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About the Aspen Ideas Festival

Imagine some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders — all gathered in a single place.

History and Highlights

For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation's premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.

In a ground-breaking extension of its mandate to create opportunities for deep dialogue, the Aspen Institute now seeks to engage a broader audience in a discussion of some of the significant ideas and issues that touch all parts of our society as found in the arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics, and politics. Alongside our partner, The Atlantic, we intend to offer a stimulating and invigorating celebration of some of the liveliest minds on the stage today. We invite you to join us.

Imagine some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world — all gathered in a single place, ready to teach, speak, lead, question and answer — all interacting with an audience of thoughtful people who have stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought and discussion. The event promises to be thought-provoking, meaningful and fun — true to Aspen tradition. 

Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs, International Partners, The Aspen Institute

At Aspen Ideas, big ideas come to light. Hear just a few of them delivered by our speakers.

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Aspen Ideas Festival: An Introduction

Looking Ahead: Aspen Ideas 2021

The June festival will be held June 27—30, 2021. It will incorporate four nights of digital programming with new interactive sessions introduced during the day. The overarching theme will be “American Futures,” exploring issues ranging from democracy to science, the USA’s role on the world stage, and inequality.

We’ll share lots more details this spring and encourage you to sign up to participate in the 2021 digital offerings when registration opens. 

Closely monitoring public health recommendations, we will make a decision in April about the possibility of any live component to the 2021 Aspen Ideas Festival on our Aspen campus in June.

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