Aspen Ideas Festival Announces 2022 Agenda; Hundreds of Speakers, Fellows, & Members of the Public to Gather in the Rocky Mountains

June 16, 2022

The Festival takes place June 25-July 1, organized in partnership with NBCUniversal News Group

Top journalists from NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Noticias Telemundo to moderate marquee interviews and expert panel discussions

Contact: Jon Purves
Associate Director, Media Relations
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC and Aspen, CO, June 16, 2022—The Aspen Institute today shared the full programming agenda for the 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival. From June 25-July 1, more than 300 leaders and innovators will gather in the Rocky Mountains to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the issues that shape our lives and challenge our times, spanning politics, business, science, the arts, education, and more. Passes are available now.

NBCUniversal News Group is the exclusive media partner of the Festival, collaborating with the Institute on programming and extending the reach of the festival’s on-the-ground events, partners and sponsors to audiences across NBCU News Group’s wide-reaching broadcast, cable, digital, audio and streaming platforms. Top anchors and journalists from NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, and Noticias Telemundo – including Yamiche Alcindor, Julia Boorstin, Sara Eisen, Zinhle Essamuah, Vanessa Hauc, Sheinelle Jones, Ylan Mui, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Gadi Schwartz, and Jacob Soboroff  – will drive conversations during the festival through marquee interviews, fireside chats, and expert panel discussions throughout the festival’s programming.

The agenda is available to view in full at, with a number of high-profile speakers and sessions yet to be announced. The Festival is divided into two parts, which run from June 25-28, and June 28-July 1. Among the many programming highlights:

Saturday, June 25

  • The opening session includes Olympic freestyle skier and gold medalist Eileen Gu, Barnard College Astronomy and Physics Professor Janna Levin, Carlyle Group co-chairman David Rubenstein, University of Chicago president Paul Alivisatos, Davidson College president Carol Quillen, writer and memoirist Thomas Chatterton Williams, and special guests to be announced.

Sunday, June 26

  • Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu discusses his oversight of the biggest American infrastructure investment in generations, in conversation with Noticias Telemundo anchor Vanessa Hauc.
  • Democratizing beauty: a conversation with Instagram fashion VP Eva Chen; Allure editor Jessica Cruel; and model Winne Harlow.
  • The roadmap to Net Zero: a deep dive with Kleiner Perkins Chairman John Doerr; Energy Innovation CEO Hal Harvey; and Ryan Pandchadsaram, investor and advisor at Kleiner Perkins.
  • CNBC Senior Congressional correspondent Ylan Mui leads a deep dive on cryptocurrency, with Bitfury Group CEO Brian Brooks; Cryptobesties co-founder Rima Patel; and Brooks Entwistle, SVP of Global Customer Success and the managing director for APAC and MENA at Ripple.

Monday, June 27

  • What did the pandemic teach us about the future of work? CNBC Closing Bell anchor Sara Eisen interviews Prudential Financial Vice chair Rob Falzon and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.
  • When Sports Build Community: the executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society program, Tom Farrey, leads a conversation with Arizona Coyotes CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez; Salamander Hotels CEO Sheila Johnson; and Telemundo Deportes President Ray Warren.
  • Can big data save the world? Palantir Technologies co-founder and CEO Alex Karp is interviewed by CNBC Squawk Box co-anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin.
  • Dark money and the globalization of corruption: NPR’s Mary Louise Kelley speaks to those willing to hold power to account, with Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder, and the founders of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Paul Radu and Drew Sullivan.

Tuesday, June 28

  • How wilderness transforms people and the planet: NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz leads a conversation with National Parks Service director Chuck Sams, and Tompkins Conservation president and former Patagonia CEO Kristine Tompkins.
  • NBCUniversal Chairman Cesar Conde participates in a 1-1 interview with Financial Times editor-at-large Gillian Tett.
  • The “Afternoon of Conversation,” the traditional midway gathering at the Festival, will feature various speakers throughout the week including renowned journalist Katie Couric; NPR’s Mary Louise-Kelly, NBC News correspondent Erin McLaughlin and special guests to be announced.
  • What, and who, is the future of the Democratic Party? Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro; NBC News White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor; New York Times political correspondent Jonathan Martin; and The Atlantic staff writer Barton Gellman share their perspectives.

