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Ideas about Aspen's ideas

I'm not exactly sure what I'm supposed to be doing here at the Aspen Ideas Festival. In the first place, I guess I'm here to listen to some ideas. But more realistically, I'm here as part of my job producing content for all of you. So if you're interested, feel free to go download the schedule and tell me if there are any particular panels you want me to attend and write about. If there's enough demand for specific events, I'll go to them. This blog is for you, after all. In return, I'm very much in the market for restaurant recommendations.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 8, 2010; 8:29 AM ET
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FYI the link ain't working on Aspen's site. I get a "file is damaged" error. Anyone else?

Ezra, if you have a copy maybe you can post it?

That being said, I was saddened to learn Michael Steele has to cancel his session. I'm sure he would have had some curious ideas...

Posted by: AttentionDeficit | July 8, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I see quite a few panels that I think would be interesting. My one request is that you skip the opening panels. Niall Ferguson and David Gergen on the financial crisis? Thomas Friedman and Dov Seidman on "Inspirational Leadership and Sustainable Values"? Jesus! Just the thought makes me cringe.

Posted by: stlyrface | July 8, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

The Aspen area is gorgeous in the summer --try to go hiking while you are there so as to take advantage of the rare opportunity to escape the beltway rat race, take in the fresh mountain air, commune with nature and be renewed :-)

Posted by: hillgirl8024 | July 8, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

sorry to say it, but it looks like a number of those speakers and moderators havent had a new idea in about twenty-five years.

i would definitely go to hear howard gardner....who developed the theory of multiple intelligences. that was transformative.
a few others....
and then i also suggest that you head for the hills....
breathe, rest, and quiet your mind.
that would be the best idea of all.

Posted by: jkaren | July 8, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

"What is the Future of the City in
the Global economy?" and "How Will We Drill for Oil? A visual presentation about how we drill for oil and the precautions taken along the way." Those ones! Will everyone end up living in cities? How big will cities top out at in the future? How should we drill for oil going forward? Should the US require oil companies to drill $100 million relief wells on all drilling sites like in Canada? And similar questions like these.

Posted by: bigmandave | July 8, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Today: 10:30am-11:45pm

Race in America
Post Racial America? Is Obama a Symbol of
the New American Dilemma?
Claude Steele, Patricia Williams,
David Levering Lewis, Ellis Cose
Moderator : Ta-Nehisi Coates

Paepcke Auditorium

Today: 2pm-6pm

A Conversation with Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
MODERATOR: Jeffrey Rosen

Posted by: Mazzi455 | July 8, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I second both of Mazzi455's suggestions.

I would add:

Today: 9:00 – 10:10 am
Ideas in Education
What is the Purpose of Higher Education in
the 21st Century?
Eduardo Padrón, Kim Bottomly, Claude
Steele, Sidney Harman
Moderator : Elliot Gerson
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room

Posted by: jpeg | July 8, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I can't help myself...
"A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talking about a little place called Aspen."

Matthew Bishop?
Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginberg
Obama Administration Scorecard
Conversation with Alan Greenspan!
Sustainable Capitalism

I'd love to read a recap of any of these with some commentary/responses by you. Greenspan would just be a broken record, but always good for a little chuckle.

Posted by: christinemccorkle | July 8, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Another from today that, if done right, should completely depress you if you haven't been exposed to it:

7:30 pm World Afairs/Women & Girls
What Can the World Do
About Sex Trafficking?
Randy Newcomb, Ann Veneman, Nicholas
Kristof, Kavita Ramdas, Sandra Day O’Connor
Moderator : Megan McArdle
Belly Up Aspen*

And at 8:30 PM today:

The American Agenda
Obama Administration Scorecard
Two years in: What grade does he get?
Fred Barnes, Chuck Todd, Clive Crook,
Tom Gjelten, Mort Zuckerman
Moderator : E.J. Dionne Jr.
Hotel Jerome*

Posted by: jpeg | July 8, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Shrek Forever After . . . in 3D!

Other than that, I like the sound of "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America", "The Twitter effect on movies and Culture", maybe "News literacy: how to Know What to Believe (Sorting Fact from Fiction)", "What Will the Century of Biology mean to the Global economy?", "New Green Nukes", "What is the Future of engineering Biology?", "Fuel Cells: path to the Future", "What Can Nature Teach Us about Computing Systems? Biomimicry in the age of a Trillion Nodes" . . .

And, of course, "Will the Republicans prevail in 2010? Seats to Watch and Why".

And, of course you'll be attending the California Cuisine panel.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | July 8, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

How about the "Climate Change Hysteric Ezra Klein Flies to Aspen but Doesn't Know What For" carbon counting booth in the Collectivist Tooth Fair Pavilion?

Posted by: msoja | July 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Hi Ezra - thanks for your blog. It's a must-read every morning. The following would be interesting. Thanks.

Thurs 7/8 2:00-6:00pm
From Guantanamo to the Gulf: The US attorney General on the
Big legal issues of 2010
Eric Holder
Moderator: Bob Schieffer

A Conversation with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Moderator: Jeffrey Rosen

Fri 7/9 9-10am
The American Agenda
Where are the Jobs in america’s Future?
Thomas J. Donohue, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Richard Trumka, Hilda Solis
Moderator: Paul Solman

Sat 7/1

Posted by: cmt300 | July 8, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I like all of cmt300 suggestions.

Holder especially.

