Aspen Ideas to Go

The Aspen Institute


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 Fest...Show More

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Confronting Life's Toughest Challenges

57:39 | Mar 6th

Kate Bowler and Elaine Pagels both teach religion, write about religion, and have experienced immense hardships. In this frank and funny conversation, they explore why people still seek ancient religious teachings in our modern age.

Escaping Hate

59:51 | Mar 19th

Christian Picciolini went to his first white supremacist skinhead meeting at age 14. A lonely and bullied child, he was quickly swept into the movement and eventually became a leader. In this candid conversation, he speaks with journalist Matt Thomps...Show More

Democracy Dies in Darkness: A Conversation with Marty Baron

55:31 | Mar 12th

The truth is under assault in America, according to Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. He speaks with CNN's Brian Stelter about reporting on the Trump administration.

The Happiest Places on Earth

50:51 | Feb 27th

Why are certain countries, cities, and towns happier than others? The mayor of Boulder, Colorado, a particularly joyful city, sits down with a happiness researcher to discuss the relationship between happiness and place.

Colson Whitehead: “The Underground Railroad”

59:05 | Feb 20th

Author of "The Underground Railroad," Colson Whitehead, talks about writing the novel that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

How to Talk about Race and Racism

1:04:41 | Feb 12th

When Americans elected their first black president more than a decade ago, some questioned whether the country had transitioned into a post-racial era. But today race is a more prominent and intransigent problem than ever.

Inside the Mind of a Dog

52:36 | Feb 5th

How do dogs perceive you and the world around them? Two canine cognition scientists, Alexandra Horowitz and Brian Hare, share what dogs know, understand, and believe.

Can Free Speech Silence Hate Speech?

50:38 | Jan 29th

Nadine Strossen, longtime president of the ACLU, says hate speech, as painful as it may be, is justifiably protected. Instead of censoring hate speech, she advocates fighting it with free speech.

LOL, Like, and Literally: Is the English Language Deteriorating?

49:54 | Jan 22nd

Is the English language deteriorating before our ears? Linguist and author John McWhorter says sometimes-annoying modern terms are examples of language evolving.

Pushing the Limits

49:17 | Jan 16th

What does it take to rock climb one of the world’s hardest routes at night in the bitter cold? Tommy Caldwell, an accomplished climber, says he summoned focus, drive, and endurance to summit Yosemite’s nearly vertical 3,000 foot Dawn Wall.

Are Leaders Born or Made?

48:57 | Jan 8th

In her seventh book, "Leadership in Turbulent Times," presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about the lives of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Crash Course on Happiness

58:56 | Dec 31st, 2018

Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos is working to improve mental health for college students. Her lessons about how to be happier and feel less stressed apply to everyone.

Off Stage 14: Islam in America Today

28:22 | Dec 25th, 2018

Imam Khalid Latif is New York University’s first Muslim chaplain. In this political and cultural moment, he says students deal with issues around race and religious intolerance.

Off Stage 13: One Synagogue’s Unconventional Outreach Approach

18:48 | Dec 25th, 2018

Shira Stutman is senior rabbi at a historic synagogue in Washington, DC that’s doing innovative things.

Off Stage 12: Addressing Partisanship at the Pulpit

27:14 | Dec 25th, 2018

Can faith help unite us in divided times? Methodist minister Adam Hamilton says he’s determined to mend the deep divisions he sees in his congregation.

What Really Separates Men from Women?

51:46 | Dec 19th, 2018

Neuroscientist Lise Eliot says our default assumption is that our gender differences are hardwired, but that’s not the case.

Repairing the Apparel Industry

50:31 | Dec 12th, 2018

The clothing industry is a top polluter, but some companies are working to be kinder to the environment. The CEOs of Patagonia and Eileen Fisher talk about their shared value of social consciousness.

Off Stage 11: Saving the African Elephant

14:55 | Dec 7th, 2018

The African Elephant, the world’s largest land mammal, is threatened by poaching, human development, and climate change.

Off Stage 10: A Sinking Island Nation

22:01 | Dec 7th, 2018

Rising sea level and contaminated fresh water could make an island paradise in the Indian Ocean uninhabitable.

Off Stage 9: Wonder Drugs in the Arctic

18:37 | Dec 7th, 2018

Will a cure for cancer be found in the North Pole? A group of Norwegian scientists are scouring the sea and shore in one of the harshest climates on earth, looking for wonder drugs.

Atul Gawande on Love, Death, and Worth

28:16 | Dec 4th, 2018

Famed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande believes there’s a gap between our aspiration for how we treat each other and the reality.

Technology Is Changing How We Trust

50:24 | Nov 27th, 2018

Technology is changing who and how we trust . Tech and trust expert Rachel Botsman says this fundamental shift in trust has far-reaching consequences.

Can Character Be Learned?

35:24 | Nov 20th, 2018

Psychologist Angela Duckworth explains how to raise a child with strong character. Duckworth, who’s the author of "Grit" and a MacArthur “Genius,” says young people learn to be grateful, vulnerable, and fearless by modeling the adults in their lives.

What Would the Founders Think of Today's America?

52:17 | Nov 14th, 2018

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson. What were America’s Founders like as individuals? And what would they think of American democracy today?

The New Science of Psychedelics

58:26 | Nov 6th, 2018

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, focuses on psychedelic drugs in his most recent book.

Stopping Hate in an Era of Fragmentation

52:08 | Oct 30th, 2018

The deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue is the latest hate crime in an especially atrocious period. The number of hate crimes against religious minority communities has surged.

Off Stage 8: Tackling Twitter’s Bots

15:54 | Oct 26th, 2018

How can tackling Twitter bots help unite a divided nation? Tech entrepreneur Ash Bhat explains his efforts to combat online threats.

Off Stage 7: How to Get off Your Screen

19:52 | Oct 26th, 2018

Tristan Harris, founder of the Center for Humane Technology, says the apps we use on our devices everyday aren't just taking our time, they're causing loneliness.

Off Stage 6: The Menace of Disinformation

20:57 | Oct 26th, 2018

With the midterm elections around the corner, should internet users be on alert for fake news?

The Cultural Revolution We Need

56:48 | Oct 23rd, 2018

The forces of division have been tearing America's social fabric for decades. But a new coalition of community builders with a new set of beliefs is rising to turn things around.

How to Lead a More Meaningful Life at Work

56:16 | Oct 16th, 2018

Adam Grant is exploring “how to make work suck less.” He speaks with Aspen Skiing Company President Mike Kaplan about how to bring more meaning and creativity into the office.

Getting In: College Access for All

47:31 | Oct 9th, 2018

In June, the University of Chicago announced it will become test-optional. The move is part of a bigger effort to expand access to a broader talent pool of well-deserving applicants.

How Women in the Media Are Tackling #MeToo

57:59 | Oct 2nd, 2018

News reporters have covered the #MeToo movement since it gained ground one year ago. But journalists haven’t just written about the movement, some have experienced sexual harassment and violence themselves.

Off Stage 3: The Year of the Woman

26:52 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Rebecca Traister’s new book "Good and Mad" details how women’s anger has erupted into the public conversation. In this Off Stage interview on women, she tells guest host Susan Page why women are “furious."

Larry Summers on Trade, Tariffs, and the Economy

51:21 | Sep 26th, 2018

Former treasury secretary Larry Summers has been vocal about his disagreements with the current direction of US economic policy, particularly in the areas of trade, tariffs, and the rethinking of international agreements on commerce and investment.

Off Stage 5: Journalism “More Important than Ever”

19:53 | Sep 21st, 2018

New York Times Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumenstein talks with guest host Susan Page about fake news, covering Trump, and what advice she would give to young women entering the news business.

