Around the Institute

The Aspen Ideas Festival’s Opening Salvo: Part I

June 28, 2014  • Institute Contributor

The 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival kicked off with a few of the more than 350 speakers offering their big ideas for making the world a better place by 2024. Why a decade from now? Because the Festival is celebrating its own 10th anniversary this year with a bigger, better week of events than ever before. Here’s Part I of a sampling of what the week will bring.

“Having people work three months just to pay taxes is the modern day equivalent of being in debtors’ prison.” — Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO at Allstate

“We’re going to need a new federal agency to deal with robots. … What would the Department of Transportation do when the first driverless cars crash into each other?… Other countries are getting serious about robotics… and if we don’t it will be the first transformative technology since steam that America wouldn’t have a leading role.” — Ryan Calo, Assistant Professor at Law at University of Washington

“If we consider accepting our cosmic insignificance, it gives us some perspective.” — Janna Levin, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Columbia University

“By virtue of remote presence devices, I was able to travel all over the world while lying in my bed.” — Henry Evans, Robotics Activist