008, more than 100 democracies existed around the globe. Now, says Fukuyama, liberal democracy is being challenged by populist nationalist leaders and they’re fanning the flames of identity politics. Instead of uniting over a shared sense of humanity, people are identifying in narrower ways based on things like religion, race, ...more

  • Karl Rove on the Future of Conservatism

    Aug 13 2019

    Karl Rove served as deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President George W. Bush before becoming a Fox News contributor. He has his finger on the pulse of today’s Republican party, but remembers a time when the party looked different. Today, more party members consider themselves nationalist and populist. Many are less concerned with deficient and smaller government and more worried about a cultural decline. Rove tells Rich Lowry, editor in chief of National Review, that even though the ...more

  • Are the US and Mexico at a Breaking Point?

    Aug 06 2019

    Is the relationship between the United States and Mexico on shaky ground? This year, President Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican imports if the country didn’t stop the flow of migrants from Central America. And, just this week, Mexican officials called a fatal shooting at an El Paso department store that killed eight Mexican nationals an “act of terrorism." Will the issues at the border lead to more tension between the two countries, or can they find compromise? Jorge Guajardo, ...more

  • NATO Chief on Cyberspace, Trump, and Threats From Abroad

    Jul 30 2019

    In a wide-reaching discussion from the Aspen Security Forum, Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), discusses the major threats in the world today. From cyber warfare to Russia pulling out of a key nuclear arms treaty, the 29-member alliance is grappling with challenges across the globe. Stoltenberg speaks with Courtney Kube, Pentagon and Defense Department correspondent for NBC News, about Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan, cyberspace, and President Trum...more

  • The Inside Story of the Mueller Investigation: How Will It Play Out?

    Jul 22 2019

    Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify in front of Congress Wednesday. He’ll answer questions about the 400-plus page report he delivered to the Attorney General in March. The report details a two-year investigation on Russian election interference and whether President Trump obstructed justice. It left almost as many open questions as there were before Mueller began his probe. Some people argue the President has been cleared and it’s time to move on. How will what Mueller...more

  • Planned Parenthood President on Reproductive Justice

    Jul 16 2019

    Who controls a woman's body? Herself? Her church? Her community? Her government? Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says women’s health and rights have become a political game and her organization is fighting back. New court cases threaten to erode or overturn Roe v. Wade, the Federal law that legalized abortion, says Wen. She says some women are already living a post-Roe reality with just one abortion provider in six states. She joins other physicians, from Af...more

  • Mark Zuckerberg Wants the Government’s Help in Making Tough Decisions

    Jul 09 2019

    After Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election, the social media giant Facebook came under deep scrutiny. Rightly so — much of the interference happened on its platform. Mark Zuckerberg, president, CEO, and founder of Facebook, says the company has spent billions and hired ten’s of thousands of people to deal with security. Still, he doesn’t want Facebook to deal with the problem alone. He told Cass Sunstein, law professor at Harvard, Facebook needs the government’s help when it co...more

  • How Will the Supreme Court’s Latest Decisions Impact Our Lives?

    Jul 02 2019

    Before it wrapped up its term in June, the Supreme Court made decisions on two landmark cases: political gerrymandering and the census. How do these decisions and the makeup of the current Court foretell what’s to come on issues like Roe v. Wade, voting rights, and free speech? A panel of leading legal experts weighs in on how this term will impact the issues at the core of American life. Panelists include Neal Katyal, former US solicitor general, Emily Bazelon, staff writer for The New York Tim...more

  • Paul Ryan Talks Trade, Immigration, and the 2020 Election

    Jun 26 2019

    Paul Ryan may no longer be a member of Congress but he's still paying attention to the issues. The former Speaker of the US House retired in January. In this interview with Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of "PBS NewsHour," Ryan talks about immigration, the upcoming presidential election, and why he agrees with President Trump about trade and China. Their conversation was held June 23, 2019 at the Aspen Ideas Festival. The views and opinions of the podcast guests are their ow...more

  • Citizenship Without Certainty (Rebroadcast)

    Jun 18 2019

    What does it mean to be American? How is that story best told and understood? New York Times columnist David Brooks talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas about citizenship without certainty. Vargas was smuggled from the Philippines to his grandparents’ home in California when he was 12 years old. He discovered a few years later that he was undocumented. In Vargas's memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, he describes the psych...more

  • Technology Isn’t Only Hijacking Our Time, It’s Controlling Our Choices

    Jun 11 2019

    Millennials check their phones 150 times a day, more than 2 billion people use Facebook, and another 2 billion use YouTube. What’s the root of our digital addiction? Tristan Harris, former Google ethicist and founder of the Center for Humane Technology, says these companies have perfected the use of persuasive technology and we’ve fallen for it. It’s a problem, says Harris, because technology has the power to modify people’s behavior, attitudes and beliefs. He tells author and journalist Charles...more

  • How to Be Less Fearful in Turbulent Times

    Jun 04 2019

    Leading up to the US presidential election in 2016, Kansas pastor Adam Hamilton noticed the people in his congregation wrestling with fear. Campaign speeches and negative ads stoked anxiety, but personal fears, such as disappointment and failure, weighed on the people in his church. Hamilton, who founded the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, explains tools for dealing with fear, whether it arises from politics or everyday life. He tells John Dickerson, journalist fo...more

  • Is Activism Good Business? Just Ask Patagonia

    May 28 2019

    The clothing and outdoor gear company Patagonia bills itself as “the activist company” and lately, it’s been particularly active. Following the 2016 US presidential election, Patagonia donated its Black Friday sales to environmental groups. The company sued the Trump Administration for its resolution to reduce two national monuments in Utah, and in 2018 the company announced it was donating the money it saved from Trump’s tax cuts to conservation. CEO Rose Marcario says she’s acting according to...more

  • The Remarkable Brain of the Bird

    May 21 2019

    It used to be that having a “bird brain” was an insult. Now, it’s practically a compliment! Turns out the brain of a bird, which is small enough to fit into a nut, is full of neurons. These animals are capable of complex cognition — they can solve problems, count, understand cause and effect, and even communicate in ways that resemble language. Jennifer Ackerman chronicles birds’ intelligence in her book, “The Genius of Birds.” She sits down with Alexander Taylor, an animal psychologist who’s be...more

  • Is Social Media Threatening the American Idea?

    May 14 2019

    Read Jeffrey Rosen's article, America Is Living James Madison's Nightmare in The Atlantic. The views and opinions of the speakers in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.

  • How Personal and National Crises are Linked

    May 07 2019

    How are the tools we use to solve personal crises related to national problems? Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond says the ways we deal with problems like divorce, the death of a loved one, a serious health problem, or financial troubles, can be used to effectively deal with crises in countries. In his newly-released book, "Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis," Diamond examines problems in seven countries, including the United States. How can America succeed at sol...more

  • The Gratifying and Complicated Language of Friendship

    May 01 2019

    The way friends talk to one another can either bring them closer or create distance. When it comes to women’s friendships, author Deborah Tannen says women talk more often (than men), at greater length, and about more personal topics. Men’s friendships tend to be more focused around activity. Either way, friendships between women, men, and women and men can be gratifying…and complicated. Tannen talks about the patterns of communication and miscommunication that affect friendships at different st...more

  • Millennials and Motivation (Rebroadcast)

    Apr 23 2019

    Millennials shoulder a lot of stereotypes. They’re called entitled and in need of instant gratification. They’re not committed to their work and expect a work-life balance at their very first job. Do these labels actually define them? Are they really any different than the generations before them? In this lighthearted and informative conversation, organizational psychologist Adam Grant and inspirational teacher Simon Sinek sit down with Katie Couric. Couric is an award-winning journalist. They e...more

  • The Menace of Climate Change

    Apr 17 2019

    Mary Robinson’s book, Climate Justice, records the stories of people experiencing effects from climate change first-hand. They’re not staying silent. From Malawi to Mongolia, people are waging a battle for climate justice, many of them women from poor communities. Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, believes climate change is one of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time. She speaks with Peggy Clark, executive director of the Aspen Glob...more

  • Reversing Extinction and Re-Wilding the World

    Apr 09 2019

    What if we could turn back time and reverse extinction? Famed writer, biologist, and environmentalist Stewart Brand is attempting this with an organization he co-founded. Revive and Restore is building a tool kit for genetic restoration that would allow the rebirth of species, like the woolly mammoth. Brand says the absence of these animals has left a gap and reviving them will re-enrich the entire conservation world. There are other reasons to bring back certain species, like enhancing genetic ...more

  • Finding Happiness at Every Stage of Life

    Apr 02 2019

    Economists who have researched happiness over a lifetime find it starts to decline after adolescence and noticeably dips when people enter middle age. How can we avoid the middle age blues and feel purposeful later in life? Arthur Brooks, behavioral economist and American Enterprise Institute president, uses eastern and western philosophies, classical music, and the latest research to give usable advice on how to be joyful throughout life’s different stages. It’s inescapable that we’ll grow olde...more

  • Trump's Close Relationship with Fox News

    Mar 26 2019

    A recent blockbuster article by journalist Jane Mayer examines close ties between the White House and Fox News. The piece, published in The New Yorker, spurred the Democratic National Committee to choose not to allow Fox to hold any of its presidential debates. In this broad conversation, Mayer touches on the Fox News article, another piece on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and her book Dark Money. She speaks with Carolyne Heldman, former president of Aspen Public Radio. Show Notes Regis...more

  • Escaping Hate

    Mar 19 2019

    Christian Picciolini went to his first white supremacist skinhead meeting at age 14. A lonely and bullied child, he was quickly swept into the movement and eventually became a leader. In this candid conversation, he speaks with journalist Matt Thompson about why he decided to leave the skinhead movement and turn his life around. Picciolini now helps people disengage from hate groups through an organization he leads, Free Radicals Project. Picciolini is the author of White American Youth: My Desc...more

  • Democracy Dies in Darkness: A Conversation with Marty Baron

    Mar 12 2019

    The truth is under assault in America, according to Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. By labeling the press as the opposition party and calling into questions facts, President Trump is subverting the role of free and independent news, says Baron. Baron talks with Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” about how his journalists are operating in a fake news atmosphere where people doubt the truth. He describes how newsrooms need to change — incorporate more transparen...more

  • Confronting Life's Toughest Challenges

    Mar 06 2019

    Kate Bowler and Elaine Pagels both teach religion, write about religion, and have experienced immense hardships. In this frank and funny conversation, they explore why people still seek ancient religious teachings in our modern age. In moving and relatable moments, they explain how they overcome loss, illness, and isolation. Pagels is the author of The Gnostic Gospels and Why Religion?: A Personal Story. Bowler is the author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel and Everything ...more

  • The Happiest Places on Earth

    Feb 27 2019

    The latest World Happiness Report puts the United States in 18th place, behind all the Scandinavian countries, Costa Rica, Canada, and others. The report, issued annually by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, looks at income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity. Another happiness list from National Geographic puts Boulder, Colorado in first place because of its high levels of civic engagement, walkability, and healthful food options. Boulder May...more

  • Colson Whitehead: “The Underground Railroad”

    Feb 20 2019

    Nearly two decades ago, author Colson Whitehead began thinking about writing about the Underground Railroad. “I remembered when I was a kid, I first heard those words…I thought it was a literal train beneath the earth,” he says. He put pen to paper and the result was the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Underground Railroad. In it, the historic secret network of safehouses for runaway slaves becomes a make-believe set of tracks and tunnels beneath southern cities and towns. The book tells the st...more

  • How to Talk About Race and Racism

    Feb 12 2019

    When Americans elected their first black president more than a decade ago, some questioned whether the country had transitioned into a post-racial era. But today race is a more prominent and intransigent problem than ever. As the US grapples with issues like identity politics, the Travel Ban, a wall on the southern border, and Black Lives Matter, writers Jelani Cobb and Wajahat Ali question the likelihood of a post-racial America. Cobb, a staff writer at The New Yorker and journalism professor a...more

  • Inside the Mind of a Dog

    Feb 05 2019

    When your dog wags its tail or welcomes you home, what are they thinking about? How do they perceive you and the world around them? Two canine cognition scientists, Alexandra Horowitz and Brian Hare, share what dogs know, understand, and believe. This field of research is growing and these scientists are gaining valuable insight in the minds of America’s most popular pet. Show Notes Listen to The Bauhaus Roots of Aspen from Aspen Insight. Follow Aspen Ideas to Go on Twitter and Facebook. Email y...more

  • Can Free Speech Silence Hate Speech?

    Jan 29 2019

    Should rules govern demeaning, disparaging, and degrading speech directed at certain groups? How can we resist hate while protecting free speech? Nadine Strossen, longtime president of the ACLU, says hate speech, as painful as it may be, is justifiably protected. Instead of censoring hate speech, she advocates fighting it with free speech. In her conversation with Conor Friedersdorf, staff writer for The Atlantic, she dispels the idea that censorship effectively counters the impacts of hate spee...more

  • LOL, Like, and Literally: Is the English Language Deteriorating?

    Jan 22 2019

    Young people tend to say “LOL” and “like” a lot. Business jargon — such as “What’s the ask?”— is surfacing in boardrooms. Is the English language deteriorating before our ears? Linguist and author John McWhorter pushes back, saying these modern terms are examples of language evolving. Words’ meanings have always changed and those shifts will continue. “Language is like clouds,” says McWhorter. “If the clouds are in the same position they were in when we came in, something’s wrong.” In this conve...more

  • Pushing the Limits

    Jan 16 2019

    What does it take to rock climb one of the world’s hardest routes at night in the bitter cold? Tommy Caldwell, an accomplished climber, says he summoned focus, drive, and endurance to summit Yosemite’s nearly vertical 3,000 foot Dawn Wall. He completed the climb with partner Kevin Jorgeson in January of 2015. Since then, he’s written a memoir, The Push, that chronicles the climb and the life experiences that led to it. Caldwell is also featured in two films: “The Dawn Wall” and “Free Solo,” whic...more

  • Are Leaders Born or Made?

