How to Thrive in the Digital Age: Reimagining our Relationship with Technology

March 21, 2016  • Institute Staff

This past week Aspen Institute Radio featured discussions on innovation, technology, and society. The episode includes conversations about how the industries of the future will lead us, solve complex problems in cities, and change the way we produce and consume energy.

Aspen Institute Radio, our two-hour radio show, airs every Saturday and Sunday on SiriusXM Insight (channel 121). Each episode dives into the topics that inform the world around us. Here in our weekly Listen Longer posts, we’ll recap each episode and show where you can read, watch, and listen to more. Don’t have SiriusXM? Try it for free for a month here.

Arianna Huffington and Leon Weiseltier: Our Relationship with Technology

One of the things that makes it more difficult to connect with ourselves — and thus our creativity, intuition, and wisdom — is our increasing dependence on technology. We are not just distracted by devices, texts, emails, constant notifications, and social media, but addicted to them. At the same time, there is a collective longing to stop living in the shadows and recognize that life is actually shaped from the inside out. Reimagining our relationship with technology can have a transformational impact on our well-being, our capacity to tap into our own wisdom and to make a difference in the lives of others, and on our ability to truly thrive.

Alec Ross on Industries of the Future

Alec Ross, former senior advisor for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, discusses his new book “The Industries of the Future.” As his publisher describes, the book “examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.”

Big Data: Innovation and Ideas for a Smarter City

As collecting and synthesizing vast sets of urban data becomes easier and more affordable, mayors and city managers are focusing on innovative ways to put it to use. So-called big data serves as a common language between people who may never have spoken, inspiring collaboration, offering metrics for decision making, and turning seemingly unrelated ideas into powerful insights that can solve the most complex problems city dwellers and leaders confront.

Why California is Leading the United States in Energy Innovation

From the first appliance efficiency standards in the 1970s to path-breaking greenhouse gas reductions today — with landmark clean power and clean fuel regulations in between — California has been America’s pace-setter in rethinking the way we produce and consume energy. Now the state is undertaking another massive wave of innovation intended to accelerate its transition away from fossil fuels. What have these changes meant for the state’s economy and environment? And what can other states, and the nation, learn from them? Activist and investor Tom Steyer — a figure at the center of the environmental, economic, and political debate — shares insights about California’s progress.