Thinking Through the Biggest Ideas

The future of sports, and its impact on society, will be shaped by an array of factors, both within and beyond the control of stakeholders. Advances in technology will continue to create paradigm shifts in the provision and value of experiences. Leadership also matters – the ability to mobilize around new models and policies that may serve the common good.

The mission of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program is to convene leaders, facilitate dialogue, and inspire solutions that serve the public interest. In that spirit, we are pleased to introduce “Future of Sports,” a new conversation series that creates a venue to think through some of the biggest ideas on the horizon, all potential game-changers.

Hosted at the Aspen Institute’s new headquarters in Washington D.C., each of the four events in 2018 will focus on a key question that, in the analysis of the Sports & Society Program, is worthy of deep exploration. Thought leaders from diverse perspectives sport chiefs, athletes, academics, policymakers, business innovators, educators, journalists and others will be invited to share their perspective through moderated dialogue.

The Aspen Institute will then author a report that includes insights from thought leaders on the implications of embracing the idea, policy or model that was the focus of discussion. We hope each report and conversation advances knowledge, and stimulates new thinking, on ways to address major challenges at the intersection of sport and society.

Each conversation will be live-streamed and archived. The events are open to the public and are free, with lunch served, though space is limited. Questions, and requests for media credentials, can be emailed to, editorial director for the Sports & Society Program.

The Sports & Society Program thanks Marilyn and Michael Glosserman for their generous support of the Future of Sports series.


Future of Sports Betting: Reimagining its Public Value

Sept. 14, Time TBD

The Aspen Institute
2300 N St., Washington DC

The Supreme Court has opened the door for states to offer legalized sports betting, and a couple dozen states plan to do so. Can this activity be used to serve the public interest – and not just the casinos and another industry actors? More details to come on our event.


Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athlete Pay

May 1, 11:45 am-2:30 pm ET

The Aspen Institute
2300 N St., Washington DC

Our second event is focused on college athletics and explores the implications if NCAA athletes were allowed to be paid. The event builds off previous Sports & Society Program conversations with NCAA leaders.


Future of Football: Reimagining the Game’s Pipeline

Jan. 25, Noon-2:30 pm ET

The Aspen Institute
2300 N St., Washington DC

Our inaugural event is focused on the nation’s most-watched sport, in advance of the Super Bowl. It builds on the Sports & Society program’s thought leadership work on youth football through its Project Play initiative, which aims to build healthy children and communities through sports.