The programs that make up the Aspen Institute are not static things; their borders are defined but porous, and their missions grow and change as that state of the world changes. You may have noticed the state of the world has been changing a bit lately. Accordingly, there’s a raft of new events, new initiatives, and new directions coming to the Institute in 2022. Here are just a few:
Aspen Ideas: Climate, March 3 – 7
Many Institute programs are involved in work that addresses climate change; when a problem is this big, it touches everything. The Aspen Ideas Festival has long hosted scientists, innovators, and big thinkers in the climate realm, and the urgency of the situation has prompted the program to give climate a stage of its own.
In March, the Institute will bring the world’s most ambitious climate problem solvers to Miami Beach, a city that is facing the daily effects of sea-level rise, intensifying storms, and weather shifts, but is also a center of innovation and adaptation in the face of the crisis. This multi-day public event—Aspen Ideas: Climate—will bring the familiar Ideas format to this existential challenge, featuring discussion tracks on Resilient Communities, Climate-Smart Money, Earth on Offense, and Clean Power, Bright Future. Registration is open now.
Aspen Ideas: Health, June 22 – 25
The launch of an Ideas Festival subject as a separate event isn’t without precedent, of course. Aspen Ideas: Health began as a program track within the main summer festival before getting its own stage. As in years past, AIH will precede the main festival on the Aspen Meadows campus, with tracks addressing Hope, Disruption, Get Smart, Influence, Pleasure, and Security. Passes go on sale on January 12; expect speaker announcements starting in April.
Aspen Ideas Festival, June 25 – July 1
During two years as a multi-day virtual event, the Aspen Ideas Festival reached people all over the world through their internet connections. With a return to full in-person events in 2022, AIF isn’t going to let go of that global audience, and so they’ve brought on NBCUniversal News Group as a media partner. Working with NBCUniversal’s editorial team and NBC’s top talent, those famous Big Ideas—in this year’s categories of Heat, Power, Human Connection, Trust, Money, and Beauty—will reach audiences across platforms from NBC Nightly News to Noticias Telemundo.
Aspen Challenge, February – July
Big ideas have to come from somewhere, and they don’t always come from people with big platforms. The Aspen Challenge gives young people a chance to practice their critical thinking, tap into their creativity, and design solutions to some of the most critical problems humanity faces. The competition—expanding this year into New Orleans—will give teams from 20 schools in Orleans Parish nine weeks to develop solutions to challenges, and the three teams judged highest will travel to Aspen to present their ideas during the Ideas Festival. A parallel competition will take place in Miami, building on last year’s virtual competition there.