Literary fiction, investigative journalism, cultural reflection, poetry … Winter Words 2015 has it all. This year’s series features some of the most heralded and innovative writers of our time. Please join us at Paepcke auditorium for five evenings of readings, musings, and conversations designed to challenge, surprise and delight.
Natasha Trethewey is the author of four collections of poetry: "Domestic Work"; "Bellocq’s Ophelia"; "Native Guard"—for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize—and, most recently, "Thrall". She has published one work of nonfiction, "Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast". The US Poet Laureate from 2012-2014, Trethewey is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. At Emory University, she is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing. Trethewey currently serves as the State Poet Laureate of Mississippi.
"Trethewey’s writing mines the cavernous isolation, brutality, and resilience of African American history, tracing its subterranean echoes to today." — The New Yorker
“Her poems dig beneath the surface of history – personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago – to explore the human struggles that we all face.” — Librarian of Congress James Billington
The Pahara-Aspen Fellowship seeks to strengthen and sustain diverse, high-potential leaders who are reimagining public education. Using a time-tested method of text-based dialogue, the program provides participants the opportunity to reflect on the values and tensions involved in effective and enlightened leadership across the public, nonprofit and private sectors.
Each cohort of Fellows consists of 20-24 exceptional men and women who undertake a program of four advanced leadership seminars over the course of two years, under the direction of experienced moderators. In addition to these seminars —which feature thought-provoking readings and discussions about leadership, diversity, and important issues in public education and social change — the program consists of a leadership project, as well as alumni events.
Purpose & Background: The Aspen Institute seeks to convene a vanguard of corporate issuers, represented initially by CFOs, with select fund managers to discuss ways to better communicate drivers of long-term value to each other and the markets.
This endeavor builds on a decade of work by the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program, where Aspen BSP has engaged diverse corporate executives, investors, academics, and governance experts.
For the second year, the Aspen Challenge: Denver will kick off with a forum for students and teachers from 21 high schools across the city. At the forum, leaders pioneering change to some of the world’s most pressing issues present challenges to the teams. Following the forum, teams will have seven weeks to design a solution to their selected challenge. They will reconvene and present their solutions on stage in a daylong competition, and one team will be selected to advance and showcase their work at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Read More
Anthony J. Principi, former Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (2001-2005), will lead a strategic discussion of what veterans’ rights should be and what the US can afford understanding the obligations owed its veterans. Mr. Principi will also address the recent challenges facing the Veterans Administration.
In association with the Blackstone Foundation, Middle East Programs (MEP) is pleased to host its first week-long mentorship program for promising entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa. Through a week-long educational curriculum featuring experts in tech and business-building, ten leaders of fast-growing ventures will confront their greatest obstacles and channels for growth.
To learn more please visit The Aspen-Blackstone Middle East Entrepreneurship Program (MEEP) website, here.
Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this seminar series will use the Bard as a lens through which to frame the Enlightenment ideas and ideals that shape the American Democratic Experiment.
This experiential seminar will introduce participants to the debates and changes surrounding conservation, and will include readings from the Energy and Environment Program’s Nature and Society Seminar.
Our goal is to offer a platform for global thinkers and leaders to explore conservation and human well-being in the context of Chile’s rich natural resources. Participants will share their ideas about how economic development and natural resource protection is interconnected, and discuss past successes and ongoing obstacles to conservation.
The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series will feature Peter Orszag, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and John Bridgeland, former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council discussing their latest book Moneyball for Government (Disruption Books).
About Moneyball for Government: Can data, evidence, and evaluation revolutionize America’s government? Can we build the evidence necessary to determine which practices, policies, and programs work and which don’t; invest in those that work most effectively; and shift resources away from those that consistently fail to achieve desired outcomes? In short, can government play Moneyball? This book is about changing the way government works – so that policy and funding decisions by governments at all levels are informed by the best possible data, evidence, and evaluation about what works. We believe this can be achieved in a bipartisan way. For proof, look no further than the great leaders and thinkers from across the political spectrum who have joined together in this book to help make the case for Moneyball for Government. (Moneyballforgov.com)
About the Contributors: Peter Orszag is vice chairman of corporate and investment banking, chairman of the Public Sector Group, and chairman of the Financial Strategy and Solutions Group at Citigroup. He is a contributing columnist at Bloomberg View, a distinguished scholar at New York University School of Law, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Orszag previously served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration and as director of the Congressional Budget Office.
