Highlights from the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival

July 6, 2007  • Institute Contributor

Highlights from the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival

(Aspen, Colorado) – The Aspen Institute and the Atlantic release the following highlights from Day Five of the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival.  For inquiries, please contact Amy Thompson at 202-285-2997 or [email protected].

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IS GREEN IS THE NEW RED, WHITE & BLUE?
New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman yesterday told a pack auditorium that combating global warming “will be the biggest project mankind has ever undertaken since the Tower of Babel.”  In describing the scale of the project, Friedman said the world must simultaneously conserve 13 trillion watts of energy while producing 13 trillion watts of clean power.  “That my friends is the truly inconvenient truth,” Friedman said. Watch two clips of the talk on You Tube here  and here.

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SPECIAL IDEAS FESTIVAL “WASHINGTON WEEK” SHOW
Host Gwen Ifill brought her D.C.-based political roundtable to Aspen this week as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival.  Panelists included National Journal’s Alexis Simendinger, the Washington Post’s Dan Balz, ABC News’ Martha Raddatz and Slate’s John Dickerson.  Taped before a live audience of nearly 200 people at Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome, Ifill and her guests had a lively discussion about presidential fundraising and the impact of You Tube in this election cycle.  Immediately following the taping, Ifill and her panel guests did a Web cast with audience participation.  The show and Web cast is available at http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/video/

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TODAY’S VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Please visit http://www.aifestival.org/index2.php?menu=3&sub=4 to watch the following clips:

  • U.S. Chair of the Global Campaign for Education Gene B. Sperling on the pivotal roll the U.S. educational system will play in the country’s global economic standing.
  • Three poems from the former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins
  • The Atlantic’s Clive Crook talks about America’s economic infatuation with China.
  • China expert David Dollar offers an optimist’s view of the Chinese economy while economist Minxin Pei gives a pessimist’s view.
  • Anna Deavere Smith offers an artistic interlude during yesterday’s Afternoon of Conversation.

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[email protected] BLOG – TODAY’S DISCUSSIONS
Atlantic editor James Bennet says half of the people in Aspen are sick of playing cards with Bill Clinton … Clive Crook almost agrees with C.K. Prahalad’s views on selling goods and services to the world’s poor … Ross Douthat and James Bennet were both frustrated by Colin Powell’s talk yesterday … and more.  Join the discussion at http://aspenideas.theatlantic.com/.

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FESTIVAL QUOTES
“Green has gone mainstream, but it hasn’t gone down Main Street.” – Thomas Friedman in “Green is the Next Red, White & Blue.”

“Teach for America is marvelous.  But you’re not going to solve the teacher problem with volunteers.” – William H. Gates, Sr. on education.

“Almost $1 billion has been taken out of the healthcare system in seven month,” Wal-Mart’s Leslie Dach on the impact of Wal-Mart’s generic drug program.

“[John McCain] is going to face questions every day about when he’s [sic] going to fold up the campaign. And that’s just annoying.”— Slate’s John Dickerson on the presidential races on Washington Week

“[The Clinton’s] have a money network we all thought was second to none.  But it has been worked over and over and over … and has been tapped out.” – The Washington Post’s Dan Balz on Washington Week taping in Aspen.

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TOMORROW’S PREVIEW:

  • Special guest President Bill Clinton will discuss with Richard Stengel his work around the world
  • Special live taping of Kurt Anderson’s Public Radio International show Studio 360, with guests author/actress Anna Deavere Smith, ballet dancer Damian Woetzel, and Pulitzer prize-winning writer and novelist Edward P. Jones.  With musical guest Elizabeth and the Catapult
  • Alma Powell and others discuss strategies and opportunities for investing in America’s children
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Schapp discussing his book on Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics
  • The New York City Ballet’s Damian Woetzel discusses ballet and the state of art in America
  • Anna Deavere Smith has a one-on-one conversation with Edward P. Jones
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and writer Jeffrey Rosen discuss democracy and the Court
  • Afghanistan’s Minister of Defense General Abdul Rahim Wardak, Institute for State Effectiveness Chairman Ashraf Ghani, and CEO of the  Institute for State Effectiveness Clare Lockhart discuss the reality on the ground in Afghanistan

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