    Jan 08 2019

    What qualities make a good leader? Are leaders born with these attributes or can they be learned? In her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about the lives of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Though their backgrounds were different, these men shared a powerful ambition and resilience that carried them through hardship. Goodwin writes that they were “guided by a sense of...more

  • Crash Course on Happiness

    Dec 31 2018

    The number of college students dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety is growing. Psychology professor Laurie Santos noticed it in her Yale classroom and set out to change the campus culture. Her course “Psychology and the Good Life” is the most popular class in Yale’s 300-year history. In this episode, she talks about her efforts to infuse wellness into her students’ lives. She gives a crash course on how to feel less stressed and depressed, and find more meaning in your life. It’s applic...more

  • Off Stage 14: Islam in America Today

    Dec 25 2018

    Imam Khalid Latif is New York University’s first Muslim chaplain. In this political and cultural moment, he says students deal with issues around race and religious intolerance. “A lot of identities in the United States are seen through the prism of racialized identities.” In his interview with WAMU’s Joshua Johnson, he talks about Islamophobia, building interfaith bridges, and the role of religion in one’s life. The "Off Stage Series" goes into the issues that impact all of us. These ...more

  • Off Stage 13: One Synagogue’s Unconventional Outreach Approach

    Dec 25 2018

    Shira Stutman is senior rabbi at a historic synagogue in Washington, DC that’s doing innovative things. The ‘Sixth & I’ is a non-denominational, non-membership, non-traditional Jewish synagogue. Talks, concerts, and comedy shows are held there with a goal to enlighten and inspire people to live more meaningful lives. In her conversation with “1A” host Joshua Johnson, Stutman describes how religion is helping mend societal divides and how her synagogue is connecting with community. The "...more

  • Off Stage 12: Addressing Partisanship at the Pulpit

    Dec 25 2018

    Can faith help unite us in divided times? How are religious leaders navigating divisions inside and outside their places of worship? Adam Hamilton ministers to about 20,000 Methodists in and around Kansas City. He says he’s determined to mend the deep divisions he sees in his congregation. He speaks with guest host Joshua Johnson. Johnson hosts “1A,” a national news/talk radio show produced by WAMU in Washington, DC. The "Off Stage Series" goes into the issues that impact all of us. Th...more

  • What Really Separates Men from Women?

    Dec 19 2018

    Why is it that we think boys are good at math and girls are more empathetic? Or that boys can’t focus in the classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships? These sometimes damaging gender stereotypes have become part of our culture, but are they backed up by science? Neuroscientist Lise Eliot says our default assumption is that our gender differences are hardwired, but that’s not the case. In her book Pink Brain Blue Brain, she uses research and her work on neuroplasticity to debunk our tr...more

  • Repairing the Apparel Industry

    Dec 12 2018

    The clothing industry is a top polluter, but some companies are working to be kinder to the environment. The CEOs of Patagonia and Eileen Fisher talk about their shared value of social consciousness. Rose Marcario and Eileen Fisher delve into why a holistic approach, one that goes beyond a single company and its bottom line, is essential to doing business that’s good for everyone. They give tips on the clothing materials they prefer, the power of women-led initiatives, and why wearing clothes lo...more

  • Off Stage 11: Saving the African Elephant

    Dec 07 2018

    The African elephant, the world’s largest land mammal, is threatened by poaching, human development, and climate change. As director of the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services Branch of the UN Environmental Program, Max Gomera advocates for the elephant. Ensuring elephants and other animals thrive is important for the human species. In this episode, Gomera talks about improving the relationship between elephants and humans, and how our meat consumption is negatively impacting wildlife habitat. ...more

  • Off Stage 10: A Sinking Island Nation

    Dec 07 2018

    Rising sea level and contaminated fresh water could make an island paradise in the Indian Ocean uninhabitable. The effects of climate change on the Maldives are difficult to ignore. Maldivian climate activist Thilmeeza Hussain says these changes are impacting everyday life for the 400,000 people who live there. Will Maldivians become climate refugees? How can this island nation be saved? Hussain is an Aspen New Voices Fellow and a speaker at Spotlight Health. The "Off Stage Series" goe...more

  • Off Stage 9: Wonder Drugs in the Arctic

    Dec 07 2018

    Will a cure for cancer be found in the North Pole? A group of Norwegian scientists are scouring the sea and shore in one of the harshest climates on earth, looking for wonder drugs. Writer Kea Krause experienced their search when she spent twelve days aboard a research vessel in the Arctic Ocean. In this episode, she talks about her journey and why this part of the world may unlock answers to some of our most difficult health problems. Krause was a speaker at Spotlight Health. The "Off Stag...more

  • Atul Gawande on Love, Death, and Worth

    Dec 04 2018

    Famed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande believes there’s a gap between our aspiration for how we treat each other and the reality. In this divisive era, it’s especially challenging to see that all lives have equal worth. He explains to Lucy Kalanithi, professor of medicine, how we can bridge the gap. Kalanithi is the widow of the late Dr. Paul Kalanithi who wrote the bestselling book When Breath Becomes Air. Show Notes Follow Aspen Ideas to Go on Twitter and Facebook. Email your comments to aspeni...more

  • Technology Is Changing How We Trust

    Nov 27 2018

    Technology is changing who and how we trust. While our faith in institutions such as governments, media, and charities has hit an all-time low, many of us will rent a complete stranger’s home, exchange digital currencies, and trust bots. When we trust Airbnb more than our elected leaders, what does that mean for society? Rachel Botsman, expert in technology and trust, says this fundamental shift in trust has far-reaching consequences. She wrote the book Who Can You Trust?, and lectures at Oxford...more

  • Can Character Be Learned?

    Nov 20 2018

    Why is it so hard to watch our children fail? Why might a highly structured life for a child be a bad thing? And how important is our behavior, as adults, in the development of a child? In this episode, psychologist Angela Duckworth explains how to raise a child with strong character. Duckworth, who’s the author of Grit and a MacArthur “Genius,” talks with Jackie Bezos about how young people learn to be grateful, vulnerable, and fearless by modeling the adults in their lives. Bezos is the co-fou...more

  • What Would the Founders Think of Today's America?

    Nov 14 2018

    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson. What were America’s Founders like as individuals? And what would they think of American democracy today? In this lighthearted conversation, National Constitution Center President Jeff Rosen interviews David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, collector of historic documents, and funder of American cultural and educational institutions. Did you know James Madison was short in stature? Or that John Adams only had one tooth? Rosen and Ru...more

  • The New Science of Psychedelics

    Nov 06 2018

    Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, focuses on psychedelic drugs in his most recent book. How to Change Your Mind dives into the latest developments in trials using psychedelic therapy to treat depression, anxiety, obsession, and trauma. For the book, Pollan immersed himself in the psychedelic experience, saying it helped him become more open, emotionally available, patient, and less defensive. He talks with Corby Kummer, senior editor at The Atlantic, abou...more

  • Stopping Hate in an Era of Fragmentation

    Oct 30 2018

    The deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue is the latest hate crime in an especially atrocious period. The number of hate crimes against religious minority communities has surged in recent years, and it’s likely driven, in part, by the country’s deep polarization. Luckily, solutions are surfacing and some are led by this episode’s speakers. Christian Picciolini is a former white supremacist who now helps others disengage from hate movements. Farhan Latif runs the El-Hibri Foundation, which em...more

  • Off Stage 8: Tackling Twitter’s Bots

    Oct 26 2018

    Tech entrepreneur Ash Bhat dropped out of high school and college to pursue digital projects. The 20-year-old’s latest effort: combatting online bots, or Twitter accounts with no human oversight. It’s a job that’s worth a break from school, he thinks. “We have a moral responsibility to make a difference.” With his company RoBhat Labs, he and his co-founder are working to tackle the spread of fake news. He tells investigative tech reporter Kashmir Hill that stomping out bots can help unite a divi...more

  • Off Stage 7: How to Get off Your Screen

    Oct 26 2018

    Tristan Harris, former Google design ethicist, says the apps we use on our devices everyday are designed to maximize screen time. “Whenever we use these products, we’re activating supercomputers pointed at our brains.” They draw you in and keep you there, he says, and the result is loneliness. Harris, who founded the Center for Humane Technology, talks with Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill about what we can do limit screen time. The "Off Stage Series" goes into the issues that impact all of us. ...more

  • Off Stage 6: The Menace of Disinformation

    Oct 26 2018

    With the midterm elections around the corner, should internet users be on alert for fake news? As research director at New Knowledge, Renee DiResta investigates the spread of disinformation across social networks. Since the 2016 presidential election, tech companies like hers have taken “meaningful steps,” she says. In her conversation with Kashmir Hill, investigative reporter for Gizmodo Media, DiResta explains how she’s working to stop disinformation from going viral. The "Off Stage Serie...more

  • The Cultural Revolution We Need

    Oct 23 2018

    The forces of division have been tearing America's social fabric for decades. Our country is now dealing with isolation, alienation, and tribalism. But a new coalition of community builders with a new set of beliefs is rising to turn things around. New York Times columnist David Brooks is leading an effort at The Aspen Institute to bridge the differences that divide Americans. In this talk, he goes over what he’s discovering and how you can help. Show Notes Passes for the Aspen Ideas Festival go...more

  • How to Lead a More Meaningful Life at Work

    Oct 16 2018

    Adam Grant is exploring “how to make work suck less.” For his podcast WorkLife, he visited unconventional companies to discover how to improve the work experience. Grant, who authored Give and Take and teaches at the Wharton School, thinks we should be leading more creative and meaningful lives at work. After all, we spend a quarter of our lives there. He speaks with Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of the Aspen Skiing Company based in Aspen, Colorado. Show Notes Listen to the Aspen Insight episod...more

  • Getting In: College Access for All

    Oct 09 2018

    In June, the University of Chicago announced it will become test-optional. It's the first elite school to do so. The move is part of a bigger effort to expand access to a broader talent pool of well-deserving applicants. But, will removing the requirement that incoming undergraduates submit ACT and SAT scores make a difference? What are the best ways to reach aspiring students who are stopped from applying by fees and tuition costs? And how should universities measure merit and success? Universi...more

  • How Women in the Media Are Tackling #MeToo

    Oct 02 2018

    News reporters have covered the #MeToo movement since it gained ground one year ago. But journalists haven’t just written about the movement, some have experienced sexual harassment and violence themselves. In this episode, a group of leading female journalists share their personal stories and discuss how newsroom culture must shift. What concrete steps can the industry take to serve women currently working as journalists and the next generation of writers? Speakers include Katie Couric, Mona Ch...more

  • Off Stage 3: The Year of the Woman

    Oct 02 2018

    Rebecca Traister’s new book Good and Mad details how women’s anger has erupted into the public conversation. In our first Off Stage interview on women, she tells USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page that women are “mad that Donald Trump is president and they’re mad about sexual harassment.” Women in the past have been angry individually, but a new movement that emerged following the 2016 election reflects collective anger, says Traister. Her book Good and Mad was released October 2nd. Th...more

  • Larry Summers on Trade, Tariffs, and the Economy

    Sep 26 2018

    Former treasury secretary Larry Summers has been vocal about his disagreements with the current direction of US economic policy, particularly in the areas of trade, tariffs, and the rethinking of international agreements on commerce and investment. What would he do differently? What do we need to do to really ensure economic growth? He speaks with Jillian Tett, US Managing Editor of the Financial Times. Show Notes Listen to the Aspen Ideas to Go episode How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform...more

  • Off Stage 5: Journalism “More Important than Ever”

    Sep 21 2018

    In an era when the mainstream media is under attack, New York Times Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumenstein is heartened because more people are paying for news. “Our circulation has almost doubled. People have realized that facts have value,” she says. In her Off Stage conversation with USA Today’s Susan Page, she talks about fake news, covering Trump, and what advice she would give to young women entering the news business. The "Off Stage Series" goes into the issues that impact a...more

  • Off Stage 4: How to Ensure the Survival of Democracy

    Sep 21 2018

    Global economist Dambisa Moyo says democracy is in crisis around the world. In her book Edge of Chaos, she explains how voter participation rates are low, money is seeping into politics via big donations, and political freedoms have declined. “We do have democracy on paper, but in terms of the efficacy and efficiency of the democratic process, I think there are deep concerns.” In her conversation with guest host and journalist Susan Page, she also describes the hurdles she’s overcome to work in ...more

  • Citizenship Without Certainty

    Sep 18 2018

    What does it mean to be American? How is that story best told and understood? New York Times columnist David Brooks talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas about citizenship without certainty. Vargas was smuggled from the Philippines to his grandparents’ home in California when he was 12 years old. He discovered a few years later that he was undocumented. In Vargas's memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, he describes the psych...more

  • Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White (Rebroadcast)

    Sep 11 2018

    What role does faith play in bringing people together? Reverend Adam Hamilton pastors the largest United Methodist church in America. Within his Kansas congregation, he observes deep divisions that reflect the larger disunity in our nation. These divisions, he thinks, are tearing at our social fabric. His plan: to get people to think differently by focusing on influencing, not irritating, and seeing the humanity in others — even those we strongly disagree with. He speaks with David Brooks, New Y...more

  • Is There a Path out of Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Sep 04 2018

    This spring marked the 15th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan has gone on long enough that children born after 9/11 are now old enough to enlist in the military. Is there any path out of conflict for Iraq and Afghanistan — for the United States, or for the citizens of the war-weary countries? This episode features individuals who were deeply involved in both conflicts. David Petraeus, former CIA director, led the 101st Airborne Division in the invasion of Iraq. D...more

  • From Tragedy to Hope: A Conversation with Robert Runcie

    Aug 29 2018

    Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie remembers clearly the events of February 14, 2018. That’s the day a gunman killed seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In this conversation with the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, Runcie talks about the power of hope and how some of the radical academic changes he brought to the District, the sixth largest in America, may have helped the school’s students become powerful leaders in the gun...more

  • Sal Khan: Education Reimagined

    Aug 28 2018

    Sal Khan’s career journey took him from finance to the classroom. The former hedge fund manager now runs the nonprofit Khan Academy, which provides free online education. He says online learning is changing the way students learn and instructors teach. For classrooms that have integrated the Academy into their lessons, students are learning at their own pace and teachers have more time to tutor kids one-on-one. In this conversation, Khan talks about how the Academy is personalizing education for...more

  • From Despair to Optimism on Climate Change

    Aug 24 2018

    Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres led the global adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, and continues to fight for the climate today in her work with Mission 2020. Working to reduce greenhouse gases globally can be frustrating, she admits, but she chooses optimism over pessimism. She recalls a moment where her attitude shifted, “I many years ago, decided — because it is a decision — that I was going to be optimistic about addressing climate change.” We won’t solve climate change, she sa...more

  • David Miliband on Fixing the Refugee Crisis

    Aug 21 2018

    More than 65 million people around the globe are either refugees, asylum seekers, or displaced within their own countries. It’s the largest number of people forced to flee their homes since World War II. From South Sudan to El Salvador and Yemen to Afghanistan, the International Rescue Committee is working to help people recover and resettle. David Miliband leads the organization and thinks the world’s refugee problem is solvable. In this conversation with Steve Clemons, editor at large for The ...more

  • Madeleine Albright on Fighting Fascism

    Aug 17 2018

    How do we save ourselves from repeating errors of our past? Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright poses this question in her new book, Fascism: A Warning. She thinks fascism now presents a greater threat to peace than at any time since the end of WWII. In this episode, she speaks with Aspen Institute CEO Dan Porterfield about what tools in the “national security toolbox” we can use to fight fascism. She explains how her childhood led her to write the book and why she calls herself an “opt...more

  • College Students, Mental Health, and the University's Role

    Aug 14 2018

    Across the US, students are heading back to college for the start of the school year. Many will wrestle with mental health challenges. Campus counseling offices are busier than ever and peer-run mental health clubs are popping up. Colleges are working to keep up as students’ academic, social, and athletic demands sometimes become too much to bear. In this episode, Teen Vogue editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay leads a conversation with Paula Johnson, president of Wellesley College, and Dan Porterfield, ...more

  • Can the Democrats Win Big in 2018—and 2020?