Off Stage 4: How to Ensure the Survival of Democracy

18:31 | Sep 21st, 2018

Global economist Dambisa Moyo says democracy is in crisis around the world. In this special episode, she's interviewed by guest host Susan Page.

Citizenship Without Certainty

54:10 | Sep 18th, 2018

What does it mean to be American? How is that story best told and understood?

Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White (Rebroadcast)

59:31 | Sep 11th, 2018

What role does faith play in bringing people together? Reverend Adam Hamilton pastors the largest United Methodist church in America. Within his Kansas congregation, he observes deep divisions that reflect the larger disunity in our nation.

Is There a Path out of Afghanistan and Iraq?

56:19 | Sep 4th, 2018

This spring marked the 15th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan has gone on long enough that children born after 9/11 are now old enough to enlist in the military.

From Tragedy to Hope: A Conversation with Robert Runcie

50:13 | Aug 29th, 2018

Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie remembers clearly the events of February 14, 2018. That’s the day a gunman killed seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Sal Khan: Education Reimagined

49:58 | Aug 28th, 2018

Sal Khan’s career journey took him from finance to the classroom. The former hedge fund manager now runs the nonprofit Khan Academy, which provides free online education.

From Despair to Optimism on Climate Change

52:08 | Aug 24th, 2018

Christiana Figueres led the global adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, and continues to fight for the climate today. She says she's stubbornly optimistic about addressing climate change.

David Miliband on Fixing the Refugee Crisis

52:40 | Aug 21st, 2018

More than 65 million people around the globe are either refugees, asylum seekers, or displaced within their own countries. It’s the largest number of people forced to flee their homes since World War II.

Madeleine Albright on Fighting Fascism

54:24 | Aug 17th, 2018

How do we save ourselves from repeating errors of our past? Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright poses this question in her new book, Fascism: A Warning.

College Students, Mental Health, and the University's Role

1:02:40 | Aug 14th, 2018

Across the US, students are heading back to college for the start of the school year. Many will wrestle with mental health challenges.

Can the Democrats Win Big in 2018—and 2020?

1:02:36 | Aug 10th, 2018

Midterms are often seen as the first nationwide referendum on a first-term president. Donald Trump’s ratings have ranged from low to medium-low, but a “blue wave” of victories is far from guaranteed this fall.

Off Stage 2: Fighting for Immigrants

28:27 | Aug 9th, 2018

At age 25, Gaby Pacheco was the first undocumented Latina to testify in front of Congress. In this conversation with New York Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer Wajahat Ali, she talks about the struggles immigrants still face years later.

Off Stage 1: Leaving Hate Behind

25:24 | Aug 9th, 2018

In our first “Off Stage” bonus episode, New York Times Contributing Op-Ed Writer Wajahat Ali speaks with former white supremacist skinhead Christian Picciolini.

Still Healing: Charlottesville, One Year Later

53:13 | Aug 7th, 2018

One year after a deadly hate rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the city continues to heal.

Longtime Kremlin Critic Says He's Not Afraid

38:12 | Aug 3rd, 2018

American-born businessman Bill Browder is a staunch critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, Putin singled out Browder at a joint press conference with President Trump in July. Browder explains why he's not afraid of the Russian leader.

Conservatism in the Era of Trump

1:00:05 | Jul 31st, 2018

Is the Republican Party in the United States having an identity crisis? Are the priorities of the Republican Party, conservative ideals, and the Trump administration’s policies aligning?

The Surge of Women into Politics

59:22 | Jul 27th, 2018

Since 2016, we’ve watched women rack up unprecedented wins in statehouses, city halls, and even Congress — and thousands more are throwing their hats into the ring.

Dan Coats Discusses Election Interference, the White House’s Invitation to Putin, and More

55:51 | Jul 24th, 2018

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats goes over President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in this discussion held July 19th.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Russian Interference, the Border Crisis, and More

54:10 | Jul 19th, 2018

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has defended the Trump administration’s controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy that has led to families being separated at America’s southwest border. In this discussion, she addresses illegal i...Show More

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Russian Meddling

52:41 | Jul 19th, 2018

FBI Director Christopher Wray is firm in his position that Russia was involved in the 2016 presidential campaign. He speaks with Lester Holt, NBC Nightly News anchor, about Russia, China, North Korea, and other global issues.

First-Hand Account: Family Separation at the US-Mexico Border

51:41 | Jul 18th, 2018

Mimi Marziano's organization, the Texas Civil Rights Project, is representing nearly 400 families affected a policy that divided children from their parents at America's southwest border. The policy, which applies to people illegally crossing into th...Show More

The Rising Belligerence of Putin's Russia

54:09 | Jul 13th, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government is increasingly acting as an outlaw state across the international stage. How should the United States, Europe, and the West as a whole respond?

The Age of Euroscepticism

49:16 | Jul 10th, 2018

Hours before President Trump attends a NATO Summit in Brussels, we examine the role of the alliance and how it fits into Europe’s recent struggles.

James Comey on His Legacy Leading the FBI

56:25 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey says transparency and a desire to maintain his agency’s credibility prompted him to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016.

A Conversation with the US Surgeon General

1:00:14 | Jun 27th, 2018

As the nation’s top doctor, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams has pledged to lead with science. In this episode, he talks about children being separated from their parents at the southern US border, the opioid crisis, gun violence, and mental health.

Love, Sex, and the Brain

1:00:22 | Jun 19th, 2018

What makes two people click? What does it really mean to say, “we have chemistry”?

Race, Youth, and the American Vote

56:24 | Jun 13th, 2018

What are the ways in which people are viewing voting through the lens of race?

How Broadway's Hamilton is Radically Relevant

54:27 | Jun 5th, 2018

Broadway producer Jeffrey Seller talks about working on Rent, Hamilton, and other shows. He goes over democratizing theater, diversifying history, and putting on a really good show.

How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Industry

1:00:46 | May 29th, 2018

How will AI transform industry and disrupt business? A panel of tech and business experts, including Tim O’Reilly, Gary Marcus, and Michael Chui, discuss how AI will impact our lives, and what business sectors might be most affected.

Threats from Abroad: Iran, North Korea, and Russia

56:02 | May 22nd, 2018

News from around the globe is dominating US headlines. Former members of the US intelligence community weigh in on these global moving parts.

The Perils of Over-Parenting

54:42 | May 15th, 2018

By trying to provide the perfectly happy childhood, a generation of parents may be making it harder for their kids to actually grow up.

'That's What She Said' with Joanne Lipman

55:10 | May 8th, 2018

The #MeToo Movement has exposed sexual harassment in the workplace, but what about the problem of gender inequality?

Why Being Mayor Is the Best Job in Politics

54:24 | May 1st, 2018

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter insists that serving in city council is the best job in politics. He talks municipal politics with Jonathan Capehart, editorial writer for the Washington Post.

Securing the Nation's Secrets

56:11 | Apr 25th, 2018

As our lives become increasingly tech driven, we’re more vulnerable to cyberattacks, and our workplaces and government are too.

Philanthropy & Democracy: Risky Liaisons

55:48 | Apr 17th, 2018

Big philanthropy can contribute to a democratic society by addressing problems that neither government nor the private sector will take on. Yet philanthropic institutions and foundations are institutional oddities within a democracy.

Luis Alberto Urrea on the Power of Family

55:06 | Apr 11th, 2018

Author Luis Alberto Urrea says his latest novel, "House of Broken Angels," is inspired by his own Mexican-American family.

Stopping the Violence in Chicago

55:42 | Apr 3rd, 2018

Chicago has been plagued by an epidemic of nearly constant bloodletting. What strategies have been most promising?

