Around the Institute

Top 10 Podcasts of 2015

December 17, 2015  • Aspen Institute Staff

The top 10 Aspen Ideas to Go podcasts from this year covered topics ranging from the purpose of college to Islamic extremism. Listen back to hear some of the most interesting conversations coming out of the Aspen Institute in 2015.

Is Violence a Function of our Culture?

Homicide remains a seemingly unsolvable problem in America. What is the cause of this crisis? What is the role of culture? Are there any solutions? This episode features New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.

Circuit Training for Your Brain: Well-Being Is a Skill

Scientific evidence suggests that we can change our brains by cultivating habits that improve well-being. Richard J. Davidson, director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains how to ‘train your brain’ for improved mental health.

What is College For? 

At a time when traditional notions of college are under scrutiny, it is urgent that we ask what college is supposed to be about in the first place. What happens when education is understood in purely vocational terms? What happens to schools, to teachers, to society — to students themselves? Why are students learning so little in college?

A View From the White House

Lisa Monaco, deputy national security advisor and assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, shares what keeps her up at night and how she is working to make us all safe.

Faith and the Public Square

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) discusses faith and public life with theologian and author Jim Wallis. The conversation begins from an agreement that the separation of church and state is imperative but that moral values should not be segregated from public life.

China: New Economic Superpower?

US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson discuss Paulson’s book, “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower,” in which Paulson outlines the steps needed to build a bright economic future for the US.

The New Golden Age of Television

Internet TV is growing globally in ways that traditional TV just isn’t, with streaming services like Netflix dramatically influencing our consumption of storytelling. Yahoo News Global Anchor and Institute Trustee Katie Couric speaks with Ted Sarandos, the gutsy program chief of Netflix, whose platinum successes include House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

Radical: My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism 

Quilliam Co-Founder and Chairman Maajid Nawaz shares his remarkable journey from Islamist extremism to liberal democratic values.

The Church of Pope Francis

Nancy Gibbs, editor of TIME magazine, leads a conversation on religion with: Michael Gerson, a nationally syndicated columnist; Matt Malone, president and editor-in-chief of America Media; and Garry Wills, professor, historian, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author (“Why I Am a Catholic” and “The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis”). 

The Obama Doctrine: America’s Role in a Complicated World

Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor to President Barack Obama, was the chief US negotiator in the secret normalization talks with Cuba, and has been a central player in the making of American foreign policy since 2009. Rhodes and The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg discuss Obama’s worldview, focusing on Cuba, the Iran talks, and the continuing crisis across the broader Middle East.