    Aug 10 2018

    Midterms are often seen as the first nationwide referendum on a first-term president. Donald Trump’s ratings have ranged from low to medium-low, but a “blue wave” of victories is far from guaranteed this fall. Where Democrats strive for inclusiveness with regard to race, gender, and immigration status, critics see “identity politics,” and successfully fending off that critique may determine the party’s fate across the country. Who are the rising Democratic stars to watch, and what internal clash...more

  • Off Stage 2: Fighting for Immigrants

    Aug 09 2018

    At age 25, Gaby Pacheco was the first undocumented Latina to testify in front of Congress. In this conversation with New York Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer Wajahat Ali, she talks about the struggles immigrants still face years later. She spearheaded efforts that led to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and participated in the Trail of Dreams, a four-month walk from Miami to Washington, DC, calling attention to the plight of immigrants. In this one-on-one conversation, s...more

  • Off Stage 1: Leaving Hate Behind

    Aug 09 2018

    In our first “Off Stage” bonus episode, New York Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer Wajahat Ali speaks with former white supremacist skinhead Christian Picciolini. For 8 years, Picciolini was a follower, then a leader in the white supremacist movement. When the people he thought he hated showed compassion, he left the group. Now he helps others disengage from extremism. In this one-on-one discussion, he talks about what draws someone to join an extremist group, why white supremacy is growing in the...more

  • Still Healing: Charlottesville, One Year Later

    Aug 07 2018

    One year after a deadly hate rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city continues to heal. White supremacists gathered at the University of Virginia and then in downtown Charlottesville in mid-August last year. Protesters clashed and a young woman, Heather Heyer, died in the fray. Now, the historic city that was once home to Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe is also associated with the white supremacist hate rallies. Why did these groups choose Charlottesville? What has Charlottesville learned...more

  • Longtime Kremlin Critic Says He's Not Afraid

    Aug 03 2018

    Russian President Vladimir Putin in July, singled out American-born businessman Bill Browder at a joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland. Putin, standing alongside President Trump, named Browder and his business dealings. Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia until he was arrested in 2005 and expelled from the country. His corporate documents were seized by Russian authorities, he says, and the young lawyer he hired to investigate—Sergei Magnitsky—was arrested and died in priso...more

  • Conservatism in the Era of Trump

    Jul 31 2018

    Is the Republican Party in the United States having an identity crisis? Are the priorities of the Republican Party, conservative ideals, and the Trump administration’s policies aligning? Or, are we witnessing the factions of the party splintering off? Our panel includes Jonah Goldberg (National Review), Allysia Finley (The Wall Street Journal), Michael Steele (former Republican National Committee chairman), and Mickey Edwards (former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma and Aspen Institute Vice ...more

  • The Surge of Women into Politics

    Jul 27 2018

    Since 2016, we’ve watched women rack up unprecedented wins in statehouses, city halls, and even Congress — and thousands more are throwing their hats into the ring. How did factors like Donald Trump’s win and #MeToo influence this wave, and why does the movement seem to be taking hold now? Writer Rebecca Traister (“All the Single Ladies”) leads a discussion with Christine Matthews, president of Bellwether Research and consulting; Ashley Nickloes, a candidate running for a Tennessee Congressional...more

  • Dan Coats Discusses Election Interference, the White House’s Invitation to Putin, and More

    Jul 24 2018

    Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats goes over President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in this discussion held July 19th. These are his first public comments after standing by the intelligence community’s findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has questioned the intelligence assessment. Coats manages America’s 17 intelligence agencies and serves as the President’s principal intelligence advisor. He spoke with Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign aff...more

  • DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Russian Interference, the Border Crisis, and More

    Jul 19 2018

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has defended the Trump administration’s controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy that has led to families being separated at America’s southwest border. In this discussion, she addresses illegal immigration, saying it reflects a broken system. Her conversation with Peter Alexander, national correspondent for NBC News, also touches on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign and terrorism. Alexander asks if homegrown, lone-...more

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray on Russian Meddling

    Jul 19 2018

    FBI Director Christopher Wray is firm in his position that Russia was involved in the 2016 presidential campaign. “The intelligence community’s assessment has not changed,” he says, “and my view has not changed, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the last election.” Wray spoke July 18 at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado. His interviewer, Lester Holt of NBC News, also asked Wray about the indictment of 12 Russian nationals, the Robert Mueller investigation, China, and Nor...more

  • First-Hand Account: Family Separation at the US-Mexico Border

    Jul 18 2018

    A lot has happened since US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in May a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal crossings at the southwest border. The family separation policy that contributed to dividing nearly 3,000 children from their guardians was halted and now the US government is working to reunite families. In this episode, Mimi Marziano, president of the Texas Civil Rights Project, talks about why she thinks the situation is a “horrendous human rights crisis” that’s far from over. Her...more

  • The Rising Belligerence of Putin's Russia

    Jul 13 2018

    President Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday during a time when international relations are being tested. On the heels of a tension-filled NATO summit, Russia experts wonder whether Trump’s meeting with Putin will address the Russian government’s rising belligerence. Putin’s government is increasingly acting as an outlaw state across the international stage — undermining European democracies, launching devastating ransomware cyberattacks, harassing US diplomats, executi...more

  • The Age of Euroscepticism

    Jul 10 2018

    Hours before President Trump attends a NATO Summit in Brussels, we examine the role of the alliance and how it fits into Europe’s recent struggles. Brexit, terrorism, a new anti-establishment government in Italy, and rising nationalism fueled in part by a flood of immigrants from the Syrian war are testing the grand European experiment. How should the continent move forward? And how will the region handle Trump’s anti-European and anti-NATO rhetoric? The Aspen Institute’s Elliot Gerson leads a c...more

  • James Comey on His Legacy Leading the FBI

    Jul 03 2018

    Former FBI Director James Comey says transparency and a desire to maintain his agency’s credibility prompted him to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016. He sent a letter to Congress days before the presidential election saying he had new evidence in the case. To this day, some people blame him for Clinton’s defeat. In this episode, he speaks with journalist Katie Couric about the details surrounding the decision. He also talks about his book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and...more

  • A Conversation with the US Surgeon General

    Jun 27 2018

    As the nation’s top doctor, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams has pledged to lead with science and collaborate with local entities to tackle national health crises. In this episode, he speaks with NPR’s Alison Kodjak about children being separated from their parents at the southern US border, the opioid crisis, gun violence, and mental health. Adams is the 20th person to serve as Surgeon General. In the position, he promotes wellness strategies, warns the public against emerging health hazards, an...more

  • Love, Sex, and the Brain

    Jun 19 2018

    What makes two people click? What does it really mean to say, “we have chemistry”? The Atlantic's Olga Khazan talks to biological anthropologist Helen Fisher about the four styles of thought and behavior that Fisher has identified through brain scans that help explain the biological underpinnings of romantic love, love addiction, adultery, and divorce. Based on data collected from 35,000 single Americans, Fisher explains modern courtship, why a trend she calls “slow love” makes her optimistic ab...more

  • Race, Youth, and the American Vote

    Jun 13 2018

    In a recent Alabama Senate election, 96 percent of African American voters supported one candidate, and according to a Pew Research Center survey, 66 percent of Latino voters chose just one candidate during the most recent Presidential election. Do Democrats take the "people of color" vote for granted? How can Republicans appeal more to people of color? What are the ways in which people are viewing voting through the lens of race? How is voting being encouraged, or suppressed? This pan...more

  • How Broadway's Hamilton is Radically Relevant

    Jun 05 2018

    A hip-hop musical about America’s founding fathers with a virtually all minority cast. A reimagining of La bohème as a rock musical uncovering the AIDS crisis in New York City. A coming-of-age musical about the anxieties of entering adulthood told through cartoons. These are just a few of the radically relevant and compelling concepts that Tony Award-winning producer Jeffrey Seller has turned into Broadway gold. In this episode, David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, interviews Selle...more

  • How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Industry

    May 29 2018

    Bill Gates portends doomsday is coming. The late Stephen Hawking said we should prepare for our robot overlords to take their thrones. But is the future as glaring as HAL’s red eye? Or is it more complicated than that? What does a future powered by algorithms and big intelligence mean for our lives? What are the game-changing developments made possible by AI? How will AI transform industry and disrupt business? A panel of tech and business experts, including Tim O’Reilly, Gary Marcus, and Michae...more

  • Threats from Abroad: Iran, North Korea, and Russia

    May 22 2018

    News from around the globe is dominating US headlines. President Trump plans to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in June, Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is continuing his probe into Russian meddling. Former members of the US intelligence community and the White House weigh in on these global moving parts. Lisa Monaco, former advisor to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, former CIA director, and James Clapper, ...more

  • The Perils of Over-Parenting

    May 15 2018

    By trying to provide the perfectly happy childhood, a generation of parents may be making it harder for their kids to actually grow up. Hear from psychologists Polly Young-Eisendrath and Madeline Levine, as well as psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb on how our preoccupation with choice, self-esteem, and happiness may be yielding a generation marked by entitlement, materialism, narcissism, and an inability to face the challenges of adult life. The conversation is led by award-winning journalist Katie ...more

  • 'That's What She Said' with Joanne Lipman

    May 08 2018

    The #MeToo Movement has exposed sexual harassment in the workplace, but what about the problem of gender inequality? Journalist Joanne Lipman says every woman knows how it feels to be marginalized, not taken seriously, overlooked, and underpaid at work. Lipman, editor-in-chief at USA Today, wrote the book “That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together.” She calls it a realistic handbook that helps professionals solve gender gap problems. Finding...more

  • Why Being Mayor Is the Best Job in Politics

    May 01 2018

    Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter insists that serving in city council is the best job in politics. He served two terms as mayor and managed to lower the city’s homicide rate and increase the high school graduation rate. Still, he says, it wasn’t enough. Though it may not be as glamorous as working in national politics, Nutter says you can more easily see progress when serving at the local level. In this episode, he talks with Jonathan Capehart, editorial writer for the Washington Post, a...more

  • Securing the Nation's Secrets

    Apr 25 2018

    As our lives become increasingly tech driven, we’re more vulnerable to cyberattacks, and our workplaces and government are too. William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), says it takes a whole-of-nation counterintelligence and security effort to keep our data safe. His organization is helping lead the charge. In this episode, he talks with NPR counter-terrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston about why Americans easily fall prey to spear phishing a...more

  • Philanthropy & Democracy: Risky Liaisons

    Apr 17 2018

    Big philanthropy can contribute to a democratic society by addressing problems that neither government nor the private sector will take on. Yet philanthropic institutions and foundations are institutional oddities within a democracy: exercises of power by the wealthy with little accountability, donor-directed preferences in perpetuity, and generous tax subsidies. What, if anything, confers democratic legitimacy on foundations? Might foundations be a threat to democratic governance? Or are there ...more

  • Luis Alberto Urrea on the Power of Family

    Apr 11 2018

    Author Luis Alberto Urrea's latest novel, The House of Broken Angels, is inspired by his own Mexican-American family. Set in a San Diego neighborhood, the book's characters celebrate a final birthday for a beloved brother dying of cancer, and a funeral for his elderly mother. The farewell doubleheader may sound depressing, but the book buzzes with joy. And so does this talk from Urrea, held on stage in Aspen, Colorado as part of an Aspen Words lecture series. Aspen Words is the literary program ...more

  • Stopping the Violence in Chicago

    Apr 03 2018

    In rallies from coast to coast, students across the United States are calling for tighter gun control. The deadly Parkland, Florida shooting resurfaced the conversation but the issue of gun violence is all too familiar for people in Chicago. For residents in certain neighborhoods, shootings are frustratingly frequent. In 2016, a particularly deadly year, there were nearly 800 murders, and about half of the gun crimes happened in just five neighborhoods, according to the University of Chicago Cri...more

  • Runaway Slave: A Story of Triumph, Survival, and Resistance

    Mar 27 2018

    A young, courageous African American woman risked it all to gain freedom from America’s First Family in the late 18th century. Ona, or “Oney,” Judge escaped George Washington’s Philadelphia mansion after years of serving as a seamstress for the famous founding father. There’s little written about Judge. Historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar stumbled on Judge’s story by chance when she discovered a runaway slave advertisement. “I remember sitting back and saying, ‘Who is this Ona Judge and why don’t I...more

  • Living a Moral Life

    Mar 21 2018

    For centuries the human race has been grappling with how to live a moral life. In this conversation we hear from scholars who think deeply about moral philosophy and helping others. David Brooks suggests that, “We have words and emotional instincts about what feels right and wrong,” yet questions the criteria we use to “help us think, argue, and decide.” New Yorker author Larissa MacFarquhar profiles a number of do-gooders whose deep, even extreme moral commitment leads as frequently to criticis...more

  • What's Possible When Young People Speak Up?