Runaway Slave: A Story of Triumph, Survival, and Resistance

58:10 | Mar 27th, 2018

Historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar discusses her book "Never Caught," which chronicles the life of Ona Judge. Judge was a slave owned by George and Martha Washington. At age 22 she escaped from Washington's mansion in Philadelphia.

Living a Moral Life

1:12:39 | Mar 21st, 2018

For centuries the human race has been grappling with how to live a moral life. In this conversation we hear from scholars who think deeply about moral philosophy and helping others.

What's Possible When Young People Speak Up?

1:07:38 | Mar 14th, 2018

Throughout history, young people have been at the center of activism: the Civil Rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the labor movement, and now gun violence.

The Nature of Evil: Paul Bloom and Graeme Wood

49:32 | Mar 6th, 2018

Why do people do evil things? We hear from Yale psychologist Paul Bloom and journalist Graeme Wood about the nature of evil.

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

50:38 | Feb 28th, 2018

The debate around gun laws is resurfacing in the wake of the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Can America’s shared sorrow inspire a consensus that gun violence should be tackled as a public health issue?

How History's Mistakes Guide Today's Leaders

53:39 | Feb 21st, 2018

Historian Jon Meacham speaks with journalist John Dickerson about what today's politicians can learn from historical figures like Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Franklin Roosevelt.

US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

50:48 | Feb 13th, 2018

US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith says her true self comes out in her work. Poetry, she says, helps her wrestle with dark, sometimes unresolvable questions.

Why We Need to Talk About Race

58:40 | Feb 6th, 2018

If you’re white and middle class, you were probably raised thinking that discussing race was impolite. Color blindness was seen as a virtue.

Norman Lear & Khizr Khan: Understanding American Values

59:13 | Jan 31st, 2018

Born 28 years and 7,000 miles apart in Connecticut and Pakistan, TV producer Norman Lear and Pakistani American lawyer Khizr Khan are united as American citizens, friends, and agents of change.

What's Driving Our Political Polarization?

55:13 | Jan 23rd, 2018

Trust in civic, religious, and academic institutions is at an all-time low in America. But this phenomenon did not, as some Americans might believe, begin when President Trump was elected. It has been on the decline for decades.

Susan Orlean: It's Okay to be Clueless

41:54 | Jan 16th, 2018

New York Times best-selling author Susan Orlean says ignorance about a subject is a powerful ignitor of curiosity.

What Would MLK Say About Today's America?

38:10 | Jan 9th, 2018

If Dr. Martin Luther King was still alive today, what would he think of the progress of the black community? How far have we come toward racial equality since the civil rights era?

The Next Big Challenge in Your Life

58:24 | Jan 2nd, 2018

What if you examined your life in the context of all of its stages? David Brooks, author and New York Times op-ed columnist, says life’s mountains and valleys shape who we are and eventually lead us to a “second mountain.”

Living the Creative Life

1:07:47 | Dec 26th, 2017

How is creativity cultivated in childhood? And, does a creative culture at home result in a creative career later on? Authors Jess Walter, Dani Shapiro, and Jericho Brown explain how their early years contributed to a life of writing.

The Power of History, Community, and Hope

49:27 | Dec 19th, 2017

Author Eric Motley speaks with Joshua Johnson, host of "1A," about his book "Madison Park: A Place of Hope." Madison Park, Alabama was founded by freed slaves in 1880. Motley says the town's history powerfully shaped his upbringing.

Coping with Disappointment, Setback, and Crisis

56:49 | Dec 12th, 2017

Freelance journalist Theo Padnos was held captive by al-Nusra, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, for 22 months. His story of survival is a lesson for us all on how to cope with the lowest times in life. He speaks with Atlantic Media owner David Bradley and N...Show More

The US Government’s Doomsday Plans

59:37 | Dec 5th, 2017

For 60 years, the US government has been laying secret doomsday plans to save itself in the event of nuclear war — even while the rest of us die. Today, a third generation of doomsday planners are settling into life inside a network of bunkers that a...Show More

What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur?

52:55 | Nov 28th, 2017

America has always meant business. We’re a nation of self-starters, strivers, and entrepreneurs — with the courage to take big risks and the confidence to determine our own destiny. But, are courage and confidence alone enough for success?

The Future of News: Is There a War on Truth?

1:02:04 | Nov 21st, 2017

Is the internet loosening our collective grasp on the truth? Pioneers of digital news once argued that new online sources would bring us new perspectives about the world. They did not anticipate the internet would destroy traditional media gatekeeper...Show More

The Epidemic of Loneliness

41:52 | Nov 14th, 2017

Across the industrialized world, millions of people live with sparse human contact, putting their well-being at risk. Does social media drive loneliness, or help to cure it? How does loneliness alter the brain, and how can we treat this condition?

Being Muslim and American in 2017

51:47 | Nov 7th, 2017

Muslim Americans — especially those who work in government or in other ways to counter radicalism and terrorism — feel caught in the middle. Much of American society questions their patriotism, while their own communities question their loyalty.

The Three Lives of James Madison

58:51 | Oct 31st, 2017

Madison's legacy matters today more than ever. As founding genius he made the Constitution to avoid faction. Then he discovered the real world required parties — so he founded one and became a partisan.

Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide with Cass Sunstein

53:33 | Oct 24th, 2017

In our politically charged climate, it’s not uncommon to hear about impeachment. Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein offers a nonpartisan, historical guide — with some reverence — and even awe, for our constitutional order, and for the power it gives...Show More

The Imagination of Leonardo da Vinci with Walter Isaacson

55:49 | Oct 17th, 2017

Walter Isaacson is fascinated by innovators — the kinds of geniuses whose ideas have transformed industry, science, and society. Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin grabbed his attention in ways that allow us, as readers, to discover t...Show More

Infidelity and the Future of Relationships (Rebroadcast)

1:00:41 | Oct 10th, 2017

Why do happily married couples cheat? Esther Perel, author of the new book "The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity," talks with Hanna Rosin, co-host of NPR's Invisibilia.

Jeffrey Sachs on Why We're Living in a Dangerous Time

52:41 | Oct 3rd, 2017

World-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs is distressed about the political and social atmosphere of the United States. With advances in technology, he says we can choose to do the ultimate good or create unimaginable disaster.

WTF (What's The Future)?

51:28 | Sep 26th, 2017

The “next economy,” or digital revolution, is restructuring every business, job, and sector of society. Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, says we should be harnessing technology, rather than fearing it, to grow jobs and increase econom...Show More

The Best Sports Town in America

42:46 | Sep 19th, 2017

The tiny town of Norwich, Vermont, has likely produced more Olympians per capita than anywhere else in the United States. New York Times sports writer Karen Crouse traveled to Norwich to discover the town’s secret.

On Being Latino in America Today

1:00:09 | Sep 12th, 2017

As Latino Americans emerge as the majority minority and the new mainstream, representing 18 percent of the US population, questions are emerging about how Latinos fit into the national narrative.

The Road from Paris, Featuring Ernest Moniz

48:19 | Sep 6th, 2017

What are the consequences of the United States backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement? In this episode, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says exiting the Agreement is bad for science-based decision making, national and energy security, and in...Show More

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, Featuring Kurt Andersen

51:25 | Aug 29th, 2017

Has the great American experiment in liberty gone off the rails? Kurt Andersen’s latest book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, a 500 Year History, is a provocative chronicle of magical thinking and make-believe. It provides a new paradigm for u...Show More

National Security in the Age of 'America First'

59:52 | Aug 25th, 2017

The Trump Administration has said it’s “committed to a foreign policy focused on American interests and American national security." What is the Trump doctrine on foreign policy?

