Aspen Institute to Present Teen Socrates Seminar: “Happiness in the Always-On Age”

December 27, 2011

For Immediate Release
Contact: Beth Slater
Coordinator, Aspen Community Programs
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 970-544-7914

Aspen, CO, December 27, 2011 –– Registration is now open for the Aspen Institute’s 2012 Teen Socrates Seminar: “Happiness in the Always-On Age.” The seminar features moderator Lisa Napoli, author of Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth. The seminar takes place over President’s Day Weekend: February 18, 19, and 20 at the Aspen Institute. It is open to high school students ages 14-18. The seminar fee is $425, and scholarships are available.

Students will do readings prior to the seminar and engage in moderated discussions. The seminar will focus on happiness, and how happiness is impacted by technology. Some call the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan the “last Shangri-La.” The poor, pristine nation of 650,000 people is nestled between giants India and China and didn’t open to tourists until the 1970s. There were no roads, electricity, schools or hard currency until then. Television and the Internet were only permitted 11 years ago. Bhutan measures its “Gross National Happiness” instead of “gross domestic product,” placing the wellbeing of its citizens above profits. Is such an ideal possible, or even desirable, for the rest of us? What challenges are raised as modern conveniences are introduced to an ancient Kingdom?

Lisa Napoli’s last staff job was as reporter and back-up host for public radio show Marketplace. She covered the Internet revolution and the cultural impact of technology as a columnist and staff reporter for the NY Times CyberTimes, and as a correspondent for MSNBC. Lisa began her career at CNN in Atlanta in the early eighties, worked in local TV news in North Carolina, and covered the Clinton campaign and Waco standoff as a field producer. She’s also been a producer for an upscale division of QVC called Q2. Besides learning to swim at age 37, her proudest accomplishment is the parties she holds every Friday night, where she relishes seeing friends befriend one another. A native of Brooklyn, NY and a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. She currently lives in downtown Los Angeles, where there’s a giant swimming pool, and hopes in the second half of her life to be a philanthropist.

Event registration is open at: For more information on the Aspen Institute Great Books Series and other events open to the public, please contact Beth Slater at 970-544-7914 or, or visit the Institute’s website at


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