    Mar 14 2018

    Throughout history, young people have been at the center of activism: the Civil Rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the labor movement, and now gun violence. What barriers do young people have to overcome to get adults to listen? What tactics must they employ to get people in power to take them seriously? We hear from young student activists working on issues of racism, inequity, and transgender rights. One recent movement, the #MeToo effort, has mobilized people across the globe in a short per...more

  • The Nature of Evil: Paul Bloom and Graeme Wood

    Mar 06 2018

    Why do people do evil things? We hear from Yale psychologist Paul Bloom and journalist Graeme Wood about the nature of evil. Bloom studies morality in babies, children, and adults. Wood immersed himself in ISIS, readings the terror group’s propaganda and conversing with its members, in order to write the book The Way of Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State. Graeme explains that ISIS members aren’t crazy but are driven to do horrific evil deeds, like murder and rape. Why do they carry out...more

  • Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

    Feb 28 2018

    The debate around gun laws is resurfacing in the wake of the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Can America’s shared sorrow inspire a consensus that gun violence should be tackled as a public health issue? For years former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has labeled gun deaths this way. “Whenever you have large numbers of people who are dying for preventable reasons,” he says, “that constitutes a public health crisis.” Murthy is a supporter of gun laws. In fact, his confirmation i...more

  • How History's Mistakes Guide Today's Leaders

    Feb 21 2018

    Historian Jon Meacham has written extensively about the presidency, with acclaimed books on Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt, and most recently, George H. W. Bush. What does his research into these presidents suggest about the nature of the office? What might we learn from the past about the current state of politics, the White House, and perhaps more broadly, democracy in America? He speaks with John Dickerson, co-host of "CBS This Morning." Find the Aspen Insight ...more

  • US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

    Feb 13 2018

    US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith says her true self comes out in her work. Poetry, she says, helps her wrestle with dark, sometimes unresolvable questions. In this episode she reads new and old work that examines subjects like death, the afterlife, nature, and African American history. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light, and three books of poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Life on Mars. Her book Wade in the Water is due out this spring. She was appoin...more

  • Why We Need to Talk About Race

    Feb 06 2018

    If you’re white and middle class, you were probably raised thinking that discussing race was impolite. Color blindness was seen as a virtue. But in truth, color blindness is an insidious form of racial oppression, says Ford Foundation President Darren Walker. In this episode, Walker and Jeff Raikes, former CEO of the Gates Foundation, speak with Michele Norris, director of The Bridge at the Aspen Institute, about how color blindness affects social policy. Find the Aspen Insight episode, "Wh...more

  • Norman Lear & Khizr Khan: Understanding American Values

    Jan 31 2018

    Norman Lear is the prolific television writer and producer of stories about diverse American life—among them “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” and “Maude”—as well as a lifelong political and social activist. Khizr Khan is a Pakistani American lawyer, speaker at the 2016 Democratic Convention, and parent of US Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War. Born 28 years and 7,000 miles apart in Connecticut and Pakistan, today they are ...more

  • What's Driving Our Political Polarization?

    Jan 23 2018

    Trust in civic, religious, and academic institutions is at an all-time low in America. But this phenomenon did not, as some Americans might believe, begin when President Trump was elected. It has been on the decline for decades, and while it has been falling, individualism and tribalism have been on the rise. And these tribes — tied to each other with ever fewer common threads — are moving farther and farther apart in almost every measurable way, from geography to politics to economic and educat...more

  • Susan Orlean: It's Okay to be Clueless

    Jan 16 2018

    New York Times best-selling author Susan Orlean says ignorance about a subject is a powerful ignitor of curiosity. As someone who has written about bullfighters, orchid fanatics, and an African king who drives a taxi in New York City, she knows a thing or two about delving into far-flung topics. How can we learn to take in the world as an enthusiast and as a curious person? It’s especially important for writers, she says, but it’s more a state of mind than a professional tool. And in this height...more

  • What Would MLK Say About Today's America?

    Jan 09 2018

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day is January 15. If Dr. King was still alive today, what would he think of the progress of the black community? How far have we come toward racial equality since the civil rights era? Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard professor and filmmaker, says there have been both steps forward, and steps backward. While America elected its first African American president, the number of black men behind bars is five times the number of white men. African American superstars like Oprah...more

  • The Next Big Challenge in Your Life

    Jan 02 2018

    What if you examined your life in the context of all of its stages? The annunciation and initiation phases in your youth and young adulthood are full of discovery and learning. Then, the odyssey years in your twenties bring wandering and loneliness and lead to a commitment-making phase in your thirties. David Brooks, author and New York Times op-ed columnist, says life’s mountains and valleys shape who we are and eventually lead us to a “second mountain.” This phase, later in life, often results...more

  • Living the Creative Life

    Dec 26 2017

    How is creativity cultivated in childhood? And, does a creative culture at home result in a creative career later on? Authors Jess Walter, Dani Shapiro, and Jericho Brown explain how their early years contributed to a life of writing. Such a life isn’t easy, with rejection, confusion, and disappointment making the pursuit an uphill battle. The writers describe how they find time to put pen to paper, and they read from their works. Don’t miss this funny, reflective, and inspiring discussion moder...more

  • The Power of History, Community, and Hope

    Dec 19 2017

    Though his grandparents were his primary caretakers, Eric Motley was raised by a community. The author, former White House staffer, and Aspen Institute vice president says the townspeople of Madison Park, Alabama, taught him everything he needed to know about love and faith. Madison Park was founded by freed slaves in 1880, and Motley learned early about his heritage and legacy. While he cleaned graves and left flowers at the local cemetery, his neighbors taught him about his past. Racial injust...more

  • Coping with Disappointment, Setback, and Crisis

    Dec 12 2017

    Theo Padnos is an American journalist held captive by al-Qaeda for nearly two years. He was physically and psychologically tortured, but emerged with grace, forgiveness, and generosity. David Bradley, owner of Atlantic Media, was instrumental in freeing Padnos. He says Padnos is an example of someone who handles life’s greatest lows well. Though we likely won’t end up imprisoned by extremists, many of us will face lows such as the death of a loved one, a career stumble, or bankruptcy. Bradley sa...more

  • The US Government’s Doomsday Plans

    Dec 05 2017

    For 60 years, the US government has been laying secret doomsday plans to save itself in the event of nuclear war — even while the rest of us die. Today, a third generation of doomsday planners are settling into life inside a network of bunkers that are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to house top government officials in the event of catastrophe. How did these Cold War-era plans come together, how have they evolved over time, and how prepared are we for a worst-case scenario? Featu...more

  • What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur?

    Nov 28 2017

    America has always meant business. We’re a nation of self-starters, strivers, and entrepreneurs — with the courage to take big risks and the confidence to determine our own destiny. But, are courage and confidence alone enough for success? Kevin O’Leary, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and chairman of O’Shares Investments, explains what makes a good entrepreneur. How important are start-up’s to the American economy? And are government, regulations, and taxes impeding the start and growth of companies? ...more

  • The Future of News: Is There a War on Truth?

    Nov 21 2017

    Is the internet loosening our collective grasp on the truth? Pioneers of digital news once argued that new online sources would bring us new perspectives about the world. They did not anticipate the internet would destroy traditional media gatekeepers and give everyone a chance to indulge in news that confirms their preexisting ideas. How does the mass media fit into this landscape? Does the role of newspaper publisher or local TV station owner now belong to Facebook and Google? How do we sort f...more

  • The Epidemic of Loneliness

    Nov 14 2017

    A crisis is emerging that could pose as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse: social isolation. Neuroscientists have identified regions of the brain that respond to loneliness, and a powerful body of research shows that lonely people are more likely to become ill, experience cognitive decline, and die early. Across the industrialized world, millions of people live with sparse human contact, putting their well-being at risk. Does social media drive loneliness, or help to ...more

  • Being Muslim and American in 2017

    Nov 07 2017

    Muslim Americans — especially those who work in government or in other ways to counter radicalism and terrorism — feel caught in the middle. Much of American society questions their patriotism, while their own communities question their loyalty. The Department of Homeland Security’s Haris Tarin joins Rabia Chaudry, author, attorney, and activist, for a discussion about being Muslim and American in 2017. Find our companion episode "The Future Dialogue on Race," by clicking here. Follow ...more

  • The Three Lives of James Madison

    Oct 31 2017

    Madison's legacy matters today more than ever. As founding genius he made the Constitution to avoid faction. Then he discovered the real world required parties — so he founded one and became a partisan. Ultimately he turned to foreign policy, seeking to establish America's place in the world without force. He almost succeeded. Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman discusses his new biography The Three Lives of James Madison. Find our companion episode, "The Curse of Bigness," by clicking ...more

  • Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide with Cass Sunstein

    Oct 24 2017

    In our politically charged climate, it’s not uncommon to hear about impeachment. Earlier this month, a billionaire environmentalist launched a campaign to impeach President Trump. How does the process of impeachment really work? What’s an impeachable offense? And how many presidents have been impeached? Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein offers a nonpartisan, historical guide — with some reverence — and even awe, for our constitutional order, and for the power it gives We the People. Sunstein’s...more

  • The Imagination of Leonardo da Vinci with Walter Isaacson

    Oct 17 2017

    Walter Isaacson is fascinated by innovators — the kinds of geniuses whose ideas have transformed industry, science, and society. Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin each grabbed his attention in ways that allow us, as readers, to discover the depth and breadth of their brilliant thinking and creative sensibilities. Now comes Leonardo da Vinci, whose boundless curiosity renders him perhaps the greatest creative genius of all time. Isaacson explains the lessons that da Vinci left be...more

  • Infidelity and the Future of Relationships (Rebroadcast)

    Oct 10 2017

    Why do happily married couples cheat? Why does the modern egalitarian approach to marriage quash desire? Are the heightened expectations we bring to modern love combined with our pursuit of happiness directly related to infidelity? In this special rebroadcast, author and couples therapist Esther Perel tackles the topic of infidelity. Her book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity was released October 10, 2017. Perel is interviewed by Hanna Rosin, co-host of NPR’s Invisibilia. This week's r...more

  • Jeffrey Sachs on Why We're Living in a Dangerous Time

    Oct 03 2017

    World-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs is distressed about the political and social atmosphere in the United States. With advances in technology, he says we can choose to do the ultimate good or create unimaginable disaster. Why aren’t we ending poverty, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and protecting the earth’s biodiversity? He believes it’s because smart policy decisions in Washington are being held up by special interests. In this episode, he talks to Steve Clemons, Washington editor-a...more

  • WTF (What's The Future)?

    Sep 26 2017

    The “next economy,” or digital revolution, is restructuring every business, job, and sector of society. By 2055, it’s estimated that half of today’s work activities will be automated. Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, says we should be harnessing technology, rather than fearing it, to grow jobs and increase economic activity. He speaks with Charles Duhigg, senior editor and columnist for The New York Times, about O’Reilly’s new book WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us. T...more

  • The Best Sports Town in America

    Sep 19 2017

    The tiny town of Norwich, Vermont, has likely produced more Olympians per capita than anywhere else in the United States. Over the past thirty years, the town of 3,000 has sent an athlete to almost every Winter Olympics. New York Times sports writer Karen Crouse traveled to Norwich to discover the town’s secret. Also in this episode, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred discusses taking the professionalism out of youth sports, and creating a simpler, more informal atmosphere of play. F...more

  • On Being Latino in America Today

    Sep 12 2017

    As Latino Americans emerge as the majority minority and the new mainstream, representing 18 percent of the US population, questions are emerging about how Latinos fit into the national narrative. Latinos are revitalizing rural communities, starting businesses, and entering the workforce and educational system at record rates, yet they're often lost among the traditional storylines of race and identity. How is this population handling political pressures like the Wall, deportation, and President ...more

  • The Road from Paris, Featuring Ernest Moniz

    Sep 06 2017

    What are the consequences of the United States backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement? In June, the Trump administration announced the move. In this episode, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says exiting the Agreement is bad for science-based decision making, national and energy security, and innovation. However, he says, there’s one note of optimism: cities, states, and the business community are primed to keep the country on course to the low carbon future that we need. Moniz speaks wi...more

  • Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, Featuring Kurt Andersen

    Aug 29 2017

    Has the great American experiment in liberty gone off the rails? Kurt Andersen’s latest book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, a 500 Year History, is a provocative chronicle of magical thinking and make-believe. It provides a new paradigm for understanding the post-factual present, where reality and illusion are dangerously blurred. He and journalist Jeffrey Goldberg discuss the history that religion plays in America’s roots and world view. According to Andersen, history shows Americans ha...more

  • National Security in the Age of 'America First'

    Aug 25 2017

    The Trump Administration has said it’s “committed to a foreign policy focused on American interests and American national security.” Critics have said Trump is isolating the US by withdrawing from the Paris agreement, waffling on a commitment to NATO, and abandoning the TPP. But, this month the president deepened American involvement abroad by announcing the US would deploy more troops to Afghanistan. It’s a conflict he once called “futile,” reports the New York Times. What is the Trump doctrine...more

  • CRISPR: A Crack in Creation

    Aug 22 2017

    CRISPR is the cheapest, simplest, and most effective way of manipulating DNA. It has the power to give us the cure to HIV, genetic diseases, and some cancers. It could even help address the world’s hunger crisis. But, it may result in unforeseen consequences. The technology could lead to intentionally mutating embryos to create “better” humans. Jennifer Doudna, whose research helped create CRISPR, speaks with Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson about the latest technological developments i...more

  • Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White

    Aug 18 2017

    What role does faith play in bringing people together? Reverend Adam Hamilton pastors the largest United Methodist church in America. Within his Kansas congregation, he observes deep divisions that reflect the larger disunity in our nation. These divisions, he thinks, are tearing at our social fabric. His plan: to get people to think differently by focusing on influencing, not irritating, and seeing the humanity in others — even those we strongly disagree with. He speaks with David Brooks, New Y...more

  • Hate on the Rise

    Aug 15 2017

    Hate groups are growing and the number of hate-fueled incidents is spiking in America. The latest incident was in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists violently clashed with anti-fascist groups and other protesters. In the first month after Donald Trump won the presidency, the Southern Poverty Law Center catalogued 1,051 acts of intimidation and hate. Is hate on the rise? How do the events of today compare to other periods of extremism in America? Featured speakers are Heidi Beiri...more

  • The Opioid Tsunami

    Aug 11 2017

    It’s been called the most perilous drug crisis ever and it was generated in the healthcare system. The epicenter of the opioid crisis is the United States, where overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999. President Trump has pledged to step up law enforcement and prevention. In this episode, a panel of experts discuss what’s being done, what needs to be done, and what we know works and doesn’t. Featuring Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of...more

  • Securing the Homeland, Featuring John Kelly

    Aug 08 2017

    In this episode, you’ll hear from the nation’s new White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Kelly spoke in July at the Aspen Security Forum. At the time, his job was Homeland Security Secretary. In his conversation with Pete Williams, justice correspondent for NBC News, Kelly talks about Putin’s Russia, cybersecurity, and immigration. You’ll also get a glimpse of his leadership style. How will it apply to his new role as Chief of Staff?

  • The Roots and Future of Populism

    Aug 04 2017

    The confluence of globalization and the information revolution has primed the United States, and the world, for a resurgence of populism. Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” explains how the populist ideology helped President Trump win the White House. Trump’s message of cultural anxiety connected with voters. It’s not an unfamiliar ideology. In this episode, Zakaria opens the history book and explains how past trends are re-emerging today. He also reflects on the rise and root c...more

  • Millennials and Motivation, Featuring Simon Sinek and Adam Grant

    Aug 01 2017

    Millennials shoulder a lot of stereotypes. They’re called entitled and in need of instant gratification. They’re not committed to their work and expect a work-life balance at their very first job. Do these labels actually define them? Are they really any different than the generations before them? In this lighthearted and informative conversation, organizational psychologist Adam Grant and inspirational teacher Simon Sinek sit down with Katie Couric. Couric is an award-winning journalist. They e...more

  • Under Assault, Featuring John Brennan and James Clapper

    Jul 28 2017

    What are the most pressing external and internal threats to the United States? Two former US Intelligence officials discuss Syria, Russia, ISIS, and President Trump’s embattled relationship with the Intelligence community. John Brennan, former CIA Director, and James Clapper, former US Director of Intelligence, sit down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Their conversation was part of the Aspen Security Forum, held in July 2017.