CRISPR: A Crack in Creation

58:23 | Aug 22nd, 2017

Jennifer Doudna, whose research helped create CRISPR, speaks with Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson about the latest technological developments in gene editing and the unthinkable power to control evolution.

Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White

59:05 | Aug 18th, 2017

What role does faith play in bringing people together? Reverend Adam Hamilton pastors the largest United Methodist church in America. Within his Kansas congregation, he observes deep divisions that reflect the larger disunity in our nation. These div...Show More

Hate on the Rise

54:44 | Aug 15th, 2017

Hate groups are growing and the number of hate-fueled incidents is spiking in America. How do the events of today compare to other periods of extremism in America? Featured speakers are Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Int...Show More

The Opioid Tsunami

55:37 | Aug 11th, 2017

It’s been called the most perilous drug crisis ever and it was generated in the healthcare system. The epicenter of the opioid crisis is the United States, where overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999.

Securing the Homeland, Featuring John Kelly

58:45 | Aug 8th, 2017

In this episode, you’ll hear from the nation’s new White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Kelly spoke in July at the Aspen Security Forum. At the time, his job was Homeland Security Secretary.

The Roots and Future of Populism

1:04:13 | Aug 4th, 2017

The confluence of globalization and the information revolution has primed the United States, and the world, for a resurgence of populism. Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” explains how the populist ideology helped President Trump wi...Show More

Millennials and Motivation, Featuring Simon Sinek and Adam Grant

1:03:44 | Aug 1st, 2017

In this lighthearted and informative conversation, organizational psychologist Adam Grant and inspirational teacher Simon Sinek sit down with Katie Couric. Couric is an award-winning journalist. They explore what motivates Millennials at work and how...Show More

Under Assault, Featuring John Brennan and James Clapper

1:01:46 | Jul 28th, 2017

What are the most pressing external and internal threats to the United States? Two former US Intelligence officials discuss Syria, Russia, ISIS, and President Trump’s embattled relationship with the Intelligence community.

Tom Price: Federal Health Care Policy

30:50 | Jul 25th, 2017

In today’s show, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price talks about efforts in Washington to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and what it’s like to work with President Trump.

Can the Democrats Get Their Groove Back? Featuring Cory Booker

58:32 | Jul 21st, 2017

In this episode, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, a democrat, talks about the problems democrats, and all Americans, need to confront to move the US forward. He says Republicans and Democrats need to unite to solve problems like poverty and inequality...Show More

Conservatism, the Republican Party, and President Trump

1:00:51 | Jul 18th, 2017

Despite controlling both the White House and Congress, the Republican Party has had a bumpy ride in the first months of the Trump administration.

What Have We Learned from Listening to America?

53:41 | Jul 14th, 2017

Over the past year, the United States has been described as profoundly divided. But are these divisions as deep and hopeless as we think?

Can We Prevent a North Korea Crisis?

56:38 | Jul 11th, 2017

Known as the “land of lousy options,” North Korea has posed problems for the US for decades. But now, the country is testing its missiles regularly and the situation is increasingly dire. What are the best solutions for dealing with this escalating c...Show More

TAKEOVER 6: Michele Norris Interviews Mitch Landrieu & Others

53:28 | Jul 7th, 2017

In our final podcast takeover episode, award-winning journalist Michele Norris discusses the legacy of slavery with a US mayor and the necessity of solitude with a best-selling author.

TAKEOVER 5: Joshua Johnson Interviews Simon Sinek

30:37 | Jul 1st, 2017

Joshua Johnson, host of WAMU’s “1A,” interviews Simon Sinek in this Takeover episode. Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people.

TAKEOVER 4: Pete Dominick Interviews Travon Free & Others

57:25 | Jun 30th, 2017

In this Takeover episode, two comedians and a writer — Pete Dominick, Travon Free, and Wajahat Ali — discuss politics, race, and a changing America.

TAKEOVER 3: Susan Page Interviews Jeffrey Seller & Others

28:27 | Jun 29th, 2017

Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA Today, takes over the podcast by interviewing a panel of DC outsiders. Nobody thinks Washington is working well these days. Page turns to unexpected sources to brainstorm on what advice other disciplines mig...Show More

TAKEOVER 2: Perri Peltz Interviews Neal Katyal

37:53 | Jun 28th, 2017

In this Takeover episode, we examine the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to take the case regarding President Trump’s travel ban.

TAKEOVER 1: Julie Rovner Interviews Lanhee Chen & Others

46:27 | Jun 25th, 2017

In our first Podcast Takeover episode, Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, speaks with Lanhee Chen of the Hoover Institution, reproductive justice advocate Dr. Willie J. Parker, and Ai-jen Poo, director of the Nationa...Show More

You're More Powerful Than You Think

1:02:03 | Jun 21st, 2017

Black Lives Matter, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, and many other groups have developed in recent years as a response to the age we’re living in — an age of epic political turbulence. Author Eric Liu says people across the political spectrum are...Show More

A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg

1:00:39 | Jun 14th, 2017

As the second female justice confirmed to the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg says her experiences as a female give her a unique perspective her male colleagues don’t share.

Jane McGonigal: The Future of Imagination

1:03:01 | Jun 6th, 2017

Thinking about the far-off future isn’t just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It’s a practical skill that, as new research reveals, has a direct neurological link to greater creativity, empathy, and optimism.

Katie Couric and Beau Willimon (Rebroadcast)

1:09:03 | May 30th, 2017

In this encore episode Katie Couric interviews House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. The interview, from the Aspen Ideas Festival, took place before the show’s third season in 2015.

Finding Common Ground

54:34 | May 23rd, 2017

In this era of deep partisanship, how can common ground be found on Capitol Hill and on Main Street? In this episode, a pair of party leaders tackle relevant political questions, focusing on the divided state of America.

An American Sickness

59:03 | May 16th, 2017

Elisabeth Rosenthal writes about our broken healthcare system in her new book, An American Sickness: How Healthcare became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back. She says the system, comprised of hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug ...Show More

The Future Dialogue on Race

48:48 | May 9th, 2017

While the subject of race and racism will likely continue to be a contentious topic for years to come, it is a discussion that is imperative for civil society. How does the dialogue on race continue?

Inequality and Opportunity

51:07 | May 2nd, 2017

When poet Elizabeth Acevedo taught creative writing to young women of color in a detention center, she recognized their trauma and avoided the teacher-as-savior mentality.

Space—Why We Explore

42:11 | Apr 25th, 2017

Why do human beings explore? And, why are the most adventurous explorers drawn to outer space? Naturalist and astronomer David Aguilar explains why the drive for adventure fades after childhood, and how we can regain it as adults.

A House Divided

58:12 | Apr 18th, 2017

Less than a month into his presidency, Donald Trump made combative and accusatory remarks on Twitter about the intelligence community for a report on Russian connections. Are his messages undermining the legitimacy of the intelligence community?

Combating Kleptocracy

53:56 | Apr 11th, 2017

Kleptocracy presents a growing threat to US national security and international peace, as money laundering and other forms of public “grand corruption” increasingly undermine democracy, cripple development, weaken Western soft power, and accelerate s...Show More

"Hidden Figures" Author on Storytelling, Race, & Science

44:05 | Apr 4th, 2017

Two award-winning authors who write about race and identity are featured in this episode. Margot Lee Shetterly wrote "Hidden Figures" and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote "Americanah."

(Mis)Imagining the Future

53:03 | Mar 28th, 2017

Vividly bringing to life the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert reveals what scientists have discovered about the uniquely human ability to imagine ...Show More

The Industries of the Future

57:40 | Mar 21st, 2017

If the 20 years from 1995 to 2015 were shaped in significant measure by digitization and the rise of the internet, what’s next?

