News / Arts & Entertainment

Aspen Ideas Festival Inspires, Engages, Promotes Debate

Aspen Ideas Festival Inspires, Engages, Promotes Debatei
X
July 02, 2013 6:45 PM
Every summer, some of the most interesting thinkers, leaders and artists in the U.S. gather to share ideas in Aspen, Colorado. It's called the Aspen Ideas festival. It is an incubator of creativity which attracts the best and the brightest in many fields -- from across the United States and around the world to the small western U.S. town of Aspen, Colorado, known for its great natural beauty. VOA's Vivian Chakarian reports.
Every summer, some of the most interesting thinkers, leaders and artists in the U.S. gather to share ideas in Aspen, Colorado.

It's called the Aspen Ideas Festival.  It is an incubator of creativity which attracts the best and the brightest in many fields - from across the United States and around the world to the small western U.S. town of Aspen, known for its great natural beauty.

Xiao Xiao, pianist, technologist and doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, brought to Aspen her insights from piano-playing to human-computer interaction, designing experiences that bridge the digital and the physical.

"One day when I was practicing the piano I was looking at the really pretty reflection that's in front of the keyboard of my hands, and I had this thought of wouldn't it be really beautiful if instead of seeing my own hands there I could see somebody else's hands," Xiao Xiao said.

Dr. Joel Dudley is director of bioinformatics and assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He shared at Aspen the great strides made in health care, specifically in the field of personal genomics.

"A genome for a single individual, for example, will have six billion letters in it, so six billion with a "B" letters. It's a tremendous amount of information to interpret, and we now have the tools to make it cheap and easy, relatively easy, to interpret that, or at least measure that," he explained.

Patricia McLaughlin is associate vice president of communications at the Legacy Foundation, a leading public health organization working to drive down smoking rates. She is at Aspen to keep media and business leaders engaged with the issue.

"We have worked with three different artists who have all taken a position on some of the key issues that we are engaged in around tobacco use, and what they've done is through their art, they're illustrating the issue for us and helping drive the conversation with people," she said.

These are just a few of the many ideas presented at Aspen. For more than 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been a gathering place for leading writers, artists, scientists, public officials, business executives, scholars, economists and foreign policy experts.

Kitty Boone, vice president of public programs at the Aspen Institute and director of the Aspen Ideas Festival, said the conference gives attendees, who number as many as 4,000, a new appreciation of important topics.

"The goal of an organization like ours and of this type of event is to get people to think, and to understand an issue from multiple perspectives," Boone stated.

From early in the morning to late in the evening,meeting on footpaths and sidewalks, on the lawn or at coffee bars, with thinkers, artists, musicians and other leaders - in this remote part of the Rocky Mountains to the beautiful music of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs

African Music Treasures