  • Tom Price: Federal Health Care Policy

    Jul 25 2017

    After many setbacks, a possible vote to overhaul of the Affordable Care Act is back on the table. President Trump is urging Senators to pass a bill that repeals and replaces the ACA. In today’s show, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price talks about the efforts in Washington, and what it’s like to work with President Trump. In his conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief of The Atlantic, Price discusses Trump’s leadership style, the opioid crisis, and proposed cuts to agencies...more

  • Can the Democrats Get Their Groove Back? Featuring Cory Booker

    Jul 21 2017

    Democrats face an uphill battle: republicans control the House, Senate, and the White House. Democrats hold the lowest number of state legislative seats since the turn of the 20th century. And, the number of governors who are Democrats is at its lowest level since the 1920s. In this episode, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat, talks about the problems Democrats, and all Americans, need to confront to move the US forward. He says Republicans and Democrats need to unite to solve problems l...more

  • Conservatism, the Republican Party, and President Trump

    Jul 18 2017

    Despite controlling both the White House and Congress, the Republican Party has had a bumpy ride in the first months of the Trump administration. Trump isn’t a traditional party standard-bearer. So, can the party and the White House get in alignment on priorities and core values? What impact will the divide over ideology have on the Republican Party? Featuring Bill Kristol, editor-at-large of The Weekly Standard, Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review, McKay Coppins, staff writer at T...more

  • What Have We Learned from Listening to America?

    Jul 14 2017

    Over the past year, the United States has been described as profoundly divided. But are these divisions as deep and hopeless as we think? The journalists in today’s show have made careers out of asking questions and listening to American voices. What have they gleaned from their thousands of conversations and interactions with people across the US? Featuring Joshua Johnson, Melissa Block, James Fallows, and Charles Sykes.

  • Can We Prevent a North Korea Crisis?

    Jul 11 2017

    Known as the “land of lousy options,” North Korea has posed problems for the US for decades. But now, the country is testing its missiles regularly and the situation is increasingly dire. What are the best solutions for dealing with this escalating crisis? In this episode, speakers at the Aspen Ideas Festival work to demystify the North Korea subject, cut through the rhetoric, and examine what solutions are possible. Elizabeth Economy, director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations...more

  • TAKEOVER 6: Michele Norris Interviews Mitch Landrieu & Others

    Jul 07 2017

    In our final podcast takeover episode, award-winning journalist Michele Norris discusses the legacy of slavery with a US mayor and the necessity of solitude with a best-selling author. In a conversation with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Norris asks about Landrieu’s recent decision to remove four Confederate statues. Separately, Norris, who leads a program on race and cultural identity at the Aspen Institute, discusses the writing process with Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and wri...more

  • TAKEOVER 5: Joshua Johnson Interviews Simon Sinek

    Jul 01 2017

    Joshua Johnson, host of WAMU’s “1A,” interviews Simon Sinek in this Takeover episode. Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. His 2009 Ted talk about how great leaders inspire others to take action, is the third most watched talk on TED.com. His books include Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action; Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t; Together is Better; and the forthcoming Find Your Why. In this discussion, Sinek disc...more

  • TAKEOVER 4: Pete Dominick Interviews Travon Free & Others

    Jun 30 2017

    In this Takeover episode, two comedians and a writer — Pete Dominick, Travon Free, and Wajahat Ali — discuss politics, race, and a changing America. How should citizens and politicians talk about race? What is white privilege? And how can we, as a country, find solutions to the problems minority communities face? This lively and funny conversation touches on serious topics. Travon Free is an actor and comedian who writes for “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.” Wajahat Ali is a New York Times op-ed...more

  • TAKEOVER 3: Susan Page Interviews Jeffrey Seller & Others

    Jun 29 2017

    Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA Today, takes over the podcast by interviewing a panel of DC outsiders. Nobody thinks Washington is working well these days. Page turns to unexpected sources — Liz Dozier, an award-winning educator from Chicago; Jeffrey Seller, a celebrated theatrical producer from New York; and Joshua Greene, an exceptional psychologist from Harvard — to brainstorm on what advice other disciplines might have to offer the world of politics. What are the lessons from stud...more

  • TAKEOVER 2: Perri Peltz Interviews Neal Katyal

    Jun 28 2017

    In this Takeover episode, we examine the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to take the case regarding President Trump’s travel ban. The move was discussed at the Aspen Ideas Festival in an onstage panel including former US Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former US Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal. The show includes an interview between Katyal and Podcast Takeover Host Perri Peltz. Peltz is a journalist and documentary filmmaker.

  • TAKEOVER 1: Julie Rovner Interviews Lanhee Chen & Others

    Jun 25 2017

    During the week of the Aspen Ideas Festival, going on now through July 1, five Takeover Hosts—Julie Rovner, Michele Norris, Joshua Johnson, Pete Dominick, and Susan Page—will extend the exciting conversations happening at the Aspen Idea Festival by interviewing other speakers right here on the podcast. This episode features Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, speaking with Lanhee Chen of the Hoover Institution, reproductive justice advocate Dr. Willie J. Parker, ...more

  • You're More Powerful Than You Think

    Jun 21 2017

    Black Lives Matter, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and many other groups have developed in recent years as a response to the age we’re living in — an age of epic political turbulence. Author Eric Liu says people across the political spectrum are reclaiming power. In his book You’re More Powerful Than You Think, he lays out the strategies of reform and revolution. In this episode, Liu uses examples from the right and the left to reveal the core laws of power. He highlights what movements hav...more

  • A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    Jun 14 2017

    As the second female justice confirmed to the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg says her experiences as a female give her a unique perspective her male colleagues don’t share. In this episode, Justice Ginsburg talks about her relationships with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and the late Antonin Scalia. She also explains what it’s like to work with newly-elected Justice Neil Gorsuch. Her discussion with the Aspen Wye Fellows, also touches on her book My Own Words. Ginsburg is interviewed by El...more

  • Jane McGonigal: The Future of Imagination

    Jun 06 2017

    Thinking about the far-off future isn’t just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, as new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism. In this session from master game designer and acclaimed futurist Jane McGonigal, you’ll learn three practical habits that will increase the power of your imagination—and you’ll have the chance to use your creativity to foresee some of the biggest ways our lives will change by the year...more

  • Katie Couric and Beau Willimon (Rebroadcast)

    May 30 2017

    Netflix releases the fifth season of House of Cards today (5/30). In this encore episode Katie Couric interviews House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. The interview, from the Aspen Ideas Festival, took place before the show’s third season in 2015. The two have a lively conversation about Willimon’s career (he studied painting in college and later worked on political campaigns), and the turbulent lives of the show’s characters. NOTE: This episode contains explicit language.

  • Finding Common Ground

    May 23 2017

    In this era of deep partisanship, how can common ground be found on Capitol Hill and on Main Street? In this episode, a pair of party leaders tackle relevant political questions, focusing on the divided state of America. Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele sits down with Tom Perez, head of the Democratic National Committee. Voters are increasingly disappointed by candidates who win an election but then, don’t follow through on campaign promises. Could voter dismay lead to t...more

  • An American Sickness

    May 16 2017

    Elisabeth Rosenthal writes about our broken healthcare system in her new book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. She says the system, comprised of hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers, is in tatters. Social and financial incentives have infected it, she says, rendering it disastrous and immoral. How has the Affordable Care Act impacted the system? And what kind of effect would a repeal have? Rosenthal is an emergency...more

  • The Future Dialogue on Race

    May 09 2017

    While the subject of race and racism will likely continue to be a contentious topic for years to come, it is a discussion that is imperative for civil society. How does the dialogue on race continue? Will protests in the streets and boycotts become the new mode of discourse? What can be done to ease racial anxiety and promote common understanding? Former NPR Host and Director of The Race Card Project Michele Norris leads a discussion about how to converse about race with Khizr Khan, Adam Foss, a...more

  • Inequality and Opportunity

    May 02 2017

    When poet Elizabeth Acevedo taught creative writing to young women of color in a detention center, she recognized their trauma and avoided the teacher-as-savior mentality. Acevedo spoke at the Aspen Institute’s Summit on Inequality and Opportunity. The Summit brings together policymakers, thought leaders, and social entrepreneurs to talk about widening the opportunity gap. This episode features Acevedo and Arthur Brooks, president of American Enterprise Institute. He talks about the secret to re...more

  • Space—Why We Explore

    Apr 25 2017

    Why do human beings explore? And, why are the most adventurous explorers drawn to outer space? Naturalist and astronomer David Aguilar explains why the drive for adventure fades after childhood, and how we can regain it as adults. Also, a group of physicists dig into what the universe is made of. Janna Levin, Lisa Randall, and Lawrence Krauss debate black holes, and whether they actually exist. Their conversation is led by Ira Flatow, host of Public Radio International’s Science Friday.

  • A House Divided

    Apr 18 2017

    Less than a month into his presidency, Donald Trump made combative and accusatory remarks on Twitter about the intelligence community for a report on Russian connections. Are his messages undermining the legitimacy of the intelligence community? If so, will the agencies be less effective in making decisions around national security? Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden joins former acting CIA Director John McLaughlin and Juan Zarate, former Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Te...more

  • Combating Kleptocracy

    Apr 11 2017

    Kleptocracy presents a growing threat to US national security and international peace, as money laundering and other forms of public “grand corruption” increasingly undermine democracy, cripple development, weaken Western soft power, and accelerate state collapse. Can an International Anti-Corruption Court, modeled on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, tackle the problem? Meryl Chertoff, head of the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program, leads a discussion with Deborah Connor, ...more

  • "Hidden Figures" Author on Storytelling, Race, & Science

    Apr 04 2017

    Margot Lee Shetterly, author of Hidden Figures, says “It’s one thing to tell your own story, it’s another thing to take responsibility to tell someone else’s life.” Her book about a group of black women mathematicians who helped catapult the US space program to success became a blockbuster film. In this episode, she tells Michele Norris, former NPR host and director of an Aspen Institute program, that she grew up among the women she wrote about. Later in the show, another award-winning author wh...more

  • (Mis)Imagining the Future

    Mar 28 2017

    Renowned Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert describes the foibles of imagination and illusions of foresight that cause each of us to misconceive our tomorrows and misestimate our satisfactions. Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine the future, and about our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get ...more

  • The Industries of the Future

    Mar 21 2017

    If the 20 years from 1995 to 2015 were shaped in significant measure by digitization and the rise of the internet, what’s next? What will define the next decade? Drawing from his highly-praised New York Times best-seller The Industries of the Future, Alec Ross provides a view into the forces that will carve tomorrow’s economy and the difficult, necessary steps that must be taken to prepare ourselves and our children for a world with powerful artificial intelligence, robotics, and scientific deve...more

  • Einstein's Creativity (Rebroadcast)

    Mar 14 2017

    Albert Einstein was no Einstein when he was a kid. He was slow to talk and was even dubbed “the dopey one.” But, Einstein said, slow development gave him time to wonder about things most people don’t spend time on and as a result, his imagination flourished. In this rebroadcast, Aspen Institute President and Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson delves into the source of Einstein’s creativity. Where did it come from? How was it reflected in his life? And what can we learn from it?

  • Can We Reclaim Civitas in American Society?

    Mar 07 2017

    Everything—from the country’s place in the world to the social contract between citizens, government, and the private sector—seems to be knotted in hard, uncompromising debates. In this episode, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, former presidential advisor David Gergen, and Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large for The Atlantic, discuss how the country can regain a spirit of...more

  • Richard Haass on a World in Disarray

    Feb 28 2017

    Chaos in the Middle East, instability in Europe, and a reckless North Korea are signals that the world is increasingly defined by disorder. Author and Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass says the world needs an updated global operating system. The guidelines and institutions that have led the world since World War II are outdated and unable to deal with modern threats like terrorism, cyber, and climate change. Haass speaks with Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson about his...more

  • What Is Technology's Toll on Intimacy?

    Feb 21 2017

    Thanks to technology, we are more connected than ever—digitally. But at what cost? How have technologies, like online dating sites and apps like Tinder, changed attitudes and behaviors? How do we choose a partner and stay interested when we have an almost infinite world of choices at our fingertips? Will marriage become a thing of the past? Match.com’s Chief Scientific Advisor Helen Fisher joins Eric Klinenberg, co-author of Modern Romance, and Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises ...more

  • How to Survive Our Faster Future

    Feb 14 2017

    The world is more complex and volatile today than at any other time in modern history. In order to successfully navigate a rapidly changing world, author and MIT Media Lab Director, Joichi “Joi” Ito says you must be alert and nimble. In his book Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future, he writes the people who succeed will be the ones who learn to think differently. In this conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, Ito talks about how President Trump’s ability to be...more

  • Race and History

    Feb 07 2017

    As the US continues to grapple with issues of race, history is proving to be an invaluable tool to underscore and discuss uncomfortable truths still governing the dynamics of race. How can history help us face and overcome troubling truths? Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, speaks with Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust about his organization’s efforts to build a museum examining the legacy of slavery, racial terrorism, segregation, and police violence. Stev...more

  • Universal Basic Income: Can It Renew Our Economy?

    Jan 31 2017

    Author and former labor union leader Andy Stern thinks universal basic income is the key to solving problems plaguing America’s economy. He wrote about it in his book Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream. As technology takes over jobs humans used to do, the old idea is gaining new attention. Universal basic income has been supported by Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles Murray, Robert Reich, and Milton Friedman. Stern lays out why it’...more

  • Healthy Gut, Healthy Body

    Jan 24 2017

    How are diet and lifestyle linked to bacterial communities in the gut? How can growing knowledge about gut health be used to develop new therapies? Researchers are learning how the gut microbiome responds to the food we eat, influencing obesity, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and even mental health. Trillions of bacteria inhabit the human gut, working in close and complex symbiosis with our cells. Novel analytic methods offer new insights about those biochemical interactions, and ...more

  • How a Nudge Can Change Everything

    Jan 17 2017

    Those who study human behavior have learned that simply by encouraging—or “nudging”—individuals toward the right decisions for themselves, dramatic improvements can be made. Cultural commentator David Brooks and Cass Sunstein, legal scholar and the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School, discuss the power of “nudge” and how, broadly implemented, it can be a force for substantial change.