Einstein's Creativity (Rebroadcast)

58:27 | Mar 14th, 2017

In this rebroadcast, Aspen Institute President and Einstein biographer Walter Isaacson delves into the source of Albert Einstein’s creativity. Where did it come from? How was it reflected in his life? And what can we learn from it?

Can We Reclaim Civitas in American Society?

47:18 | Mar 7th, 2017

Everything—from the country’s place in the world to the social contract between citizens, government, and the private sector—seems to be knotted in hard, uncompromising debates.

Richard Haass on a World in Disarray

51:27 | Feb 28th, 2017

Chaos in the Middle East, instability in Europe, and a reckless North Korea are signals that the world is increasingly defined by disorder. Author and Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass says the world needs an updated global operati...Show More

What Is Technology's Toll on Intimacy?

48:20 | Feb 21st, 2017

Thanks to technology, we are more connected than ever—digitally. But at what cost? How have technologies, like online dating sites and apps like Tinder, changed attitudes and behaviors?

How to Survive Our Faster Future

56:00 | Feb 14th, 2017

The world is more complex and volatile today than at any other time in modern history. In order to successfully navigate a rapidly changing world, author and MIT Media Lab Director, Joichi “Joi” Ito says you must be alert and nimble.

Race and History

1:04:02 | Feb 7th, 2017

Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, speaks with Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust about his organization’s efforts to build a museum examining the legacy of slavery, racial terrorism, segregation, and police viole...Show More

Universal Basic Income: Can It Renew Our Economy?

50:54 | Jan 31st, 2017

Author and former labor union leader Andy Stern thinks universal basic income is the key to solving problems plaguing America’s economy. He wrote about it in his book Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild t...Show More

Healthy Gut, Healthy Body

47:09 | Jan 24th, 2017

When it comes to a healthy body and mind, an increasing number of people are focusing on improving bacteria in the gut. Researchers are learning how the gut microbiome responds to the food we eat, influencing obesity, autoimmune disorders, cardiovasc...Show More

How a Nudge Can Change Everything

57:42 | Jan 17th, 2017

Those who study human behavior have learned that simply by encouraging—or “nudging”—individuals toward the right decisions for themselves, dramatic improvements can be made.

The Obama Legacy

58:09 | Jan 10th, 2017

In these final days of Barack Obama’s presidency, we consider how the future will view his leadership.

The Science of Meditation

51:29 | Jan 3rd, 2017

What actually happens to the brain when we meditate? Published studies have documented the many physical and mental health benefits of meditation, including decreased pain, better immune function, and less anxiety and depression.

On Being a Transgender American

52:08 | Dec 27th, 2016

“I spent the first half of my life being afraid,” says Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of the bestselling memoir of transgender experience, "She’s Not There." In this episode, Boylan talks about living life as a father for six years, a mother for twel...Show More

Thriving in the Age of Accelerations

59:43 | Dec 21st, 2016

Author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman says the world has entered an age of dizzying acceleration, and in this episode, he explains how to live in it.

The Curse of Bigness

50:23 | Dec 13th, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis was the greatest critic of big business and big government since Thomas Jefferson. In this lively conversation, Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center talks with Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The...Show More

Infidelity and the Future of Relationships

1:00:17 | Dec 6th, 2016

Why do happily married couples cheat? Why does the modern egalitarian approach to marriage quash desire? Are the heightened expectations we bring to modern love combined with our pursuit of happiness directly related to infidelity?

The Choices That Create Your Life

47:28 | Nov 29th, 2016

New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a life well lived. In this episode he examines happiness and commitments.

National Security Priorities for President-Elect Trump

53:45 | Nov 22nd, 2016

Mike Mullen, retired admiral and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the national security challenges the new Trump administration will face are plentiful. Mullen gives insight into President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national secu...Show More

What Should You Be Eating to Live a Longer Life?

59:51 | Nov 15th, 2016

To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and his team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age.

The Four Sources of Happiness (Rebroadcast)

53:42 | Nov 8th, 2016

Most people think that happiness has four sources: the sensory pleasures, material wealth, romantic relationships, and children. But recent research suggests that much of what people think about happiness is wrong.

Jeff Bezos on High Tech, Space, and Artificial Intelligence

1:01:31 | Nov 1st, 2016

When Amazon launched, it employed just ten people. Now it’s one of the largest retailers in the world. CEO Jeff Bezos describes what companies need in today’s fast-paced, high tech business environment.

BONUS Forecasting Election 2016

50:23 | Oct 27th, 2016

The countdown to Election Day is on, and political analysts are giving their predictions. In this bonus episode, Charlie Cook and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report weigh in on the outcome for the presidential race and contests in the US House a...Show More

Joe Biden & the Cancer Moonshot Plan

44:43 | Oct 25th, 2016

In this episode, Vice President Joe Biden gets personal about his connection to cancer and why he’s fighting to break down the barriers preventing progress in battling the disease.

The American Economy & the Election

1:07:29 | Oct 18th, 2016

The economy is a key issue for American voters. In July, more than 80 percent of registered voters polled by the Pew Research Center said the economy was the number one issue, right after terrorism. What's influencing job creation and job loss? Gener...Show More

On the Road to Artificial Intelligence

55:42 | Oct 11th, 2016

Once the realm of science fiction, smart machines are rapidly becoming part of our world—and these technologies offer amazing potential to improve the way we live.

What's Fueling an Angry America?

49:15 | Oct 4th, 2016

It’s difficult to ignore anger in the United States right now—talking heads battle on cable news, protesters get violent at campaign rallies, and families can’t talk politics around the dinner table. What’s fueling the anger? And how can it be manage...Show More

Notes on Race and Resegregation

46:21 | Sep 27th, 2016

Author Jeff Chang says America has slid back toward segregation in our neighborhoods, schools, colleges and universities, and in our culture. In his new book “We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation” he examines recent tragedies and prote...Show More

Finding Meaning in Our Work

59:30 | Sep 20th, 2016

The average American spends a third of his or her life working. What is the secret to achieving happiness because of our work and not in spite of it?

Survivors of the Syrian War

47:22 | Sep 13th, 2016

The civil war in Syria has raged for five years and killed half a million people. Eleven million refugees have either fled to other countries or are displaced within Syria. In this episode, three survivors share their personal stories of strength and...Show More

CIA Director John Brennan on ISIL, Russia, & Cyber Threats

49:37 | Sep 6th, 2016

In a rare interview, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency weighs in on the global security scene and explains the current risks to the United States. John Brennan is interviewed by Dina Temple-Raston, counterterrorism correspondent for NPR...Show More

Humanities in Decline: A Cultural Crisis

54:57 | Aug 30th, 2016

Is America turning its back on the humanities? The declining enrollment in disciplines including history, literature, language, philosophy and the arts, at colleges and universities across the country, signals a significant cultural shift.

Rebuilding Trust Between Police and Communities of Color

46:21 | Aug 23rd, 2016

High-profile episodes of violence have highlighted excessive force and mistreatment of people of color by police. This episode examines the way forward for law enforcement and the communities they are duty-bound to “serve and protect.”

A Bright Future for Long-Term Coupling

50:12 | Aug 16th, 2016

Helen Fisher knows a thing or two about relationships. The Kinsey Institute research fellow and’s lead scientific advisor has spent her career studying couples and romantic behavior.

Originals—How Nonconformists Move the World

43:21 | Aug 9th, 2016

In this episode, Adam Grant, Wharton’s top-rated professor and a New York Times bestselling author of Originals, shares insights on how to speak up without getting silenced, and how to find allies in unexpected places.

