Around the Institute

The Good (Digital) Society

July 1, 2020  • Institute Staff

Give NowWhen the Covid-19 pandemic forced most communities to shelter in place in March, the Society of Fellows quickly introduced a new weekly series of digital events for its members.

The inaugural SOF Digital Discussion in March featured Aspen Institute trustee Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, the president and CEO of Mount Sinai Health System in New York, and Ruth Katz, an Institute vice president and the executive director of the Health, Medicine and Society Program, discussing the impact of the pandemic in New York City, where it was most concentrated at the time.

Since then, the speakers for the SOF digital discussions have included New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman, psychotherapist and New York Times best-selling author Lori Gottlieb, Annie E. Casey Foundation President and CEO Lisa Hamilton, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass, Reddit Co-Founder and CEO Steve Huffman, celebrated pianist Simone Dinnerstein, Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu in conversation with Recode co-founder and editor at-large Kara Swisher, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum Thelma Golden, and 2020 Pulitzer Prize–winning creator of the Times’ 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones.

SOF includes over 1,800 members who sustain and support the work of the Institute. Members actively participate in Institute programming and serve as advocates and ambassadors. Members enjoy unparalleled access to Institute programs, are the first to know about Institute events, and receive special invitations to programs in Aspen, New York, Washington, San Francisco, and other locations across the country.

“With SOF members in so many different locations, we were already developing a digital platform that would allow everyone to be able to access the high-quality programs that we produce,” says Warwick Sabin, the executive director of the Society of Fellows. “This new format has allowed our community to stay together and tethered to the mission and work of the Aspen Institute, as their engagement with ideas, information, and inspiration is more valuable now than ever before.”