John Bridgeland is CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy firm in Washington, D.C. He also serves as Co-Chair of The Franklin Project at The Aspen Institute to make a service year a common expectation and opportunity for all 18-28 year olds. President Obama appointed Bridgeland to the White House Council for Community Solutions. Previously, Bridgeland served as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council in the first term of President George W. Bush. He also became Assistant to the President and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps, where he coordinated policy on international, national, community, and faith-based service in the aftermath of 9/11. Bridgeland is the author of the book, Heart of the Nation: Volunteering and America's Civic Spirit. He is also vice chairman of Malaria No More and senior advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria, which is working to mobilize the public and private sectors to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Read More
For the third year, the Aspen Challenge will kick off in Los Angeles with a forum for students and teachers from partner high schools. At the forum, leaders pioneering change to some of the world’s most pressing issues present challenges to the teams. Following the forum, teams will have seven weeks to design a solution to their selected challenge. They will reconvene to present their solutions on stage in a daylong competition, and one team will be selected to advance and showcase their work at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Read More
About this Webinar: The sharing economy is quickly expanding in the US and globally. Often referred to as the “gig economy” or “on-demand economy,” this dynamic collection of online business platforms facilitates a wide variety of exchanges including of property, skills, labor, and space. Common examples include Airbnb (rent a room or your house), Uber (provide rides), TaskRabbit (do chores for others), and Instacart (be a personal grocery shopper). The Economic Opportunities Program recently hosted a panel discussion of the pro’s and con’s of the sharing economy for workers, and one panelist from the UK pointed to a new model that could improve these work markets for workers. With support from the UK government and foundations, Beyond Jobs – an organization in the UK with a mission to unleash a 21st century model of irregular work – has developed an online platform that goes beyond today’s diffused and disconnected sharing economy platforms by creating a centralized database aggregating opportunities and vetted workers. It has the potential to provide a more efficient, predictable, and easier-to-use platform for both workers and consumers. In this webinar, Wingham Rowan, director of Beyond Jobs, provided a background on the platform, gave a tour of the site, discussed potential application in the United States, and answered participant questions.
Featuring: Wingham Rowan, director, Beyond Jobs
Find Related Resources
During the webinar, participants expressed great interest in topics related to the challenges workers face in the sharing economy and ideas for improving the quality of these jobs. We have posted slides from the actual presentation on January 27, 2015, see the webinar slideshow. The Working in America series held a discussion on December 2, 2014 that addressed some of these questions. Watch the discussion and find related resources here.
*This event is by invitation only. This event is open to Society of Fellows members only.
DATE CHANGE: The date of this event has been changed from Wednesday, January 28 to Tuesday, January 27.
This discussion reception will feature the Aspen Challenge program, a platform for young students to design solutions to some of the most critical problems we face. Equipped with tools and support from pioneering leaders in a variety of fields, teams present their solutions in a daylong competition. Winning teams are then selected to showcase their work at the Aspen Ideas Festival. After successful programs in Los Angeles and Denver, the Aspen Challenge will expand to Washington DC in 2015.
In this eight-week series, participants gather to discuss key foreign policy issues facing the world today, as featured in the 2015 Foreign Policy Association briefing book. This year’s topics will include Russia and the Near Abroad, Privacy in the Digital Age, Sectarianism in the Middle East, India Changes Course, U.S. Policy Toward Africa, Syria’s Refugee Crisis, Human Trafficking in the 21st Century, and Brazil’s Metamorphosis.
This week's topic is Russia and the Near Abroad.
As calls for closer ties with the EU failed to be met, Ukrainians took to the streets in in November 2013. As the movement later known as the Euromaidan, or “Euro Square,” pulled western Ukraine closer to its European neighbors, another powerful force threatened to tear away the country’s eastern half: Russia. Putin’s pushback against European expansionism has the West wondering: If Putin’s Russia isn’t afraid to take an aggressive stance against Europeanization in Ukraine, what does that mean for the rest of Russia’s neighbors?
Fee: $195, includes all sessions, readings and light refreshments.
