501 episodes

Aspen Ideas to Go is a show about big ideas that will open your mind. Featuring compelling conversations with the world’s top thinkers and doers from a diverse range of disciplines, Aspen Ideas to Go gives you front-row access to the Aspen Ideas Festival and other events presented by the Aspen Institute.

Aspen Ideas to Go The Aspen Institute

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 215 Ratings

Aspen Ideas to Go is a show about big ideas that will open your mind. Featuring compelling conversations with the world’s top thinkers and doers from a diverse range of disciplines, Aspen Ideas to Go gives you front-row access to the Aspen Ideas Festival and other events presented by the Aspen Institute.

    Can You Design a Good Death?

    Can You Design a Good Death?

    Death is understandably difficult – and for some people, nearly impossible – to conceive of and talk about. Especially our own. It may seem like there’s nothing we can do to prepare for our last moments on earth, but several innovative panelists at the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival would disagree. Alua Arthur is a “death doula,” who helps people find peace with themselves when nearing the end of their life. A former lawyer, she founded the organization Going With Grace to help redefine the end-of-life experience. Dan Diaz was thrust into advocacy when his wife, Brittany Maynard, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2014 at age 29. Maynard wanted control over how she died, and the couple moved to Oregon for the last months of her life, where medical aid in dying was legal. Diaz has been pushing to expand legalization of medical aid in dying ever since, and has helped pass legislation in several states since Brittany’s death. Designer Katrina Spade invented a way to turn humans into compost after life, and founded the company Recompose. Human composting is now legal in five states, thanks to efforts led by Recompose. Stanford medical professor and health care culture advocate Dr. Lucy Kalanithi moderates the conversation. Kalanithi’s husband Paul Kalanithi died of cancer in 2015, after writing the memoir “When Breath Becomes Air.”

    • 49 min
    Katharine Hayhoe on Fighting Climate Change

    Katharine Hayhoe on Fighting Climate Change

    Climate change is demanding an extraordinarily rapid transformation of human society, and we don’t have a manual. The people who have done the least to cause the problem are the people who will be feeling it most, and that pattern of inequality exists both within and between nations. Mapping a course to an adapted planet is an incredibly complex task that requires the cooperation of millions. Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe is one of those pitching in, and she has co-authored the past four U.S. National Climate Assessment reports. She’s also the chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy and a professor in the Texas Tech University Political Science department. Her multiple insider roles give her a unique perspective on what it will take to solve and adapt to the climate crisis, and her practice of finding hope keeps her engaged. NBC “Today” show weather and feature anchor Al Roker interviews Hayhoe at the 2024 Aspen Ideas: Climate event in Miami Beach, Florida.

    • 18 min
    What Makes a Life Worth Living?

    What Makes a Life Worth Living?

    For years, Yale undergraduate students have lined up to take a wildly popular course called Life Worth Living. Bucking the highly competitive tone you might expect at an Ivy League school, the class teaches students to look beyond traditional markers of success for deeper meaning. Theology professor Miroslav Volf is one of the co-teachers, and also one of the co-authors of a book version of the course that came out last year called “Life Worth Living: A Guide to What Matters Most.” Podcast and TV host Kelly Corrigan invited Volf to introduce the book and start an extended and lively conversation with a wide variety of writers and thinkers at the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival. After setting the stage with Volf, Corrigan poses probing questions to Mónica Guzmán, the author of “I Never Thought of It That Way” and a senior fellow at Braver Angels, James Ijames, a playwright who won a 2022 Pulitzer for his play “Fat Ham,” Alexandra Reeve Givens, a lawyer and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Rainn Wilson, the actor who played Dwight Schrute on the TV show “The Office” and recently wrote a book about spirituality called “Soul Boom.”

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Fighting HIV Around the World

    Fighting HIV Around the World

    In the late 1990s, HIV and AIDS was killing people in Sub-Saharan Africa at an astonishing rate. Generations of children were growing up without parents and the workforce of civil society was hollowing out. Drugs effectively treating the disease were just becoming available, and the George W. Bush administration wanted to explore a way to bring treatment to Africa. Anthony Fauci was head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the time, and under near-secrecy, he was assigned to formulate a plan via several fact-finding trips to the continent. When the outline of the program came together, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist rallied support in congress and led the passage of legislation for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. In today’s talk from Aspen Ideas: Health, Fauci and Frist meet on stage about two decades after the start of PEPFAR to tell the story of how it got started and reflect on where it’s gone since. CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen moderates the conversation.

    • 51 min
    Our Changing World with Thomas Friedman

    Our Changing World with Thomas Friedman

    The world seems to be moving and evolving faster than ever before, and democratic ideals are under threat in many countries around the globe. New York Times columnist and journalist Thomas Friedman has spent his career learning how to see things from many sides and identify the seams in the fabric of society. He believes we’re at a moment in time when it’s critical that we focus our energy on coming together and rebuilding functional democracy. In the closing session of the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival last June, Friedman shares his experiences of reporting in the Middle East and at home in the United States, and reflects on witnessing the best and worst of humanity.

    • 33 min
    Forging a Path to Ethical A.I.

    Forging a Path to Ethical A.I.

    It doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to put the generative artificial intelligence genie back in the bottle. But we might still be able to prevent some potential damage. Tools like Bard and ChatGPT are already being used in the workplace, educational settings, health care, scientific research, and all over social media. What kind of guardrails do we need to prevent bad actors from causing the worst imaginable outcomes? And who can put those protections in place and enforce them? A panel of A.I. experts from the 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival shares hopes and fears for this kind of technology, and discusses what can realistically be done by private, public and civil society sectors to keep it in check. Lila Ibrahim, COO of the Google A.I. company DeepMind, joins social science professor Alondra Nelson and IBM’s head of privacy and trust, Christina Montgomery, for a conversation about charting a path to ethical uses of A.I. CNBC tech journalist Deirdre Bosa moderates the conversation and takes audience questions.

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
215 Ratings

215 Ratings

glimadoll ,

Please improve the sound quality of the speakers.

Please improve the sound quality of the speakers.

khy414 ,

Worst interviewer

You need to have someone knowledgeable or can at least listen to do this interview. Interviewer is so self involved an important opportunity was lost. The issues the author writes about are pervasive and damaging to our world and the interviewer was truly clueless to this. Listen to Kirista Tippet’s interview if you are interested in Van der Kolk’s work.

Digiverse ,


Cool!! I do wish that they would make a podcast about the multiverse and more about black holes!

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