  • The Obama Legacy

    Jan 10 2017

    In these final days of Barack Obama’s presidency, we consider how the future will view his leadership. Will economic recovery and health care victories at home be overshadowed by what many see as his failure to intervene meaningfully in conflicts abroad? Critics on the left wish the president had gone further on several key issues, while critics on the right have little good to say about Obama’s governance. With an approval rating of 55 percent, the highest it’s been in years, President Obama se...more

  • The Science of Meditation

    Jan 03 2017

    What actually happens to the brain when we meditate? Published studies have documented the many physical and mental health benefits of meditation, including decreased pain, better immune function, less anxiety and depression, a heightened sense of well-being, and greater happiness and emotional self-control. Imaging studies show, with meditation there’s increased activity in brain regions associated with attention, a higher volume of grey matter, and lessened amygdala response to emotional stimu...more

  • On Being a Transgender American

    Dec 27 2016

    “I spent the first half of my life being afraid,” says Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of the bestselling memoir of transgender experience, She’s Not There, “and the second half telling people to be brave.” In this episode, Boylan opens up about her battle with suicide, how society treats her differently as a female, and the power of love and family. She talks about living life as a father for six years, a mother for twelve, and neither for a few years in between. She’s interviewed by Kirsten Pow...more

  • Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

    Dec 21 2016

    Author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman says the world has entered an age of dizzying acceleration, and in this episode, he explains how to live in it. His latest book Thank you for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations delves into mega changes in terms of computing power, the global economy, and the environment. How do these changes interact? How do we keep up with a quickly changing world? Friedman discusses his book with Aspen Institute Preside...more

  • The Curse of Bigness

    Dec 13 2016

    Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was the greatest critic of big business and big government since Thomas Jefferson. He served in the early 20th century and was the Court’s first Jewish justice. In this lively conversation, Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center talks with Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, about Brandeis’s relevance in today’s political climate, and for the future of privacy, technology, and free speech.

  • Infidelity and the Future of Relationships

    Dec 06 2016

    Why do happily married couples cheat? Why does the modern egalitarian approach to marriage quash desire? Are the heightened expectations we bring to modern love combined with our pursuit of happiness directly related to infidelity? In this episode, author and couples therapist Esther Perel tackles the topic of infidelity. Perel is recognized as one of the most insightful and provocative voices on personal and romantic relationships and the complex science behind human interaction. She wrote the ...more

  • The Choices That Create Your Life

    Nov 29 2016

    New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a life well lived. In this episode he examines happiness and commitments. In his book The Road to Character, he studies people who radiate an inner light. What work did they do to reach higher levels of happiness? A successful life usually depends on making four major commitments: to spouse or family, a faith or philosophy, a community, and a vocation. How do we choose what we will commit to, and how do we execute those commitments?

  • National Security Priorities for President-Elect Trump

    Nov 22 2016

    Mike Mullen, retired admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the national security challenges the new Trump administration will face are plentiful. Mullen gives insight into President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national security advisor, General Mike Flynn. What kind of leader will he be? And how will he guide Trump – who has no national security experience – on issues centered around Russia, China, and Syria? Foreign policy experts, journalists, students and Aspen Inst...more

  • What Should You Be Eating to Live a Longer Life?

    Nov 15 2016

    To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and his team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In this episode, Buettner debunks the most common nutrition myths and offers a science-backed blueprint that outlines how the average American can live another 12 quality years. What are the diet and lifestyle habits that keep people spry past age 100? What should you be eating to live a longer life? Buettner is in conversatio...more

  • The Four Sources of Happiness (Rebroadcast)

    Nov 08 2016

    Most people think that happiness has four sources: the sensory pleasures, material wealth, romantic relationships, and children. But recent research suggests that much of what people think about happiness is wrong. Daniel Gilbert, author of "Stumbling on Happiness," hosts this symposium in which experts discuss what science has discovered about each of these sources. The featured speakers are Paul Bloom, author of "How Pleasure Works"; Tim Kasser, author of "The High Pri...more

  • Jeff Bezos on High Tech, Space, and Artificial Intelligence

    Nov 01 2016

    When Amazon launched, it employed just ten people. Now it’s one of the largest retailers in the world. CEO Jeff Bezos describes what companies need in today’s fast-paced, high tech business environment. He explains how Alexa is different from Siri and why he decided to invest in the Washington Post and an aerospace company. AOL Cofounder Steve Case, Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard, and Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson are also featured. The discussions were part of Vanity Fair’s N...more

  • BONUS Forecasting Election 2016

    Oct 27 2016

    The countdown to Election Day is on, and political analysts are giving their predictions. In this bonus episode, Charlie Cook and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report weigh in on the outcome for the presidential race and contests in the US House and Senate. They spoke on Wednesday, October 26th as part of the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Roundtable Series.

  • Joe Biden & the Cancer Moonshot Plan

    Oct 25 2016

    Today, more than 200 known types of cancer exist, and it is the second leading cause of death in the US. In January 2016, President Obama announced a new effort to fight the disease: the Cancer Moonshot. Led by Vice President Joe Biden, the initiative is meant to accelerate research, broaden the number of therapies for patients, and find ways to prevent and detect cancer earlier. In this episode, Biden gets personal about his connection to cancer and why he’s fighting to break down the barriers ...more

  • The American Economy & the Election

    Oct 18 2016

    The economy is a key issue for American voters. In July, more than 80 percent of registered voters polled by the Pew Research Center said the economy was the number one issue, right after terrorism. This episode examines the country's workforce and what's influencing job creation and job loss. Featured speakers include General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, US Senator Mark Warner, and others.

  • On the Road to Artificial Intelligence

    Oct 11 2016

    Once the realm of science fiction, smart machines are rapidly becoming part of our world—and these technologies offer amazing potential to improve the way we live. Imagine intelligent, autonomous vehicles that reduce crashes and robots that can help your aged grandma move around safely. In this episode, Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, talks with John Markoff of The New York Times about how scientists are pushing the boundaries of human knowledge in autonomous vehicles and robot...more

  • What's Fueling an Angry America?

    Oct 04 2016

    It’s difficult to ignore anger in the United States right now—talking heads battle on cable news, protesters get violent at campaign rallies, and families can’t talk politics around the dinner table. What’s fueling the anger? And how can it be managed? In this episode, panelists Mickey Edwards, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Stephen Carter, and Arthur Brooks explore the variables contributing to an angry America. Edwards blames rhetoric from the presidential candidates, the media, and an education system...more

  • Notes on Race and Resegregation

    Sep 27 2016

    Author Jeff Chang says America has slid back toward segregation in our neighborhoods, schools, colleges and universities, and in our culture. In his new book “We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation” he examines recent tragedies and protests. One chapter chronicles Chang’s visit to Ferguson, Missouri one year after Michael Brown was shot and killed by police. In this episode, Chang talks about the Black Lives Matter movement, respectability politics, and the power of Beyoncé’s Lemona...more

  • Finding Meaning in Our Work

    Sep 20 2016

    The average American spends a third of his or her life working. What is the secret to achieving happiness because of our work and not in spite of it? How can we make a job into a vocation? David Brooks and Arthur Brooks have both studied and written about these questions. They say, no matter what the job is, the answer is to find meaning in it. In this episode, the thought leaders discuss the elements of meaningful work, the ways to achieve it, and how we can use these insights to improve cultur...more

  • Survivors of the Syrian War

    Sep 13 2016

    The civil war in Syria has raged for five years and killed half a million people. Eleven million refugees have either fled to other countries or are displaced within Syria. In this episode, three survivors share their personal stories of strength and determination under intense and difficult circumstances. Syrian violinist Mariela Shaker says she “ran under bombs and mortars” to send applications to colleges in the United States. Experts in Middle East policy also examine solutions to the war. W...more

  • CIA Director John Brennan on ISIL, Russia, & Cyber Threats

    Sep 06 2016

    In a rare interview, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency weighs in on the global security scene and explains the current risks to the United States. John Brennan is interviewed by Dina Temple-Raston, counterterrorism correspondent for NPR, at the Aspen Security Forum. Even though the Islamic State, or ISIL, has lost territory in the Middle East, it continues to be a “global menace,” according to Brennan. He discusses what’s needed in the fight against the brutal terror group. He also...more

  • Humanities in Decline: A Cultural Crisis

    Aug 30 2016

    Is America turning its back on the humanities? The declining enrollment in disciplines including history, literature, language, philosophy and the arts, at colleges and universities across the country, signals a significant cultural shift. In this episode, Leon Wieseltier, contributing editor for The Atlantic, and Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust unpack why the diminished appeal of the humanities has huge cultural implications. Can this trend be reversed in a challenging age, when technology ...more

  • Rebuilding Trust Between Police and Communities of Color

    Aug 23 2016

    High-profile episodes of violence have highlighted excessive force and mistreatment of people of color by police. And this summer, police have become targets of violence with attacks in cities like Dallas and Baton Rouge. This episode examines the way forward for law enforcement and the communities they are duty-bound to “serve and protect.” We hear from law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and activists. How will the frayed relationship between police and citizen...more

  • A Bright Future for Long-Term Coupling

    Aug 16 2016

    Helen Fisher knows a thing or two about relationships. The Kinsey Institute research fellow and Match.com’s lead scientific advisor has spent her career studying couples and romantic behavior. The author of six books, her writing traces human family life from its origins in Africa over 20 million years ago to the internet dating sites and bedrooms of today. Her cutting-edge research, using brain imaging, examines what love and romantic partnership does to our gray matter. In this episode, she ex...more

  • Originals—How Nonconformists Move the World

    Aug 09 2016

    The world doesn’t lack for creative ideas—it lacks people to champion them. Once you have an idea, how do you communicate it? In this episode, Adam Grant, Wharton’s top-rated professor and a New York Times bestselling author of Originals, shares insights on how to speak up without getting silenced, and how to find allies in unexpected places.

  • The Russian Bear on the Prowl

    Aug 02 2016

    Vladimir Putin continues to taunt the US and Europe at every turn by testing NATO’s resolve, propping up Assad, provoking Ukraine, and even doing what he can to further complicate the migrant crisis. Domestically, Russia’s involvement in hacking the Democratic National Convention is in question. Heather Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic; Director, Europe Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies discusses the current state with Elissa Slotkin, Assist...more

  • Women and Millennials: How Will They Vote?

    Jul 26 2016

    With the historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton, feminism is front and center this election. Be it wage inequality, women’s health, or paid family leave, many issues important to women at both ends of the economic divide are hotly contested. Dinner table wars rage, as boomer women and their millennial daughters disagree on Clinton, Sanders, and what being a feminist means when it comes to the vote. In this episode we hear from women involved in modern feminism as well as politically-active millen...more

  • Sen. Tom Cotton on Trump, National Security

    Jul 19 2016

    What do today’s Republicans believe America’s role in the world should be? This week’s episode features US Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, discussing his support for presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Trump has some very different ideas than the Republican foreign policy establishment about the global alliance system, free trade, and the current nuclear order. Cotton, a leading figure in Republican defense and foreign policy circles, explains the Republican worldview, Trump’s worldview, the O...more

  • Gingrich and Romney on the American Spirit of Rebellion

    Jul 12 2016

    Are we witnessing a new era in American politics? Two former Republican presidential candidates weigh in on the 2016 election. Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker, says the presidential race is unlike any he’s ever witnessed, characterized by rebellion against establishment politics in both parties. He predicts presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump will redefine the electoral map. Gingrich is being considered as a potential vice president by Trump. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is...more

  • Christine Lagarde on Brexit

    Jul 06 2016

    On June 23, voters in the UK chose to leave the European Union. Three days after the vote, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. She calls the decision to leave the EU “heartbreaking.” In this episode, Lagarde is interviewed by Jane Harman, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and trustee of the Aspen Institute.

  • TAKEOVER 5: Pete Dominick with Michele Norris and others

    Jul 03 2016

    TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that puts you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Pete Dominick (comedian, radio host) as takeover host in conversation with Michele Norris (journalist, The Race Card Project) and Alec Ross (Author, "The Industries of the Future"). Dominick infuses humor into interesting conversation about politics, culture and future business. Music: Gillicuddy, Podington Bear

  • TAKEOVER 4: Emily Yoffe with Bryan Stevenson and others

    Jul 02 2016

    TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that puts you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Emily Yoffe (The Atlantic) as takeover host in conversation with Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative), Helen Fisher (The Kinsey Institute, Match.com), and Geoffrey Stone (Univ. of Chicago Law School). Yoffe asks probing questions and touches on issues such as the Supreme Court, politics, and love and sex. Music: Gillicuddy, Podington Bear

  • TAKEOVER 3: Franklin Leonard with DeRay Mckesson and others

    Jul 01 2016

    TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that puts you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Franklin Leonard (The Black List Table Reads podcast) as takeover host in conversation with Melody Barnes (former assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; co-founder of MB2 Solutions), DeRay Mckesson (protestor, civil rights activist, and educator), and Sarah Lewis (author, curator, and assistant professor at Ha...more

  • TAKEOVER 2: Maria Hinojosa with Jose Antonio Vargas and others

    Jun 30 2016

    TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that puts you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Maria Hinojosa (NPR's Latino USA) as takeover host in conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas (journalist), Melvin Mar (producer, Fresh Off the Boat), and Roberto Villaseñor (former chief, Tucson Police Dept.). Music: Gillicuddy, Podington Bear

  • TAKEOVER 1: Perri Peltz with Piper Kerman and others

    Jun 28 2016

    TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that put you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Perri Peltz (documentary filmmaker and journalist) as takeover host in conversation with Piper Kerman (author, Orange is the New Black), Seth Berkley (founder of International AIDS Vaccine Initiative), and Adam Foss (co-founder of Prosecutor Integrity Institute). Music: Gillicuddy, Podington Bear

  • Is Violence a Function of Our Culture?