Wednesday, June 29

  • Can the Administration get us on a path to net zero? Hear from EPA administrator Michael Regan and the Biden White House’s national climate advisor, Gina McCarthy, in conversation with Time Magazine’s Justin Worland.
  • Supporting small business, the backbone of the American economy: Ohio Senator Rob Portman; Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf; and Mobility Capital Finance founder and CEO Wole Coaxum speak to CNBC’s Sara Eisen.
  • Creating opportunities for those formerly incarcerated: CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin interviews Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Flikshop CEO and Founder Marcus Bullock.

 Thursday, June 30

  • Women redefining the mission-driven company: CNBC senior media and tech correspondent Julia Boorstin interviews Honest Company founder and actress Jessica Alba, and Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.
  • Leading editors and media executives discuss the future of media, with NBC News president Noah Oppenheim; USA Today editor in chief Nicole Caroll; Los Angeles Times executive editor Kevin Merida; and New Yorker staff writer and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism dean Jelani Cobb.
  • The connection between climate change and natural disasters: iconic science educator Bill Nye speaks with NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz.
  • CNBC’s Sara Eisen leads a conversation with Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta and HP inc. CEO Enrique Lores on shifting business models to fight climate change, working for workplace  diversity and inclusion, and transforming cultures.
  • Actress and “Mean Baby” author Selma Blair appears in a rare interview to discuss her multiple sclerosis diagnosis and advocacy with Sheinelle Jones, co-host of the 3rd Hour of TODAY.

Friday, July 1 

  • What good is the UN? Yale Law professor Harold Koh, and Arnold & Porter partner and former legal adviser for the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council John Bellinger share their insights with Politico executive editor Dafna Linzer.
  • Ending the plague of plastic: a conversation between TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory education coordinator Laurel Zaima, and National Geographic Society CEO Jill Tiefenthaler.
  • Closing out the Festival with music and conversation will be acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming, conductor Marin Alsop, Afghanistan National Institute of Music founder and Director Ahmad Sarmast, and special guests to be announced.

Now in its 18th year, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the Aspen Institute’s signature summer public event. Among the key themes explored at this year’s festival are conversations around the concepts of Heat, Power, Connection, Trust, Money, and Beauty. New venues for 2022 include open-air tents and spaces which bring the outside in.

Tickets for individual sessions will be on sale beginning June 16, with more than 20 ticketed sessions taking place on the Aspen Meadows Campus and the Hotel Jerome Ballroom.  For tickets, locations, and the ticketed agenda, visit or, for those in Aspen, the Wheeler Box Office. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

New for 2022 and building on successful online Aspen Ideas programming in 2020 and 2021, Aspen Ideas is also introducing an accessible digital pass, with online programming hosted by NBC News NOW reporter Zinhle Essamuah. The pass will present the best of the in-person Festival from June 27-30, giving attendees access to a curated sample of in-person sessions and live, virtual-only Q&A sessions with distinguished speakers. Learn more at

Editor’s Note: A limited number of press credentials remain available for media interested in attending as covering reporters. To apply, please fill out the form here: 

Presenting Underwriters for the Aspen Ideas Festival are Allstate, Comcast NBCUniversal, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Meta, Mount Sinai Health System, PayPal, Prudential Financial, Inc, Soli Solutions, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, and Wells Fargo. Supporting Underwriters are EY-Parthenon,, IBM, Skoll Foundation and YouTube. Contributing Underwriters are Guild Education, PBS, National Geographic Society and TPG / Rise Fund.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit 

About NBCUniversal News Group: More Americans watch NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC than any news organization in the world. NBC News’ leading and award-winning television news broadcasts include TODAY, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and Dateline NBC. MSNBC is the #2 network across all of cable and the premiere destination for breaking news, award-winning content, in-depth analysis and informed perspectives. CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage, business and general news content, and primetime reality programming, consumed by more than 557 million people per month across all platforms. The rapidly-growing NBC News Digital Group – including its streaming news services NBC News NOW and TODAY All Day – and the network’s award-winning original podcast and audio unit provide continuous content to consumers wherever they are, whenever they want it.

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