The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic Announce 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival: Exploring Ideas, Deepening Dialogue, Inspiring Action

June 4, 2010  • Alexa Wahl

Contacts: Jennifer Myers
Deputy Director of Communications, The Aspen Institute
202-736-2906/[email protected]


Zachary Hastings Hooper
The Atlantic
202-862-4355/[email protected]


Washington, DC, June 7, 2010 The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic announce their sixth annual celebration of ideas with the 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival. From July 5 – July 11 in Aspen, Colorado, more than 250 leaders from the fields of arts, science, culture, technology, religion, philosophy, business, economics, and politics — drawn from across the country and from around the world — will speak about “exploring ideas, deepening dialogue, and inspiring action.” Contributing their provocative perspectives, these presenters will engage the festival audience of nearly 2,000, as well as those following the festival online around the world, in a deep and inquisitive public discourse on the most important and exciting ideas and issues facing the world today.


Speakers currently confirmed to attend include: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates; DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; Twitter Co-Founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams; United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba; Author John Kao; Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour; National Institute for Play President Stuart Brown; former President of Mexico Vicente Fox; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; US Attorney General Eric Holder; Pulitzer Prize-winning Photographer David Hume Kennerly; Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag; Sir Nigel Crisp; US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue; Allstate CEO Thomas J. Wilson; Playwright and Actress Anna Deavere Smith; Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele; Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant; WNBA’s Washington Mystics Owner Sheila Johnson; Shell President Marvin Odum; and sculptor Guy Dill and author Tobias Wolff, who will also serve as the Institute’s 2010 Harman-Eisner Artists-in-Residence.


Alongside leading journalists such as Fred Barnes, Maria Bartiromo, Elisabeth Bumiller, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Clive Crook, E.J. Dionne Jr., James Fallows, Tom Friedman, Jeffrey Goldberg, Sylvie Kauffmann, Katty Kay, Nicholas Kristof, Andrea Mitchell, Peggy Noonan, Kai Ryssdal, David Sanger, Bob Schieffer, Robert Siegel, and Tavis Smiley, presenters will discuss their ideas in plenary sessions, tutorials, and other sessions on program tracks including The Next Economy, Global Health, Design and Sustainability, Women + Girls: Change Agents, Living Digitally, Ideas in Education, The Promise of “Play,” and Latin America: Power, Politics, Potential.


“This year we are excited about some new and unique ways to help spread the Aspen Ideas Festival dialogue around the world, including new iPhone and Android apps. These apps, along with our continued online presence at aifestival.org, will allow us to make more of the Festival available to people across different mediums and around the world, while, at the same time, creating a better Festival experience for our patrons,” said Kitty Boone, vice president of public programs at the Aspen Institute.


The Atlantic will extend the conversation from Aspen to a global audience with a six week-long Ideas Special Report at TheAtlantic.com. Running from June 8 to July 16, the Report will include video from the Aspen Ideas Festival, a daily [email protected] slide show, an ongoing Ideas blog, and an Idea of the Day written by a featured Atlantic writer. The Ideas Special Report coincides with July/August Ideas issue of The Atlantic in print and online, focused on “Ideas of the Year.” Additionally, daily video highlights from the Ideas Festival will be posted at www.aifestival.org, and event updates will be featured at www.twitter.com/aspeninstitute, #aif2010 on www.twitter.com, and www.facebook.com/aspeninstitute.  


“The Ideas Festival draws together some of the world’s more influential and original thinkers to discuss the big questions of our time,” said James Bennet, editor of The Atlantic.  “We’re looking forward to the conversations that will emerge from this year’s partnership with the Aspen Institute.”


For a list of currently confirmed speakers, program tracks, and passholder information, please visit www.aifestival.org.


With an 80 percent renewal rate from 2009, underwriters for the 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival include Allstate, Altria, Applied Materials, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, HP, Mercedes-Benz USA, Monsanto, Shell, Thomson Reuters, and U.S Trust. 


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 website at www.theatlantic.com, and at 100+ events a year produced by its industry-leading events division, Atlantic LIVE.

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