The Russian Bear on the Prowl

33:47 | Aug 2nd, 2016

Vladimir Putin continues to taunt the US and Europe at every turn by testing NATO’s resolve, propping up Assad, provoking Ukraine, and even doing what he can to further complicate the migrant crisis. Domestically, Russia’s involvement in hacking the ...Show More

Women and Millennials: How Will They Vote?

55:59 | Jul 26th, 2016

With the historic candidacy of Hillary Clinton, feminism is front and center this election. Be it wage inequality, women’s health, or paid family leave, many issues important to women at both ends of the economic divide are hotly contested.

Sen. Tom Cotton on Trump, National Security

43:10 | Jul 19th, 2016

What do today’s Republicans believe America’s role in the world should be? This week’s episode features US Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, discussing his support for presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Gingrich and Romney on the American Spirit of Rebellion

46:31 | Jul 12th, 2016

Are we witnessing a new era in American politics? Two former Republican presidential candidates weigh in on the 2016 election.

Christine Lagarde on Brexit

39:06 | Jul 6th, 2016

On June 23, voters in the UK chose to leave the European Union. Three days after the vote, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. She calls the decision to leave t...Show More

TAKEOVER 5: Pete Dominick with Michele Norris and others

38:41 | Jul 3rd, 2016

This episode features TAKEOVER host Pete Dominick (comedian, radio host) in conversation with Michele Norris (journalist, The Race Card Project) and Alec Ross (Author, "The Industries of the Future"). Dominick infuses humor into interesting conversat...Show More

TAKEOVER 4: Emily Yoffe with Bryan Stevenson and others

56:03 | Jul 2nd, 2016

This episode features TAKEOVER host Emily Yoffe (The Atlantic) as takeover host in conversation with Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative), Helen Fisher (The Kinsey Institute,, and Geoffrey Stone (Univ. of Chicago Law School). Yoffe a...Show More

TAKEOVER 3: Franklin Leonard with DeRay Mckesson and others

40:39 | Jul 1st, 2016

Our TAKEOVER series continues with Franklin Leonard (founder, The Black List) interviewing his guests about the role of art in creating social change. His guests are Melody Barnes, DeRay Mckesson, and Sarah Lewis.

TAKEOVER 2: Maria Hinojosa with Jose Antonio Vargas and others

40:11 | Jun 30th, 2016

TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that puts you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Maria Hinojosa (NPR's Latino USA) as takeover host in conversation with Jose Antonio Vargas (journalist), M...Show More

TAKEOVER 1: Perri Peltz with Piper Kerman and others

34:18 | Jun 28th, 2016

TAKEOVER is a special series of episodes that put you on the ground during the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. This episode features Perri Peltz (documentary filmmaker and journalist) as takeover host in conversation with Piper Kerman (autho...Show More

Is Violence a Function of Our Culture?

59:28 | Jun 21st, 2016

This episode features New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu who has been confronting the crisis of violence head-on, in conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic, who has written widely on matters of race, policing, and A...Show More

Aspen Ideas Festival "Big Ideas"

51:26 | Jun 14th, 2016

Every summer, writers, professors, artists, activists, and others deliver their “big ideas” at the Aspen Ideas Festival. The onstage advice celebrates the Festival itself.

How to Make White People Laugh

57:58 | Jun 7th, 2016

Author and filmmaker Negin Farsad calls herself a social justice comedian. She works to prove that humor - just like activism - can effectively challenge deep-seated and sclerotic prejudices about race and religion.

"Extra" with David Henry Hwang

18:47 | Jun 3rd, 2016

In this “Extra” episode, Eric Liu talks to David Henry Hwang, Tony-winning American playwright, screenwriter, and opera librettist. He is the child of Chinese immigrants and shares how, growing up, he used television as one way to integrate into Amer...Show More

Diane Rehm on Death with Dignity

51:53 | May 31st, 2016

In this episode, public radio host Diane Rehm talks about her memoir "On My Own," which details the struggle to reconstruct her life after the death of her husband. The couple was married for 54 years.

"Extra" with Maria Hinojosa

20:26 | May 26th, 2016

In this “Extra” episode, Eric Liu talks to Maria Hinojosa, an award-winning news anchor and reporter. She founded the Futuro Media Group and hosts Latino USA, NPR’s only national Latino news and cultural weekly radio program.

First Lady Michelle Obama on Making Sports Accessible and Affordable

44:02 | May 23rd, 2016

First Lady Michelle Obama says play, nutrition, and physical activity aren’t available to every child and, that’s a problem. With the cost of sports participation around $2,200 each year per child, these opportunities are increasingly only available ...Show More

"Extra" with Colin Woodard

23:03 | May 19th, 2016

In this “Extra” episode, Eric Liu talks to Colin Woodard, an award-winning author and journalist. In his book, “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America,” Woodard describes why American values differ across t...Show More

War Reporting, Novel Writing, and How to Tell a Great Story

40:36 | May 17th, 2016

Powerhouse literary couple Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz didn’t start their careers writing books. The two were war correspondents covering events like the Gulf War in the 1990s. In this episode, Brooks and Horwitz are onstage for a lecture serie...Show More

"Extra" with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

19:54 | May 12th, 2016

Now, more than ever, a diversifying United States needs a shared base of knowledge. That’s according to Eric Liu, executive director of the Citizenship and American Identity Program at the Aspen Institute.

Cancer: Breakthroughs and Challenges

1:05:54 | May 10th, 2016

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among adults in the US and cancer care costs $125 billion a year. In this episode we hear from medical experts who have researched, written, and made progress in the fight against cancer.

The Complexities of Today's Security Challenges

40:15 | May 3rd, 2016

In this episode FBI Director James Comey speaks with Brooke Masters of the Financial Times about terrorism, cybercrime, an uptick in violence in minority communities in the US and Apple’s refusal to hack into the iPhone of a terrorist.

How to Learn Anything Fast

56:25 | Apr 27th, 2016

Best-selling author of "The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything Fast!" Josh Kaufman shares universal, field-tested approaches to effective learning and rapid skill acquisition in adults.

Retweeting, Regramming, Reimagining our Relationship with Technology

49:33 | Apr 19th, 2016

The architecture of how we live our lives is badly in need of renovation and repair. One of the things that makes it harder to connect with ourselves - and thus our creativity, intuition, and wisdom - is our increasing dependence on technology. In th...Show More

Leading the Response to Radical Extremism

43:36 | Apr 12th, 2016

As radical extremism in the Middle East continues to undermine global security, it's crucial to understand and counter its roots and appeal. This episode features a discussion between David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post, Farah Pandith, ...Show More

Building Better Teen Brains

44:59 | Apr 5th, 2016

Raising a teenager can be a lot of work and there's hard science behind why adolescence is so challenging. Laurence Steinberg authored the book "Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence." In this episode, he talks about how bra...Show More

Secrets of the Creative Brain

59:50 | Mar 29th, 2016

Tom Kelley, author of Creative Confidence and partner at IDEO, says creativity and innovation aren't only reserved for "creative types," but everyone can tap into creative potential. In this episode, he recounts the stories of individuals who doubted...Show More

The United State of Women

44:20 | Mar 22nd, 2016

What has the Obama Administration done for women and girls? How will their women and girls initiatives continue after the president leaves office? Tina Tchen, executive director for the White House Council on Women and Girls, talks about what's been ...Show More

Why Ethics (Usually) Pays

46:44 | Mar 15th, 2016

When it comes to the bottom line, corporate social responsibility sometimes pays, but sometimes does not, according to Jonathan Haidt of the NYU Stern School of Business. This episode features his lecture at the Aspen Ideas Festival. He says studies ...Show More

Jesus of History versus Christ of Faith

52:05 | Mar 8th, 2016

Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic figures by examining Jesus within the context of the times in which he lived: the age of zealotry. Balancing the Jesus of the Gospe...Show More