The series "Conversations with Great Leaders in Memory of Preston Robert Tisch" — underwritten by the children of the late Bob Tisch, a businessman and philanthropist — highlights great leadership in action through interviews with key leaders from all sectors of civic life.
General (ret.) Wesley K. Clark is a distinguished fellow at UCLA’s Burkle Center and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. In 2004, Clark campaigned for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. He is chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting ﬁrm, and is the author of "Winning Modern Wars," "Waging Modern War," and "A Time to Lead." Clark is the recipient of many awards, including the Purple Heart and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Each year community members come together to engage in lively and rigorous exploration of the Great Books as well as other significant contemporary works. This 5-week series features authors including Montaigne, Kant, Sartre, Freud, Camus, Seneca and others. Aspen Institute moderator Stephen Holley will lead the series. An alumnus of the Aspen Institute Executive Seminar, Stephen has moderated several Institute programs including custom seminars for corporate clients, Athens to Aspen, and has trained to lead our new Life Reimagined Seminars.
Fee: $195, includes readings and light refreshments.
The Aspen Institute Democracy Series cordially invites you to a lunchtime book talk featuring Julian E. Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University, discussing his book "The Fierce Urgency of Now."
About the Book:
Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal, one whose ambition and achievement have had no parallel since. In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the War on Poverty program, Medicare and Medicaid, immigration liberalization, a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts, and major federal investments in public transportation. Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the Great Society.
In The Fierce Urgency of Now, Julian E. Zelizer takes the full measure of the story in all its epic sweep. Before Johnson, Kennedy had tried and failed to achieve many of these advances. Our practiced understanding is that this was an unprecedented “liberal hour” in America, a moment after Kennedy’s death when the seas parted and Johnson could simply stroll through to victory. As Zelizer shows, this view is off base: in many respects America was even more conservative then than it seems now, and Johnson’s legislative program faced bitter resistance. The Fierce Urgency of Now animates the full spectrum of forces at play during those turbulent years, including religious groups, the media, conservative and liberal political action groups, unions, and civil rights activists.
Above all, the great character in the book whose role rivals Johnson’s is Congress—indeed, Zelizer argues that our understanding of the Great Society is too Johnson-centric. He discusses why Congress was so receptive to passing these ideas in a remarkably short span of time, and how the election of 1964 and the burgeoning civil rights movement transformed conditions on Capitol Hill. Zelizer brings a deep, intimate knowledge of the institution to bear on his story; the book is a master class in American political grand strategy. Finally, Zelizer reckons with the legacy of the Great Society. Though our politics has changed, the heart of the Great Society legislation remains intact fifty years later. In fact, he argues, the Great Society shifted the American political center of gravity—and our social landscape—decisively to the left in many crucial respects. In a very real sense, we are living today in the country that Johnson and his Congress made.
About the Author:
Julian E. Zelizer is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a fellow at New America. He is the author or editor of numerous books that examine U.S. political leaders, policies, and institutions since the New Deal. His most recent books are Jimmy Carter, Arsenal of Democracy, and Governing America: The Revival of Political History. He is also a weekly columnist for CNN.com.
About the Moderator:
Evan Thomas is the author of many books and was a writer, correspondent and editor for 33 years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years (1986-1996) as Washington Bureau Chief at Newsweek, where he was editor at large when he retired in 2010. He wrote more than 100 cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine award for reporting on the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He wrote Newsweek's 50,000 word election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. The 2004 election special issue won a National Magazine Award.
Launched in a new US city each year, the Aspen Challenge kicks off in Washington with a forum for students and teachers from 20 partner high schools across the city. At the forum, leaders pioneering change to some of the world’s most pressing issues will present challenges to the teams. Following the forum, teams will spend seven weeks designing a solution to their selected challenge and reconvene to present their solutions on stage in a day-long competition. Three teams from Washington will be selected to advance and showcase their work at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2015.
Join us for a stimulating panel discussion featuring acclaimed Tony-nominated actress Kathleen Chalfant ("Wit," "Angels in America"); Andrew Leynse, artistic director of the off-Broadway theater company Primary Stages Theater in NYC; Theater Masters Artistic Director Julia Hansen, and the emerging voices of the American theater of tomorrow: playwrights from the top MFA programs in the country.