Washington Ideas Forum: Newsmakers Speak to Year’s Most Pressing Issues and Ideas of Consequence – 9/30 & 10/1

September 3, 2015

For media inquiries, please contact:

Anna C. Bross
Senior Director, Communications, The Atlantic

Sydney Simon
The Atlantic

Washington Ideas Forum: Newsmakers Speak to Year’s Most Pressing Issues and Ideas of Consequence – 9/30 & 10/1
Al Gore, Theo Padnos, Madeleine Albright, Lonnie Bunch, Jeff Weiner, Stanley Nelson, and others to participate in two-day summit

It’s a time of landmark change and challenge: the Supreme Court has secured the future of the Affordable Care Act and gay marriage is now the law of the land. While the U.S. tests new relationships with old foes, from Cuba to Iran, the brutality of ISIS continues to stun the world and perplex policymakers. At home, a gripping debate has been revived on race and justice in American society.

Such pressing issues and ideas of consequence will define the seventh annualWashington Ideas Forum, presented by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute onSeptember 30 and October 1, 2015. The two-day program, to be held at the Harman Center for the Arts, will play host to speakers shaping dialogue aroundpolitics, business, education, culture, media, science, art, and technology.Tickets are available now.

“There is something very powerful about what unfolds on stage at Washington Ideas,” said Margaret Low Smith, president of AtlanticLIVE. “Some of this country’s leading thinkers and doers open up and talk about issues and ideas in a very candid way. We have a fascinating line up this year and expect two memorable days.”

“This forum takes the magic of the Aspen Ideas Festival to Washington, D.C., where ideas are dissected on stage and conversations and connections taking place off-stage make this a very special event,” said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “We’re delighted to be partnering with our friends at The Atlantic again for this annual gathering.”

Journalist Theo Padnos, who was held hostage in Syria for almost two years by Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, will discuss his experiences for the first time in a live forum setting. Padnos’ mother Nancy Curtis and cousin Amy Rosen, who both worked to secure his release, will join the conversation, along withLawrence Wright, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who recently authored adetailed account of the private efforts of families to rescue loved ones from Syria.The Atlantic‘s editor-in-chief James Bennet will moderate the discussion.

Washington Ideas Forum will also feature conversations with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who now chairs the Albright Stonebridge Group;Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture; former Vice President and Chairman of Generation Investment Management Al Gore; Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson; DARPA Director Arati PrabhakarMartine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics and founder of Sirius XM, who is transgender and the country’s highest paid female CEO; and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

In its six years, the Washington Ideas Forum has hosted an influential list of global leaders and visionaries, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, CEO of Etsy Chad Dickerson, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Secretary of State John Kerry, Political Scientist Henry Kissinger, Owner and Vice Chairman of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Rita Benson LeBlanc, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb, presidential candidate and Senator Marco Rubio and VICE CEO Shane Smith.

Media interested in attending the program, or with additional questions, should contact the press leads below. For those unable to attend in person, the program with be webcast live via The Atlantic’s Events Channel and on the Aspen Institute’s website. Follow the conversation online via @Atlantic_LIVE,@AspenInstitute, and by using #IdeasForum.

Athenahealth, Comcast and Hitachi are Presenting Level underwriters of the Forum. The American Federation of Teachers, Google, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are Supporting Level underwriters, and Allstate, Clear Channel Outdoor and Steelcase are  Contributing Level Underwriters.

At a Glance:

What: The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute present the Seventh Annual Washington Ideas Forum
Where: Harman Center for the Arts, 610 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
When: September 30 – October 1, 2015
Who: 1,500+ attendees
Media RSVP: Contact Sydney Simon at ssimon@theatlantic.com to receive a complimentary press credential.
Attendee RSVP: Registration is open now; patron passes are $149.
Website: www.theatlantic.com/wif2015

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