The Black Presidency

55:48 | Mar 1st, 2016

In his book "The Black Presidency," Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race —as the national tra...Show More

WE-ASK: What Every American Should Know

56:57 | Feb 23rd, 2016

In 1987, E.D. Hirsch sparked a national debate with his book "Cultural Literacy," claiming that there is a foundation of common knowledge every American should know - and codifying it in a list of 5,000 facts and cultural references. Today, amidst gi...Show More

Ashley Judd on Feminism, Activism, and Why Hollywood Should Be Left Out of the Conversation

59:15 | Feb 16th, 2016

Actress Ashley Judd is an advocate and activist who has traveled the world promoting empowerment and equality, effective grassroots programs, and strategies to advance women's health, curb HIV, alleviate poverty and much more. As a global champion fo...Show More

Thomas Jefferson: An American Original

55:35 | Feb 9th, 2016

In honor of President's Day, biographer Jon Meacham explores Jefferson's complicated legacy and suggests how we might reclaim the Jeffersonian insistence that political leaders be conversant with the philosophical and cultural currents of their time....Show More

Solitary Confinement Through the Eyes of a Former Prisoner

47:50 | Feb 2nd, 2016

Hear what former prisoner Shaka Senghor, who was incarcerated for 19 years and now directs strategy for the bipartisan initiative #cut50, has to say about President Obama's recent pledge to end solitary confinement for juveniles and low-level offende...Show More

Poetry, Justice, and Alienation

47:21 | Jan 26th, 2016

Can art tackle some of the most difficult social-justice questions we face today? Over the past year we have witnessed images of our country at war with itself; how can poetry dispel alienation and give rise to a new level of citizenship in America F...Show More

Meditation and Mindfulness - Going Beyond the Buzzwords

42:37 | Jan 19th, 2016

Meditation and mindfulness have gone mainstream. From improvements in perception to body awareness, to pain tolerance and emotion regulation, to an increase in complex thinking and a sense of self, two experts in the field explore the benefits and ou...Show More

The Road to Character - David Brooks and Katie Couric

58:46 | Jan 11th, 2016

I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it, David Brooks has said about his experience writing his latest New York Times bestseller abou...Show More

Exercise in Radical Empathy and Youth Speak Up

56:40 | Jan 4th, 2016

Clint Smith is a high school educator, a Harvard PhD candidate, and a slam poet. In a series of spoken-word performances, Smith confronts inequality in American society. His poetry touches on black parenting, social justice, and violence against kids...Show More

Undaunted: Stories from the Frontlines of Global Health (Rebroadcast)

53:31 | Dec 28th, 2015

We'll be back in January with new episodes. In the meantime, don't miss this inspiring episode with stories of human resilience and ingenuity. During the Ebola crisis, strong grassroots relationships and homegrown leadership made the difference betwe...Show More

A Formula for Happiness (Rebroadcast)

55:43 | Dec 21st, 2015

AITG is taking off a couple of weeks for the holidays. We'll be back in January with new episodes. This week, we revisit an earlier episode — A Formula for Happiness. Want to be happy? Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute,...Show More

Winter Words Author Series

52:20 | Dec 14th, 2015

Three authors shed light on the writing life and the stories behind their works. New York Times bestseller Jess Walter ("Beautiful Ruins"), former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey ("Thrall"), and LA Times Book Prize winner Ruth Ozeki ("A Tale for t...Show More

Vice President Joe Biden

49:22 | Dec 7th, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality and Opportunity. Biden discussed root causes of poverty and inequality in America. He separately addressed topics related to terrorism, ISIS, and Syrian refugees.

The Four Sources of Happiness

52:45 | Nov 30th, 2015

Most people think that happiness has four sources: the sensory pleasures, material wealth, romantic relationships, and children. But recent research suggests that much of what people think about happiness is wrong. Daniel Gilbert, author of "Stumblin...Show More

Celebrating Einstein with Brian Greene

22:04 | Nov 23rd, 2015

Continuing our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the General Theory of Relativity, this talk features theoretical physicist Brian Greene. Arguably one of the best and most entertaining explainers of all things cosmic, Greene gives a refresher o...Show More

Einstein's Creativity

57:03 | Nov 16th, 2015

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the General Theory of Relativity, this talk takes a look at Albert Einstein's creativity. Where did it come from, how was it reflected in his life, and what can we learn from it? Biographer Walter Isaacson brings ...Show More

Evan Thomas on 'Being Nixon'

59:44 | Nov 9th, 2015

In 'Being Nixon,' Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America's 37th president. Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led h...Show More

Interview with Michael Bloomberg and Boris Johnson

36:01 | Nov 2nd, 2015

Boris Johnson, Mayor, London, Michael Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, 108th Mayor of the City of New York, and With Walter Isaacson, CEO and President, The Aspen Institute discuss how cities are the hubs of tech innovat...Show More

Robotic Moment: Who Do We Become When We Talk to Machines? (Aspen Lecture)

56:14 | Oct 26th, 2015

Conversation is facing a crisis in our culture. We regularly put people on "pause" in conversation to check our phones. We treat machines as if they are almost human. We want technology to step up, as we ask humans to step back. And having nothing to...Show More

Building a Better Teacher

54:36 | Oct 19th, 2015

We've all had great teachers who opened our minds — and maybe even changed our lives. But how can we make every teacher a star teacher? Elizabeth Green's New York Times best-selling book 'Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teac...Show More

Gray Matter: The Brain after 50

58:20 | Oct 12th, 2015

Our brains are getting older, but there's still much to be optimistic about. Neuroscientists Susan Greenfield and Gary Small discuss the aging brain with journalist Sam Kean.

What's Character Got to Do with It?

59:24 | Oct 5th, 2015

David Brooks writes about character. Aaron Sorkin writes about characters. The opinionator and consummate storyteller join in a conversation about how Sorkin's connection to and love of character distinguishes his writing and his craft. They discuss ...Show More

'Unfinished Business' with Anne-Marie Slaughter

55:47 | Sep 29th, 2015

Anne-Marie Slaughter provides a sneak peek of her new book, 'Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family'. Inspired by her 2012 article "Why Women Still Can't Have it All," one of the most-read pieces in the history of 'The Atlantic' magazine, Slaught...Show More

Facing Death with Dignity and a Plan

1:05:41 | Sep 21st, 2015

How can our medical and social systems support or hinder dying? Do we have the right to bend the arc of our own death, or that of a loved one? How can we approach the final passage with grace? Dan Diaz (the husband of Brittany Maynard, who died in No...Show More

The Church of Pope Francis

1:00:31 | Sep 14th, 2015

Nancy Gibbs, editor of TIME magazine, leads a conversation with: Michael Gerson, a nationally syndicated columnist whose writing appears twice weekly in 'The Washington Post'; Matt Malone, president and editor in chief of America Media, which publish...Show More

The New Golden Age of Television

1:03:28 | Sep 8th, 2015

Internet TV is growing globally in ways that traditional TV just isn’t. Netflix is a change-maker that is dramatically influencing our consumption of story-telling. This episode features Katie Couric in conversation with Ted Sarandos, the gutsy progr...Show More

What is College For?

56:26 | Aug 31st, 2015

Featuring William Deresiewicz, author of 'Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life' and New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks. At a time when traditional notions of college are under attack — in t...Show More

China: New Economic Superpower?

45:18 | Aug 27th, 2015

Former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has had unprecedented access to modern China’s political and business elite. As head of Goldman Sachs, he had a pivotal role in opening up China to private enterprise. Then, as treasury secretary, he created ...Show More

Long Life in the 21st Century (Aspen Lecture)

55:40 | Aug 24th, 2015

Aspen Lecture featuring Laura Carstensen, Fairleigh Dickinson Professor in Public Policy, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; Director, Stanford Center on Longevity. We are approaching a watershed moment in human history; a time when old p...Show More

Is Violence a Function of our Culture?

