The Atlantic and Aspen Institute Kick Off the Aspen Ideas Festival

June 30, 2008  • Institute Contributor

Contact: Zachary Hastings Hooper
The Atlantic
202-862-4355/202-531-2512 /
Contact: Jennifer Myers
The Aspen Institute
02-736-2906 /

The Atlantic and Aspen Institute Kick Off the Aspen Ideas Festival 

Monday’s Highlights include Craig Barrett and John Doerr on Technology’s Human Impact, Documentary Darfur Now and Lawrence Lessig

Aspen, Colorado (June 30, 2008) – The 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival commences today, courtesy of the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. Convening more than 250 leaders from the fields of arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics and politics, the Festival engages audiences in a deep and inquisitive public discourse on the most invigorating ideas and issues facing the world today.

During the festival opening, Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, will welcome all attendees to the grounds of the Aspen Institute. An opening reception will be followed by an engaging conversation with Intel CEO Craig Barrett on the human impact of technology, moderated by Kleiner Perkins CEO and Institute trustee John Doerr. The day will conclude with a film screening and discussion of Darfur Now with filmmaker Ted Braun, cast member Adam Sterling and Participant Media CEO Jim Berk, as well as an evening exchange with Lawrence Lessig.

For those unable to attend in person, the dialogue extends from Aspen to a global audience online at The Atlantic’s Ideas Web Channel at and Real time event updates will be featured at and


  • Alice Waters in conversation with The Atlantic’s Corby Kummer, with dessert served from her cookbook
  • A conversation with former US President Bill Clinton
  • A presentation by Douglas Schoen of an exclusive poll looking inside the 2008 Presidential campaigns
  • US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in conversation with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg
  • An evening of music and engaging conversation with singer and songwriter Steve Earle, actor and playwright Sarah Jones, and Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen
  • Richard Thompson Ford, Shelby Steele and Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing Race in America
  • The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman and Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson discussing a green revolution
  • A West Side Story dance tutorial with New York City Ballet’s former Principal Dancer and the Institute’s 2008 Harman-Eisner Artist in Resident Damian Woetzel
  • A live taping of WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show, discussing the American Education System with Eli Broad and US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
  • A film screening of HBO’s The Gates with the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude
  • A talk entitled “Against All Odds” with four young, resilient survivors of genocide, war, and gang violence who have transformed heartbreaking tragedy into inspiration and action, moderated by playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith
  • An evening of breathtaking photography and storytelling with adventurer and National Geographic photographer James Balog whose latest project, “The Extreme Ice Survey,” captures an unprecedented look at retreating glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, the Alps, and the Rockies

Run in partnership with The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival convenes more than 250 leaders from the fields of arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics and politics in a deep and inquisitive public discourse on the most invigorating ideas and issues facing the world today—and our youth tomorrow. For more information about other events open to the public, a complete list of confirmed speakers, and passholder information, please visit Sponsors for the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival include Allstate, Altria, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chevron, Ernst & Young, Intel, JPMorgan, Mercedes-Benz, and Thomson Reuters. 

The Aspen Institute, founded in 1950, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering enlightened leadership and open-minded dialogue. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote nonpartisan inquiry and an appreciation for timeless values. The Institute is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Its international network includes partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, and leadership initiatives in Africa, Central America, and India.

Since it was founded 150 years ago, The Atlantic has helped shape the national debate on the most critical issues of our times, from politics, business, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic’s parent enterprise, Atlantic Media Company, is a Washington, D.C., based publishing company whose flagship properties include The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive. With more than 3 million readers among the ranks of business, politics, government and academia, the publishing properties of Atlantic Media enjoy a prestigious reputation, acquired through 150 years of publishing top-quality American literature and journalism.


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