    Jun 21 2016

    Homicide remains an endemic, seemingly unsolvable problem in America. And violent crime afflicts African-American communities to a much greater degree than others, as does mass incarceration — and police violence. What is the cause of this crisis? What is the role of culture? Are there any solutions? This episode features New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu who has been confronting this crisis head-on, in conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic, who has written w...more

  • Aspen Ideas Festival "Big Ideas"

    Jun 14 2016

    Every summer, writers, professors, artists, activists, and others deliver their “big ideas” at the Aspen Ideas Festival. The onstage advice celebrates the Festival itself, which brings together great thinkers to debate and discuss the most important and fascinating issues of our time. The Festival marks its twelfth year in late June. This episode features “big ideas” from as far back as 2007 that cover science, arts education, happiness, and technology. Physicist Brian Greene, opera singer Jessy...more

  • How to Make White People Laugh

    Jun 07 2016

    Author and filmmaker Negin Farsad calls herself a social justice comedian. She works to prove that humor - just like activism - can effectively challenge deep-seated and sclerotic prejudices about race and religion. In her recent book, How to Make White People Laugh, she addresses the mistreatment and misperceptions of Muslims in the US after 9/11. In this episode, she's joined by radio host Dean Obeidallah and Imam Daayiee Abdullah, president and founder of the Mecca Institute. He's one of the ...more

  • "Extra" with David Henry Hwang

    Jun 03 2016

    Now, more than ever, a diversifying United States needs a shared base of knowledge. That’s according to Eric Liu, executive director of the Citizenship and American Identity Program at the Aspen Institute. He’s calling on the American public and cultural leaders to build a crowd-sourced national list of facts and references every American should know. In this “Extra” episode, he talks to David Henry Hwang, Tony-winning American playwright, screenwriter, and opera librettist. He is the child of C...more

  • Diane Rehm on Death with Dignity

    May 31 2016

    Public radio host Diane Rehm lost her husband to Parkinson’s disease nearly two years ago. His was an unconventional death, where, in the end, he refused food, water, and medication. Physician-assisted suicide isn’t permitted in Maryland, the state where he died, so he took matters into his own hands. Now, Diane Rehm is an advocate in the right-to-die debate, or what she terms “right-to-choose.” In this episode, she talks about her memoir On My Own, which details the struggle to reconstruct her ...more

  • "Extra" with Maria Hinojosa

    May 26 2016

    Now, more than ever, a diversifying United States needs a shared base of knowledge. That’s according to Eric Liu, executive director of the Citizenship and American Identity Program at the Aspen Institute. He’s calling on the American public and cultural leaders to build a crowd-sourced national list of facts and references every American should know. In this “Extra” episode, he talks to Maria Hinojosa, an award-winning news anchor and reporter. She founded the Futuro Media Group and hosts Latin...more

  • First Lady Michelle Obama on Making Sports Accessible and Affordable

    May 23 2016

    First Lady Michelle Obama says play, nutrition, and physical activity aren’t available to every child and, that’s a problem. With the cost of sports participation around $2,200 each year per child, these opportunities are increasingly only available to wealthier families. Plus, a report from the Sports and Society Program at the Aspen Institute shows parents have concerns around risk of injury, the quality or behavior of coaches, time commitment, and the emphasis on winning over having fun. What...more

  • "Extra" with Colin Woodard

    May 19 2016

    Now, more than ever, a diversifying United States needs a shared base of knowledge. That’s according to Eric Liu, executive director of the Citizenship and American Identity Program at the Aspen Institute. He’s calling on the American public and cultural leaders to build a crowd-sourced national list of facts and references every American should know. In this “Extra” episode, Liu talks to Colin Woodard, an award-winning author and journalist. In his book, “American Nations: A History of the Elev...more

  • War Reporting, Novel Writing, and How to Tell a Great Story

    May 17 2016

    Powerhouse literary couple Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz didn’t start their careers writing books. The two were war correspondents covering events like the Gulf War in the 1990s. In this episode, Brooks and Horwitz are onstage for a lecture series held by Aspen Words, the literary organization of The Aspen Institute. Besides recalling their reporting experiences, the duo discuss what it takes to write a great book. Brooks is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novelist. Her first book Year o...more

  • "Extra" with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    May 12 2016

    Now, more than ever, a diversifying United States needs a shared base of knowledge. That’s according to Eric Liu, executive director of the Citizenship and American Identity Program at the Aspen Institute. He’s calling on the American public and cultural leaders to build a crowd-sourced national list of facts and references every American should know. In this “Extra” episode, he talks to Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates is a filmmaker, scholar, journalist and cultural critic. He offers his ideas on ...more

  • Cancer: Breakthroughs and Challenges

    May 10 2016

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death among adults in the US and cancer care costs $125 billion a year. In this episode we hear from medical experts who have researched, written, and made progress in the fight against cancer. Ronald DePinho, president of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, says it’s an exciting time because research has shed light on the instigators of the disease. With the knowledge we have now, he says, up to half of all cancers can be prevented. He’s feat...more

  • The Complexities of Today's Security Challenges

    May 03 2016

    The Director of the FBI has said that the Bureau has counterterrorism investigations underway in all 50 states, underscoring the gravity of the “insider” terrorism threat in the United States. Simultaneously, terrorists from abroad, especially “foreign fighters” from among ISIL’s ranks, are seeking to enter Western countries. In this episode FBI Director James Comey speaks with Brooke Masters of the Financial Times about terrorism, cybercrime, an uptick in violence in minority communities in the...more

  • How to Learn Anything Fast

    Apr 27 2016

    Best-selling author of "The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast!" Josh Kaufman shares universal, field-tested approaches to effective learning and rapid skill acquisition in adults. From deconstructing complex skills to maximizing productive practice and removing common learning barriers, Kaufman describes how 20 hours of focused, deliberate practice can help you develop surprising levels of skill in any field. And, he may even play his Ukulele. (music bed: Podington Bear/Golden...more

  • Retweeting, Regramming, Reimagining our Relationship with Technology

    Apr 19 2016

    The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair. One of the things that makes it harder to connect with ourselves - and thus our creativity, intuition, and wisdom - is our increasing dependence on technology. In this episode, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington explains how devices, texts, emails, constant notifications, and social media are not just distractions, but addictions. Reimagining our relationship with technology can have a transformational i...more

  • Leading the Response to Radical Extremism

    Apr 12 2016

    As radical extremism in the Middle East continues to undermine global security, it's crucial to understand and counter its roots and appeal. This episode features a discussion between David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post, Farah Pandith, who's with the Council on Foreign Relations and Nicholas Burns, director of the Aspen Strategy Group. How do we confront radicalism in the Middle East? What does this nightmare mean for the United States? And, what about the refugee crisis? The panel...more

  • Building Better Teen Brains

    Apr 05 2016

    Raising a teenager can be a lot of work and there's hard science behind why adolescence is so challenging. Laurence Steinberg authored the book "Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence." In this episode, he talks about how brain development doesn't stop at age three. There's another period where the brain is malleable: during adolescence. These years are key in determining individuals' life outcomes. How should we change the way we parent, educate, and understan...more

  • Secrets of the Creative Brain

    Mar 29 2016

    Tom Kelley, author of Creative Confidence and partner at IDEO, says creativity and innovation aren't only reserved for "creative types," but everyone can tap into creative potential. In this episode, he recounts the stories of individuals who doubted their creativity but overcame fear to go on to do highly creative things. Also, we hear from leading neuroscientist Dr. Nancy Andreasen who researches highly creative people and how they think. Her work also examines the roles of nature v....more

  • The United State of Women

    Mar 22 2016

    What has the Obama Administration done for women and girls? How will their women and girls initiatives continue after the president leaves office? Tina Tchen, executive director for the White House Council on Women and Girls, talks about what's been done on the federal level since President Obama took office. She speaks with Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post as part of the Aspen Forum on Women and Girls at the Aspen Institute. The event in March precedes the United State of Women Summit o...more

  • Why Ethics (Usually) Pays

    Mar 15 2016

    When it comes to the bottom line, corporate social responsibility sometimes pays, but sometimes does not, according to Jonathan Haidt of the NYU Stern School of Business. This episode features his lecture at the Aspen Ideas Festival. He says studies back up the notion that creating an ethical culture within your organization, and treating your employees well, always pays in the long run. Learn how business leaders and government regulators can work together to do much better "ethical system...more

  • Jesus of History versus Christ of Faith

    Mar 08 2016

    Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic figures by examining Jesus within the context of the times in which he lived: the age of zealotry. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospels against historical sources, Aslan describes a man of peace who exhorted his followers to arm themselves; an exorcist and faith healer who urged his disciples to keep his identity secret; and the seditious "King of the Jews," whose promis...more

  • The Black Presidency

    Mar 01 2016

    In his book "The Black Presidency," Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race —as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black critici...more

  • WE-ASK: What Every American Should Know

    Feb 23 2016

    In 1987, E.D. Hirsch sparked a national debate with his book "Cultural Literacy," claiming that there is a foundation of common knowledge every American should know - and codifying it in a list of 5,000 facts and cultural references. Today, amidst giant demographic and social shifts, the United States needs such common knowledge more than ever. But a 21st century sense of cultural literacy has to be radically more diverse and inclusive. And it needs to come not from one person but from...more

  • Ashley Judd on Feminism, Activism, and Why Hollywood Should Be Left Out of the Conversation

    Feb 16 2016

    Actress Ashley Judd is an advocate and activist who has traveled the world promoting empowerment and equality, effective grassroots programs, and strategies to advance women's health, curb HIV, alleviate poverty and much more. As a global champion for women, she has led major campaigns to reduce maternal mortality and increase resources for women and girls. Later in the episode: The Best Thinking about the Transformative Power of Women and Girls featuring a stellar lineup including Arianna Huffi...more

  • Thomas Jefferson: An American Original

    Feb 09 2016

    In honor of President's Day, biographer Jon Meacham explores Jefferson's complicated legacy and suggests how we might reclaim the Jeffersonian insistence that political leaders be conversant with the philosophical and cultural currents of their time. Meacham wrote the No. 1 New York Times bestseller "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power."

  • Solitary Confinement Through the Eyes of a Former Prisoner

    Feb 02 2016

    Hear what former prisoner Shaka Senghor, who was incarcerated for 19 years and now directs strategy for the bipartisan initiative #cut50, has to say about President Obama's recent pledge to end solitary confinement for juveniles and low-level offenders. Senghor shares his insights from seven years in solitary in one of the nation's most violent prisons. Since 1980, the number of people incarcerated in the United States has more than quadrupled; the US now has the largest prison population in the...more

  • Poetry, Justice, and Alienation

    Jan 26 2016

    Can art tackle some of the most difficult social-justice questions we face today? Over the past year we have witnessed images of our country at war with itself; how can poetry dispel alienation and give rise to a new level of citizenship in America Featuring three of America's most powerful poetic voices: Elizabeth Alexander (author of The Light of the World), Juan Felipe Herrera (current United States Poet Laureate), and Claudia Rankine (author of Citizen: An American Lyric). The conversation i...more

  • Meditation and Mindfulness - Going Beyond the Buzzwords

    Jan 19 2016

    Meditation and mindfulness have gone mainstream. From improvements in perception to body awareness, to pain tolerance and emotion regulation, to an increase in complex thinking and a sense of self, two experts in the field explore the benefits and outcomes of these practices. Featured speakers: Richard Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin and Robert Roth, Executive Director, David Lynch Foundation. Their discussion is moderated by docu...more

  • The Road to Character - David Brooks and Katie Couric

    Jan 11 2016

    I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it, David Brooks has said about his experience writing his latest New York Times bestseller about personal virtues and honesty in a materialistic age. Katie Couric explores this journey with the deeply thoughtful author.

  • Exercise in Radical Empathy and Youth Speak Up

    Jan 04 2016

    Clint Smith is a high school educator, a Harvard PhD candidate, and a slam poet. In a series of spoken-word performances, Smith confronts inequality in American society. His poetry touches on black parenting, social justice, and violence against kids of color. Following his performance, three high school students from the South Washington, DC, area are interviewed about how they experience systemic inequality in their neighborhoods.

  • Undaunted: Stories from the Frontlines of Global Health (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 28 2015

    We'll be back in January with new episodes. In the meantime, don't miss this inspiring episode with stories of human resilience and ingenuity. During the Ebola crisis, strong grassroots relationships and homegrown leadership made the difference between life and death. Drawing on that learning, movers and shakers from the Aspen New Voices Fellowship will share their stories about the silo-busting connections that can be forged under stress. From Sierra Leone to Nepal, these kinds of bonds keep ou...more

  • A Formula for Happiness (Rebroadcast)

    Dec 21 2015

    AITG is taking off a couple of weeks for the holidays. We'll be back in January with new episodes. This week, we revisit an earlier episode — A Formula for Happiness. Want to be happy? Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, has read all of the books and studies about what makes us happy — so you don't have to. By marrying ancient wisdom and new data, he says we can identify what brings the most happiness, and the most unhappiness, to the most people. In short, love peo...more

  • Winter Words Author Series

    Dec 14 2015

    Three authors shed light on the writing life and the stories behind their works. New York Times bestseller Jess Walter ("Beautiful Ruins"), former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey ("Thrall"), and LA Times Book Prize winner Ruth Ozeki ("A Tale for the Time Being"). They spoke at Winter Words, a series hosted by Aspen Words, a literary organization and program of the Aspen Institute.

  • Vice President Joe Biden

    Dec 07 2015

    Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality and Opportunity. Biden discussed root causes of poverty and inequality in America. He separately addressed topics related to terrorism, ISIS, and Syrian refugees.

  • The Four Sources of Happiness

    Nov 30 2015

    Most people think that happiness has four sources: the sensory pleasures, material wealth, romantic relationships, and children. But recent research suggests that much of what people think about happiness is wrong. Daniel Gilbert, author of "Stumbling on Happiness," hosts this symposium in which experts discuss what science has discovered about each of these sources. The featured speakers are Paul Bloom, author of "How Pleasure Works"; Tim Kasser, author of "The High Pri...more

  • Celebrating Einstein with Brian Greene

    Nov 23 2015

    Continuing our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the General Theory of Relativity, this talk features theoretical physicist Brian Greene. Arguably one of the best and most entertaining explainers of all things cosmic, Greene gives a refresher on what the theory is, and why we should care. He also sheds light on the exciting advances science has made in understanding black holes. (This is a companion episode to last week’s podcast about Einstein’s creativity.)

  • Einstein's Creativity

    Nov 16 2015

    Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the General Theory of Relativity, this talk takes a look at Albert Einstein's creativity. Where did it come from, how was it reflected in his life, and what can we learn from it? Biographer Walter Isaacson brings the physicist’s creativity to life through historical details and insights Isaacson uncovered in his book ‘Einstein: His Life and Universe.’

  • Evan Thomas on 'Being Nixon'

    Nov 09 2015

    In 'Being Nixon,' Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America's 37th president. Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve detente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal. One of the principal architects of the modern Republican Par...more

  • Interview with Michael Bloomberg and Boris Johnson

    Nov 02 2015

    Boris Johnson, Mayor, London, Michael Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th Mayor of the City of New York, and With Walter Isaacson, CEO and President, The Aspen Institute discuss how cities are the hubs of tech innovation. Recorded at CityLab 2015 in London.

  • Robotic Moment: Who Do We Become When We Talk to Machines? (Aspen Lecture)

    Oct 26 2015

    Conversation is facing a crisis in our culture. We regularly put people on "pause" in conversation to check our phones. We treat machines as if they are almost human. We want technology to step up, as we ask humans to step back. And having nothing to forget about how we used to relate to one another, children embrace these new rules for talking to machines. In this talk, Sherry Turkle, MIT professor of the social studies of science and technology and author of "Reclaiming Conversa...more

  • Building a Better Teacher

    Oct 19 2015

    We've all had great teachers who opened our minds — and maybe even changed our lives. But how can we make every teacher a star teacher? Elizabeth Green's New York Times best-selling book 'Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone)' presents teaching as a complex skill — one that requires infrastructure for support and training. She gives examples of the methods America's best educators are using in the classroom, as well as how Japan's education system has ad...more

  • Gray Matter: The Brain after 50

    Oct 12 2015

    Our brains are getting older, but there's still much to be optimistic about. Neuroscientists Susan Greenfield and Gary Small discuss the aging brain with journalist Sam Kean.