59:01 | Aug 17th, 2015

Homicide remains an endemic, seemingly unsolvable problem in America. And violent crime afflicts African-American communities to a much greater degree than others, as does mass incarceration — and police violence. What is the cause of this crisis? Wh...Show More

A View from the White House

46:47 | Aug 10th, 2015

The President’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor tells us what keeps her up at night and how she is working to make us all safe. Lisa Monaco, Deputy National Security Advisor and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Coun...Show More

Faith and the Public Square

56:34 | Aug 3rd, 2015

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) discusses faith and public life with 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. Coons, who ...Show More

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

43:57 | Jul 27th, 2015

Scientific evidence suggests that we can change our brains by transforming our minds and cultivating habits of mind that will improve well-being. These include happiness, resilience, compassion, and emotional balance. Each of these characteristics is...Show More

Radical: My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism

45:52 | Jul 20th, 2015

Maajid Nawaz shares his remarkable journey from Islamist extremism to liberal democratic values. Nawaz is the co-founder of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank based in London, and engages in counter-Islamist thought-generating, social-activism,...Show More

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

1:02:14 | Jul 13th, 2015

Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor to President 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, both as a key advi...Show More

The Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling: The Most Consequential Ruling in Our Lifetimes?

1:03:16 | Jul 6th, 2015

Recorded just four days after the SCOTUS ruling, this episode features a wide-ranging discussion of the cases and history behind the Marriage Equality ruling. Featuring the legal dream team that helped make this a reality, former Solicitor General Te...Show More

Undaunted: Stories from the Frontlines of Global Health

53:31 | Jun 29th, 2015

During the Ebola crisis, strong grassroots relationships and homegrown leadership made the difference between life and death. Drawing on that learning, movers and shakers from the Aspen New Voices Fellowship will share their stories about the silo-bu...Show More

The Evolution of Thinking Machines

57:39 | Jun 22nd, 2015

In many ways, artificial intelligence has become the norm. From autopilot on airplanes to language translation, we've come to accept once novel concepts as just something thinking machines do. What we have ultimately learned is that human thinking is...Show More

Should We Design Our Babies?

58:12 | Jun 15th, 2015

The discussion of "designer babies" often revolves around gender or hair color, but as Nita Farahany and Marcy Darnovsky explore, the medical debate is far more complicated. Farahany is Professor of Law and Philosophy, Director of Institute for Genom...Show More

Acting Out

51:40 | Jun 8th, 2015

From co-founding Artists for a Free South Africa, to working in failing schools to turn them around, actor and 2014 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence Alfre Woodard has played a role in making change as an activist artist. Woodard joins the Aspen Inst...Show More

Will Violence Be Our Legacy?

56:29 | Jun 1st, 2015

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says that nowhere is America's crisis of violence more evident than in the African-American community.  In this talk, he asks: What’s the real cost of violence? And how do we change it? Since taking office in 2010, La...Show More

Kids These Days: Technology and Culture in American Life

56:11 | May 25th, 2015

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? Youth culture and technology expert Danah Boyd talks with The Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin about what...Show More

On Russia and Putinism

48:18 | May 18th, 2015

This episode features Nicholas Burns and Strobe Talbott discussing Russia and Putinism. Burns is director of the Aspen Strategy Group and Talbott is an ASG member and president of the Brookings Institution. In this discussion, they follow up on a lec...Show More

"Redeployment" author Phil Klay

1:13:43 | May 11th, 2015

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award, "Redeployment" takes readers to the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Author Phil Klay reads from and discusses this collection of short stories which asks readers to understand what happened the...Show More

When Experts Disagree – The Art of Medical Decision Making

59:05 | May 4th, 2015

Despite medical advances and the application of scientific principles to modern medicine, there seems to be increasing controversy about the "right" diagnostic and treatment choices, even for very common medical issues – such as how best to treat hig...Show More

The Road to Depth, Thinking about what Character Is

57:36 | Apr 27th, 2015

Description Some people seem to lead inner lives that are richer and more substantive than the rest of us. How do they do it? In this talk, author and commentator David Brooks explores some of history's leaders in terms of personal character. He asks...Show More

A Conversation Across Cultures

51:30 | Apr 20th, 2015

In this lecture, philosopher, cultural theorist, and author Kwame Anthony Appiah rejects the idea that cross-cultural conversations often lead to the discovery of irreconcilable differences. The argument holds that conversations across groups about e...Show More

"Our Kids" author Robert D. Putnam

50:13 | Apr 13th, 2015

A professor of public policy at Harvard, Robert D. Putnam has consulted for the last three American presidents and many other leaders around the globe. His newest book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis" is a groundbreaking examination of the g...Show More

American Musical Traditions

53:06 | Apr 6th, 2015

At 28, musician Jon Batiste is considered by many to be one of the most exciting and progressive new crossover talents on the scene today. His modern take on the American songbook — equally influenced by his passion for jazz and classical styles, whi...Show More

From the Big Bang to Black Holes: Time, The Universe, and Everything

54:36 | Mar 30th, 2015

Astrophysicist and writer Janna Levin offers an epic tour through time from the beginning of the universe in a big bang, through black holes, past the emergence of life on at least one little planet spinning in a conceivably infinite cosmic ocean, to...Show More

Flash Boys and the Human Piranha

46:22 | Mar 23rd, 2015

Michael Lewis is the author of the bestsellers "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt", "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game", and "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game", among other books. After graduating from Princeton University and the London...Show More

How Democracy Gets Restored

56:40 | Mar 16th, 2015

Lawrence Lessig (professor at Harvard Law School) says there's a profound loss of confidence by Americans in their government. In this Aspen Lecture, Lessig shows exactly why Americans are right, and just how we could restore the rightful sense that ...Show More

A Candid Conversation with John R. Lewis

46:25 | Mar 12th, 2015

Congressman John R. Lewis (D-GA), civil rights leader, and co-author of the bestselling graphic memoir March: Book One, is the recipient of numerous awards including the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His ne...Show More

The Resilience Dividend

59:01 | Mar 9th, 2015

Our interconnected world is susceptible to sudden and dramatic shocks and stresses: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic blow. Through an astonishing range of stories, Judith R...Show More

A Formula for Happiness

55:43 | Mar 2nd, 2015

Want to be happy? Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, has read all of the books and studies about what makes us happy — so you don't have to. By marrying ancient wisdom and new data, he says we can identify what brings t...Show More

The Risky Business of Writing

1:09:50 | Feb 23rd, 2015

Journalist Katie Couric interviews "House of Cards" creator and producer Beau Willimon. Recorded live at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the two have a lively conversation about Willimon's career (he studied painting in college and later worked on politica...Show More

"Wild" author Cheryl Strayed

36:29 | Feb 16th, 2015

Cheryl Strayed discusses her journey, chronicled in the hugely popular book, Wild, and shares her search to overcome heartache and find healing. (Recorded live at Aspen Words.) The book was adapted for film in 2014, and now the actresses playing Stra...Show More

The Politics and Economics of Inequality

37:56 | Feb 9th, 2015

Professor Robert Reich examines what's happened to income and wealth in this country, why it's a problem, and what we can expect in future years. Recorded live at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Podcast Preview

01:35 | Feb 4th, 2015

Launching next week, the Aspen Institute brings you a weekly podcast featuring compelling talks from our public programs, including the Aspen Ideas Festival. Here's a quick preview to tell you about the Institute and what to expect on the podcast. Su...Show More