Jun 212011

Exchanging Ideas That Matter

June 27 – July 3, 2011

Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large.

Why an “Ideas Festival”?

For 60 years the Aspen Institute has been the nation’s premier gathering place for leaders and individuals across the globe to explore the ideals and ideas that define a good society. It continues to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. Since 1857, The Atlantic has shaped national debate on the defining issues of our times, and now, 150 years later, serves as the leading destination for brave thinking and bold ideas.

Both institutions are focused intently on ideas in the world of policy and politics, business and organizations, the arts and creativity, science and discovery, values and culture. Partnering together, we strive to convene a large and global public and foster a “commons” for the 21st century, a gathering for diverse, intellectually curious people to learn, listen, debate, and question what we can do to make our world – and our children’s world – a better place.

How might one participate?

The Ideas Festival is divided into two overlapping four-day sessions in 2011: June 27 – June 30, and June 30 – July 3. Attendees register as pass holders for one session or the other, and are offered a substantial array of lectures, presentations, debates, and panel discussions that span a vast range of such critical topics as economics, policy, environment, science, education, arts, global affairs, and philosophy.

Individual tickets are available for any number of programs that are offered in the town of Aspen and at night on the campus of the Aspen Institute. Additionally, talks and presentations as well as corresponding interviews with individual presenters are available at an array of broadcast and online venues immediately, during the Festival and thereafter, here on our website and at the The Atlantic.

From early in the morning and into the evening one will meet leading writers, public officials, artists, scientists, business executives, scholars, economists, foreign policy specialists, entrepreneurs, and leaders of all kinds. Pass holders and other attendees will meet other concerned and curious participants on footpaths and sidewalks, over lunch on the lawn and at the coffee bar, in seminar rooms or larger venues.


Due to the breadth of certain topics, four program tracks will offer conversations across the whole week spanning both sessions of the Festival, June 27 – 30 and June 30 – July 3:

  • Our Post 9/11 World
  • State of the Union
  • Ways of Seeing, Ways of Thinking: Arts & Design in American Culture
  • The Environment: Green Tech to Clean Tech

Alongside the weeklong tracks, focused attention will be given to different subjects during each session of the Festival. In 2011, these session-specific four-day program tracks will include:

SESSION 1: June 27 – 30

  • The Learning Landscape
  • Global Economics
  • What is “Happiness”?
  • Food Fights

SESSION 2: June 30 – July 3

  • Growing the US Economy
  • Our Digital Universe: Social Media, Mobile Media
  • Frontiers of Medicine
  • Music on the Edge


  • Buy tickets here.  
  • For more information, visit the website here or call 970-544-7961

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