Participants celebrated President’s Day Weekend, February 18-21, in Aspen, CO, where they joined one of four expert-moderated roundtable seminars available: Bioethics, Immigration, Privacy and Technology, and Sustainable Communities. Those who attended also spent the mornings skiing, snowshoeing, or dog-sledding in Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, or Snowmass.
Bioethics, Post Health Care Reform
As the U.S. grapples with the need for adequate health care, few agree on how to define what adequate health care is. Moreover, many medical procedures, research, and policies present ethical quandaries, from abortion to euthanasia; from cloning to stem cell research. Underlying the arguments lie deep-seated ethical questions: Are medical and technological advances changing what it means to be human? To what degree is society responsible for the well-being of its citizens? And by whose authority are decisions made: policy experts, ethicists, doctors, patients? This symposium will delve deeply into the confluence of society, ethics, and personal health.
Moderator: Ezekiel Emanuel, Special Advisor for Health Policy to the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget
Creating Sustainable Communities: Design, Transportation, Energy and Agriculture
How must our cities change if they are to thrive in a changing world? As we enter an era of global warming and post peak-oil, the design of our cities and their constituent parts will have to respond to new realities surrounding how we move around, how we consume energy, and how we put food on the table. If the suburban paradigm is dead, will it be replaced by traditional urbanity, or something else entirely? If technology got us into this mess, can it get us out? Cities are the largest and most complex things that humans make; this seminar will take advantage of its multidisciplinary audience to reach a better understanding of what makes them work, and how they can contribute to our continued presence on the planet.
Moderators: Michelle Lapinski, Director of Corporate Practices, The Nature Conservancy, and Founding Principal of SustainBiz, and Jeff Speck, former Director of Design, National Endowment for the Arts, and co-author of Suburban Nation and The Smart Growth Manual
Immigration and the Challenge of Crime and Corruption on the Southern Border
Immigration, the Southern border and Mexico have recently generated significant debate in the US. Elected leaders only add fuel to the embers of this debate by insisting that our “border is broken.” As a nation we are torn between our heritage as a “Nation of Immigrants” and our desire to provide order out of a perceived chaos at the border. Does the US Attorney General’s case against the State of Arizona reflect a greater need to revise US immigration law? Is NAFTA to blame for current immigration challenges, and does it still have economic relevance? Seminar participants will examine immigration from the perspective of both sides of the border. Negotiations between the US and the Mexican governments will be reviewed, as well as perceptions from people who depend on this living membrane we call our Southwest border. Participants will go beyond polemics to determine the current reality of immigration in the US and drugs and violence in Mexico. They will examine immigration and border “best practices” of countries around the world to determine the key ingredients to a win-win agreement between the US and Mexico.
Moderator: Peter Romero, CEO of Experior Advisory, former Assistant Secretary of State of the new Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau and former U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador
From Facebook to Body Scanners: The Future of Privacy and Technology in the Age of Google
Changes in technology are posing stark challenges to our conceptions of privacy and freedom in democracies around the world. As anyone who has struggled with an embarrassing Facebook photo understands, it’s increasingly difficult to escape your past or to reinvent yourself in an age when the Internet records everything and forgets nothing. In the seminar, we will discuss technologies that are transforming our conceptions of privacy and liberty ranging from gossip on Facebook to human cloning and genetic selection to body scanning and datamining at airports to Google and Twitter. And we will identify the range of legal, technological, and cultural options that citizens have as we struggle to respond to technological shifts, offering an analytical blueprint for translating values such as privacy and liberty into the twenty-first century.
Moderator: Jeff Rosen, Professor of Law, the George Washington University Law School, and legal affairs editor, The New Republic