Announcing the Inaugural “New York Ideas” Forum at the New-York Historical Society in New York City on April 17, 2012

March 9, 2012

Leading Policy Makers, Business Leaders, and Innovative Thinkers Examine the Consequential Issues That Define Our Times

Washington, D.C. (March 7, 2012)—The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and the New-York Historical Society announce a new forum, "New York Ideas," to be held April 17, 2012, in New York City. The inaugural event is an expansion of The Atlantic‘s longstanding partnership with the Aspen Institute devoted to the exchange of ideas of consequence, which established the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2005 and the Washington Ideas Forum in 2009.

Through a series of headline interviews and panel discussions, leading policy makers, business leaders, and thinkers will discuss and debate evolving ideas of America at home and abroad—and what role they play in this year’s election: How can the U.S. maintain its leadership position in an increasingly competitive global world? Who are we as a nation, and where will we be in another generation? How do we transform our health-care and education systems to stay apace with other global powers? What role will technology disruption play? How will we manage natural resources?

"Our public programs, like the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Washington Ideas Forum, and now New York Ideas, allow us to explore seemingly intractable issues in a setting that puts aside partisan rancor and places value on civility," said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. "This goes to the heart of the Aspen Institute, and it is only fitting that we join The Atlantic and the New-York Historical Society in bringing this event to New York."

"Aspen, Colorado, population 6,658, has proved a tremendous stage for one of the world’s great intellectual festivals," said David Bradley, owner of The Atlantic. "I can only imagine the scale and brilliance of what we should produce in time in New York, the world’s capital city."

Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, added: "What better venue for discussion and debate about who we are as a nation than the city that served as America’s first capital and in which the Bill of Rights was drafted? As New York’s first museum and its greatest early American library, we are proud to host these important meetings."

Confirmed speakers joining in the discussions include: Melody Barnes, former domestic-policy adviser to President Barack Obama; Bruce Bodaken, chairman and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of California; Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution; Anna Deavere Smith, actor, playwright, and educator; David Gergen, former presidential adviser; Jane Harman, president of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars; Glenn Hubbard, economist and dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business; Shirley Ann Jackson, vice chair of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness; William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; Peter Orszag, vice chair of Citigroup and former director of the Office of Management and Budget; Mayor Annise Parker of Houston; Peter Peterson, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, founder of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and co-founder of The Blackstone Group; Steven Rattner, former Obama-administration “car czar”; Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta; Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union; Holden Thorp, chancellor of the University of North Carolina; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; and Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator at theFinancial Times.

They will be joined by some of The Atlantic’s leading editorial voices, including: James Bennet, editor; Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large; James Fallows, national correspondent; and Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent.

Additional speakers, and a detailed agenda, will be released in the weeks ahead. Presenting underwriters of New York Ideas include Fidelity Investments, Mars, and Thomson Reuters. McKinsey & Company is the event’s knowledge underwriter.

For those unable to attend in person at the New-York Historical Society, event programming, including live-stream video of main-stage events, will be covered online at You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following @Atlantic_LIVE, @AspenInstitute, and @NYHistory, #NYIdeas.

For press credentials, please contact Natalie Raabe at The Atlantic at

About The Atlantic
Since 1857, The Atlantic has played a central role in shaping the national debate on current affairs and cultural trends. Dedicated to bold, independent, diverse, and highly reasoned perspectives, its writers, bloggers, and critics represent the best in American journalism. The Atlantic’s award-winning commentary and coverage can be found in its magazine, on its Web site at, and at more than 70 events a year produced by its industry-leading events division, AtlanticLIVE.

About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research by presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural, and social history of New York City, New York State, and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

Media Contacts

Natalie Raabe, The Atlantic

Jennifer Myers, The Aspen Institute

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