  • What's Character Got to Do with It?

    Oct 05 2015

    David Brooks writes about character. Aaron Sorkin writes about characters. The opinionator and consummate storyteller join in a conversation about how Sorkin's connection to and love of character distinguishes his writing and his craft. They discuss Sorkin's new movie Steve Jobs. Aaron Sorkin is a screenwriter, playwright, and film and television producer. His screenplays include the 2012 film adaption of Moneyball, The Social Network, A Few Good Men, Malice, The American President, and Charlie ...more

  • 'Unfinished Business' with Anne-Marie Slaughter

    Sep 29 2015

    Anne-Marie Slaughter provides a sneak peek of her new book, 'Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family'. Inspired by her 2012 article "Why Women Still Can't Have it All," one of the most-read pieces in the history of 'The Atlantic' magazine, Slaughter has refined her vision for what true equality between men and women really means and how we can get there. Anne-Marie Slaughter is president and CEO of New America and Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and I...more

  • Facing Death with Dignity and a Plan

    Sep 21 2015

    How can our medical and social systems support or hinder dying? Do we have the right to bend the arc of our own death, or that of a loved one? How can we approach the final passage with grace? Dan Diaz (the husband of Brittany Maynard, who died in November 2014 from a brain tumor) discusses the matter with BJ Miller (executive director of Zen Hospice Project and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at UC San Francisco), Samuel Kargbo (director of policy and planning at the Ministry of Hea...more

  • The Church of Pope Francis

    Sep 14 2015

    Nancy Gibbs, editor of TIME magazine, leads a conversation with: Michael Gerson, a nationally syndicated columnist whose writing appears twice weekly in 'The Washington Post'; Matt Malone, president and editor in chief of America Media, which publishes 'America: The National Catholic Review'; and Garry Wills, professor, historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author ("Why I Am a Catholic" and "The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis"). This conversation took place i...more

  • The New Golden Age of Television

    Sep 08 2015

    Internet TV is growing globally in ways that traditional TV just isn’t. Netflix is a change-maker that is dramatically influencing our consumption of story-telling. This episode features Katie Couric in conversation with Ted Sarandos, the gutsy program chief of Netflix, whose platinum successes include 'House of Cards', 'Orange is the New Black', and now 'Grace and Frankie'.

  • What is College For?

    Aug 31 2015

    Featuring William Deresiewicz, author of 'Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life' and New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks. At a time when traditional notions of college are under attack — in the shift to online instruction, in the emphasis on STEM fields and the denigration of the liberal arts, in the continued privatization of public higher education — it is urgent that we ask what college is supposed to be about in the first place. What...more

  • China: New Economic Superpower?

    Aug 27 2015

    Former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has had unprecedented access to modern China’s political and business elite. As head of Goldman Sachs, he had a pivotal role in opening up China to private enterprise. Then, as treasury secretary, he created the Strategic Economic Dialogue with what is now the world’s second-largest economy. Paulson and the Aspen Institute's Walter Isaacson recently spoke about Paulson's new book, 'Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower,' as p...more

  • Long Life in the 21st Century (Aspen Lecture)

    Aug 24 2015

    Aspen Lecture featuring Laura Carstensen, Fairleigh Dickinson Professor in Public Policy, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; Director, Stanford Center on Longevity. We are approaching a watershed moment in human history; a time when old people outnumber children and living to 100 is commonplace. There are major challenges associated with this dramatic and sudden increase in life expectancy, yet, Carstensen says we must not lose sight of the fact that long life presents unprecedented ...more

  • Is Violence a Function of our Culture?

    Aug 17 2015

    Homicide remains an endemic, seemingly unsolvable problem in America. And violent crime afflicts African-American communities to a much greater degree than others, as does mass incarceration — and police violence. What is the cause of this crisis? What is the role of culture? Are there any solutions? This episode features New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu who has been confronting this crisis head-on in conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic, who has written wi...more

  • A View from the White House

    Aug 10 2015

    The President’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor tells us what keeps her up at night and how she is working to make us all safe. Lisa Monaco, Deputy National Security Advisor and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Moderator: Mike Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent, Yahoo News. For more, visit: www.aspensecurityforum.org- Follow @aspensecurity

  • Faith and the Public Square

    Aug 03 2015

    Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) discusses faith and public life with Jim Wallis. The conversation begins from an agreement that the separation of church and state is imperative but that moral values should not be segregated from public life. Coons, who graduated from Yale Law School and Yale Divinity School, has said, "I think it’s foundational to our country that if we allow people to choose their path of faith, they must of course be also free, welcomed, celebrated, to choose not to have fai...more

  • Circuit Training for Your Brain: Well-Being Is a Skill

    Jul 27 2015

    Scientific evidence suggests that we can change our brains by transforming our minds and cultivating habits of mind that will improve well-being. These include happiness, resilience, compassion, and emotional balance. Each of these characteristics is instantiated in brain circuits that exhibit plasticity and thus can be shaped and modified by experience and training. Mental training to cultivate well-being has profound implications for schools, the workplace, and society as a whole. Richard J. D...more

  • Radical: My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism

    Jul 20 2015

    Maajid Nawaz shares his remarkable journey from Islamist extremism to liberal democratic values. Nawaz is the co-founder of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank based in London, and engages in counter-Islamist thought-generating, social-activism, writing, debating, and media appearances. He served four years in an Egyptian prison as an Amnesty International "prisoner of conscience" until he became de-radicalized and renounced his extremist views. This talk was recorded live at the ...more

  • The Obama Doctrine: America's Role in a Complicated World

    Jul 13 2015

    Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor to President Obama, was the chief US negotiator in the secret normalization talks with Cuba and has been a central player in the making of American foreign policy since 2009, both as a key advisor and as the president’s chief foreign policy speechwriter. Rhodes and Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, discuss the worldview of President Obama, focusing on Cuba, the Iran talks, and the continuing crisis across the broad...more

  • The Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling: The Most Consequential Ruling in Our Lifetimes?

    Jul 06 2015

    Recorded just four days after the SCOTUS ruling, this episode features a wide-ranging discussion of the cases and history behind the Marriage Equality ruling. Featuring the legal dream team that helped make this a reality, former Solicitor General Ted Olson and star litigator David Boies. Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General, moderates the conversation.

  • Undaunted: Stories from the Frontlines of Global Health

    Jun 29 2015

    During the Ebola crisis, strong grassroots relationships and homegrown leadership made the difference between life and death. Drawing on that learning, movers and shakers from the Aspen New Voices Fellowship will share their stories about the silo-busting connections that can be forged under stress. From Sierra Leone to Nepal, these kinds of bonds keep our most vulnerable communities healthier and safer in perilous times. Aspen New Voices Fellows: Rubayat Khan, Relebohile Moletsane, Serufusa Sek...more

  • The Evolution of Thinking Machines

    Jun 22 2015

    In many ways, artificial intelligence has become the norm. From autopilot on airplanes to language translation, we've come to accept once novel concepts as just something thinking machines do. What we have ultimately learned is that human thinking is just one way of thinking. So, how far will artificial intelligence go? This episode features a conversation between Danny Hillis and Alexis Madrigal. Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. He is co-founder of Applied Minds, a researc...more

  • Should We Design Our Babies?

    Jun 15 2015

    The discussion of "designer babies" often revolves around gender or hair color, but as Nita Farahany and Marcy Darnovsky explore, the medical debate is far more complicated. Farahany is Professor of Law and Philosophy, Director of Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University; Member, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Should we screen embryos for disease? Should we make genetic modifications? These considerations raise ethical concerns and call int...more

  • Acting Out

    Jun 08 2015

    From co-founding Artists for a Free South Africa, to working in failing schools to turn them around, actor and 2014 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Alfre Woodard has played a role in making change as an activist artist. Woodard joins the Aspen Institute's Damian Woetzel in a conversation about her career and work as an artist on the front lines.

  • Will Violence Be Our Legacy?

    Jun 01 2015

    New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says that nowhere is America's crisis of violence more evident than in the African-American community.  In this talk, he asks: What’s the real cost of violence? And how do we change it? Since taking office in 2010, Landrieu has reformed the city’s police department and launched NOLA for Life, an initiative to reduce murders. And it seems to be working, at least incrementally: The murder rate in New Orleans has dropped for the third straight year. So what can the ...more

  • Kids These Days: Technology and Culture in American Life

    May 25 2015

    What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? Youth culture and technology expert Danah Boyd talks with The Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin about what Boyd sees as the major myths regarding teens’ use of social media, exploring tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Boyd argues that society fails kids when paternalism and protectionism hinder their ability to become informed...more

  • On Russia and Putinism

    May 18 2015

    This episode features Nicholas Burns and Strobe Talbott discussing Russia and Putinism. Burns is director of the Aspen Strategy Group and Talbott is an ASG member and president of the Brookings Institution. In this discussion, they follow up on a lecture Talbott gave at the Aspen Institute back in August. That lecture, entitled "Putinism: The Back Story", focused on Russia’s current policies, turning a lens on what Talbott asserts are the undoing of recent reforms. (Watch the full lect...more

  • "Redeployment" author Phil Klay

    May 11 2015

    Winner of the 2014 National Book Award, "Redeployment" takes readers to the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Author Phil Klay reads from and discusses this collection of short stories which asks readers to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven are themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival. the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of the chaos. NOTE: Contains graphic s...more

  • When Experts Disagree – The Art of Medical Decision Making

    May 04 2015

    Despite medical advances and the application of scientific principles to modern medicine, there seems to be increasing controversy about the "right" diagnostic and treatment choices, even for very common medical issues – such as how best to treat high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol; whether to take vitamins, and who should be screened for cancer with mammograms and PSA. Doctors Jerome Groopman, chair of Harvard Medical School, and Pamela Hartzband, assistant professor at Harva...more

  • The Road to Depth, Thinking about what Character Is

    Apr 27 2015

    Description Some people seem to lead inner lives that are richer and more substantive than the rest of us. How do they do it? In this talk, author and commentator David Brooks explores some of history's leaders in terms of personal character. He asks how love, suffering, struggle, surrender and obedience lead them to their depth. His latest book, "The Road to Character" was released on April 14, 2015. This talk, recorded last summer at the Aspen Ideas Festival, serves as a preview to m...more

  • A Conversation Across Cultures

    Apr 20 2015

    In this lecture, philosopher, cultural theorist, and author Kwame Anthony Appiah rejects the idea that cross-cultural conversations often lead to the discovery of irreconcilable differences. The argument holds that conversations across groups about ethical questions breakdown because each culture has different and incompatible ethical starting points. Appiah maintains such an argument is mistaken. Because he says, many people have found cross-cultural encounters to be among the most rewarding ex...more

  • "Our Kids" author Robert D. Putnam

    Apr 13 2015

    A professor of public policy at Harvard, Robert D. Putnam has consulted for the last three American presidents and many other leaders around the globe. His newest book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis" is a groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap and explores why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. He has written fourteen books and been translated into more than twenty languages. His books "Bowling Alone" and "Making D...more

  • American Musical Traditions

    Apr 06 2015

    At 28, musician Jon Batiste is considered by many to be one of the most exciting and progressive new crossover talents on the scene today. His modern take on the American songbook — equally influenced by his passion for jazz and classical styles, which he calls "Social Music"  — attracts critical acclaim as well as audiences across all demographics. These two New Orleans natives will discuss Batiste's music, their hometown, the importance of music education, and the state and future of...more

  • From the Big Bang to Black Holes: Time, The Universe, and Everything

    Mar 30 2015

    Astrophysicist and writer Janna Levin offers an epic tour through time from the beginning of the universe in a big bang, through black holes, past the emergence of life on at least one little planet spinning in a conceivably infinite cosmic ocean, to the possible end of time.

  • Flash Boys and the Human Piranha

    Mar 23 2015

    Michael Lewis is the author of the bestsellers "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt", "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game", and "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game", among other books. After graduating from Princeton University and the London School of Economics, Lewis worked on the bond desk at Salomon Brothers, an experience he recounted in "Liar's Poker", his first book. He left the financial world to become a journalist, writing on politics, fi...more

  • How Democracy Gets Restored

    Mar 16 2015

    Lawrence Lessig (professor at Harvard Law School) says there's a profound loss of confidence by Americans in their government. In this Aspen Lecture, Lessig shows exactly why Americans are right, and just how we could restore the rightful sense that we have a government that represents us.

  • A Candid Conversation with John R. Lewis

    Mar 12 2015

    Congressman John R. Lewis (D-GA), civil rights leader, and co-author of the bestselling graphic memoir March: Book One, is the recipient of numerous awards including the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His new graphic memoir trilogy, March, is a vivid first-hand account of Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Recorded live for the McCloskey S...more

  • The Resilience Dividend

    Mar 09 2015

    Our interconnected world is susceptible to sudden and dramatic shocks and stresses: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic blow. Through an astonishing range of stories, Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation and author of The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong, shows how people, organizations, businesses, communities, and cities have developed resilience in the face of otherwis...more

  • A Formula for Happiness

    Mar 02 2015

    Want to be happy? Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, has read all of the books and studies about what makes us happy — so you don't have to. By marrying ancient wisdom and new data, he says we can identify what brings the most happiness, and the most unhappiness, to the most people. In short, love people, not pleasure. This Aspen Lecture was recorded live at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Check out the Aspen Lectures Compendium on iTunes U.

  • The Risky Business of Writing

    Feb 23 2015

    Journalist Katie Couric interviews "House of Cards" creator and producer Beau Willimon. Recorded live at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the two have a lively conversation about Willimon's career (he studied painting in college and later worked on political campaigns) and the turbulent lives of the show's characters. The third season of the political drama hits Netflix on Feb. 27, 2015. NOTE: This episode contains explicit language.

  • "Wild" author Cheryl Strayed

    Feb 16 2015

    Cheryl Strayed discusses her journey, chronicled in the hugely popular book, Wild, and shares her search to overcome heartache and find healing. (Recorded live at Aspen Words.) The book was adapted for film in 2014, and now the actresses playing Strayed and her mother (Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, respectively) are up for Academy Awards. Strayed's latest project is Dear Sugar Radio. Check out that podcast, too.

  • The Politics and Economics of Inequality

    Feb 09 2015

    Professor Robert Reich examines what's happened to income and wealth in this country, why it's a problem, and what we can expect in future years. Recorded live at the Aspen Ideas Festival.