Aspen Ideas to Go

10 Episodes
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By: The Aspen Institute

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.

The Future of the Middle East
#497
Last Thursday at 12:20 AM

The grim stream of news from the Middle East has been making it more and more difficult to hold onto hope for peace. When and how will the conflict in Gaza end? And could war even spread to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon? Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who served from 2006 to 2009, takes the stage at the 2024 Aspen Ideas Festival to share his frank thoughts on the situation. Washington Post reporter David Ignatius interviews Olmert, pushing to the heart of the issue in this rare opportunity to hear straight from the leader. In the second portion of th...


SCOTUS Decides 2024
#496
07/02/2024

The Supreme Court has issued another series of controversial and consequential decisions this term, fueling discussion on the current state of the judicial branch. Recent polling data show that seven in 10 Americans do not trust that the court can be impartial, and the justice’s actions outside of their chambers continue to make headlines. In a timely panel at the 2024 Aspen Ideas Festival, three constitutional law experts meet for a lively and hard-hitting conversation on the court’s latest rulings. Neal Katyal of Georgetown Law, Melissa Murray of NYU School of Law and George Conway of the Society for the...


Unleashing Your Brain’s Potential: Science, Lifestyle and Longevity
#495
06/06/2024

People and families suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia often feel desperate for a cure and will try anything. Unfortunately, no cure exists and not a single treatment has been shown to reverse the effects of these brain diseases once they’ve started. Millions of Americans are afflicted by Alzheimer’s and dementia, and dishearteningly, the numbers are growing. But studies show that prevention via simple lifestyle habits is extremely effective, and some simple changes in diet, exercise and sleep practices can reduce the chances of developing brain disease by up to 40 or 50 percent. Drs. Ayesha and Dean Sherzai are a...


Can You Design a Good Death?
#494
05/08/2024

Death is understandably difficult – and for some people, nearly impossible – to conceive of and talk about. Especially our own. It may seem like there’s nothing we can do to prepare for our last moments on earth, but several innovative panelists at the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival would disagree. Alua Arthur is a “death doula,” who helps people find peace with themselves when nearing the end of their life. A former lawyer, she founded the organization Going With Grace to help redefine the end-of-life experience. Dan Diaz was thrust into advocacy when his wife, Brittany Maynard, was diagnosed with terminal brain canc...


The Pursuit of a Good Death
#494
04/24/2024

Death is understandably difficult – and for some people, nearly impossible – to conceive of and talk about. Especially our own. It may seem like there’s nothing we can do to prepare for our last moments on earth, but several innovative panelists at the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival would disagree. Alua Arthur is a “death doula,” who helps people find peace with themselves when nearing the end of their life. A former lawyer, she founded the organization Going With Grace to help redefine the end-of-life experience. Dan Diaz was thrust into advocacy when his wife, Brittany Maynard, was diagnosed with terminal brain canc...


Katharine Hayhoe on Fighting Climate Change
#493
04/17/2024

Climate change is demanding an extraordinarily rapid transformation of human society, and we don’t have a manual. The people who have done the least to cause the problem are the people who will be feeling it most, and that pattern of inequality exists both within and between nations. Mapping a course to an adapted planet is an incredibly complex task that requires the cooperation of millions. Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe is one of those pitching in, and she has co-authored the past four U.S. National Climate Assessment reports. She’s also the chief scientist at The Nature Cons...


What Makes a Life Worth Living?
#492
04/04/2024

For years, Yale undergraduate students have lined up to take a wildly popular course called Life Worth Living. Bucking the highly competitive tone you might expect at an Ivy League school, the class teaches students to look beyond traditional markers of success for deeper meaning. Theology professor Miroslav Volf is one of the co-teachers, and also one of the co-authors of a book version of the course that came out last year called “Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most.” Podcast and TV host Kelly Corrigan invited Volf to introduce the book and start an extended and live...


Fighting HIV Around the World
#491
03/21/2024

In the late 1990s, HIV and AIDS was killing people in Sub-Saharan Africa at an astonishing rate. Generations of children were growing up without parents and the workforce of civil society was hollowing out. Drugs effectively treating the disease were just becoming available, and the George W. Bush administration wanted to explore a way to bring treatment to Africa. Anthony Fauci was head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the time, and under near-secrecy, he was assigned to formulate a plan via several fact-finding trips to the continent. When the outline of the program came...


Our Changing World with Thomas Friedman
#490
03/07/2024

The world seems to be moving and evolving faster than ever before, and democratic ideals are under threat in many countries around the globe. New York Times columnist and journalist Thomas Friedman has spent his career learning how to see things from many sides and identify the seams in the fabric of society. He believes we’re at a moment in time when it’s critical that we focus our energy on coming together and rebuilding functional democracy. In the closing session of the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival last June, Friedman shares his experiences of reporting in the Middle East and...


Forging a Path to Ethical A.I.
#489
02/22/2024

It doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to put the generative artificial intelligence genie back in the bottle. But we might still be able to prevent some potential damage. Tools like Bard and ChatGPT are already being used in the workplace, educational settings, health care, scientific research, and all over social media. What kind of guardrails do we need to prevent bad actors from causing the worst imaginable outcomes? And who can put those protections in place and enforce them? A panel of A.I. experts from the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival shares hopes and fears for...