Posted by: Mazzi455 | July 8, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

randy jirtle
edith widder
geoffrey canada
mickey mcmanus

Posted by: jkaren | July 8, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My picks:

American education, global health & poverty, health-care implementation in the US

Thursday @ 10:30-11:40am
Ideas in Education:
Scaling Great Ideas in Education
Richard Tagle: Higher Achievement
Jack Hidary: National Lab Day
Nichole Pinkard: Digital Youth Network
Sonya Pryor-Jones: MC2STEM
James Marggraff: Technology for Education
Moderator : Ross Wiener
Doerr-Hosier Center, McNulty Room

Thursday @ 2-6pm (between Holder & Kristof)
Mind the Gap: Race and School
Achievement in America
Roland Fryer Jr.
Geoffrey Canada

Friday @ 2:30-3:40pm
Global Health/Women & Girls
Oh, Baby: Putting Reproductive Health on
the Global Agenda
Nicholas Kristof, Kavita Ramdas,
Ann Veneman
Moderator : Peggy Clark
Kresge Building, Hines Room

Friday @ 5-6pm
Global Health:
Is Aid Money Effective for Global Health?
Neal Keny-Guyer, Nancy Aossey,
Sophie Delaunay
Moderator : Peggy Clark
Paepcke Auditorium

Saturday @ 10:30-11:40am
Latin America: Power, Politics, Potential
Market-based Approaches to
Poverty Reduction
William Foote, Ricardo Teran,
Ricardo Salinas
Moderator : Randall Kempner
Koch Building, Lauder Room

Saturday @ 12:10-1pm
Intelligent Conversation
On to Implementation: How Do We Ensure
the Integrity of the Health Care Plan?
Ezekiel Emanuel, Raymond Fabius
Moderator : Stephen J. Adler
Aspen Meadows Restaurant

Have fun, Ezra!

Posted by: sayday8 | July 8, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I guess you probably missed at by this point, but the Higher Ed one would have been interesting. I also think, for related reasons, the conversation with Bill Gates would be interesting.

I also think "Where Are the Jobs In America’s Future?" is important and potentially interesting.

Posted by: madjoy | July 8, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Fine Restaurants: Pinons has great New Zealand Elk and Colorado Lamb now on menu (venison when available) just can't get that on East Coast. Gusto's is really fun, great Northern Italian with some fusion (which you seem to like). Cache Cache (Jack Nicholson's favorite) is just a fine restaurant plus superb wine list. Matsuhisa (Nobu) is enjoyable with a lot of people, otherwise eat sushi here not there. Campo de Fiori also worth solid mention. These are only places I think are really worth it, a few other good ones, but nothing so special you can't get here NYC or your DC.

Posted by: howardkay | July 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Screw it, just find a empty booth and give your own lecture. Not enough wonkishness in this list.

I've always liked Attorney General Holder when he speaks so go to that one. I'd really like to hear what he has to say.

Sunday July 11th
China’s Expansion into the Western Hemisphere: Implications for Latin America and the United States Riordan Roett Koch Building, Lauder Room- Seems interesting because I find the topic fascinating, but I don't know anything about the speaker

Stay the hell out of the opening remarks. And avoid panels whose titles include buzzwords (2.0!!) or rhetorical questions or predictions about the future.

Posted by: doctorrobert | July 8, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Why did Michael Steele cancel going to this?

Posted by: lol-lol | July 8, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

blog grover norquist's session; eat at mcdonald's. ask some of the geniuses around there if cantwell-collins can get 60

Posted by: jackjudge4000yahoocom | July 8, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Every so often jkaren says the most wonderful things in the most pleasant manner: to hear someone say aloud "sorry to say it, but it looks like a number of those speakers and moderators haven't had a new idea in about twenty-five years" made my day!

Posted by: rmgregory | July 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you could report on this as to whether true, half-true or hype:

Even the Aspen Ideas Festival, an annual gathering of the country's brightest lights, isn't Obama country anymore. Lloyd Grove on the president's waning support among the intelligentsia.

Posted by: JuliaXA | July 8, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I vote for:

Eric Holder and Roland Fryer back to back. That's today between 2 and 6, so it may be a bit late to suggest.

Tomorrow from 9-10am is "The United States and Latin America" or "Where are the Jobs in America's Future". Both seem interesting.

The conversation with Alan Greenspan might be interesting. That's Friday from 12-1.

If you want to get up early on a Saturday (doubt it), "Intelligence, Intuition, and Information: The Promise and Peril of Big Data" sounds very good.

I imagine you'll want to go to Orszag's talk on Saturday at 1:15.

That's all I got. Have fun!

Posted by: ajowls333 | July 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Amory Lovins (Second Session, Plenary on Friday afternoon) is always interesting to hear on the subject of energy efficiency. He's actually one of the more optimistic speakers out there (but unfortunately widely ignored by people with the big bucks).

I see that Michael Specter, author of a book about denialism, is leading a tutorial called "How Do We Feed the World?" on Saturday morning. Panelist include Hugh Grant (the CEO of Monsanto, not the actor), and executive from Mars, Inc. (Howard-Yana Shapiro) and someone from the World Wildlife Fund. Given Specter's writings and the presence of Monsanto's CEO, I'd expect this to be an enthusiastic pep rally for genetic engineering. But what I'd really like to see you do is ask Specter why he wrote a book about scientific denialism but didn't include climate change deniers. A review of the book by Tom Philpott at Grist took Specter to task for his neglect of these very powerful deniers:

Posted by: meander510 | July 8, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Not much here on the unemployment situation. Is that typical myopia of the elites?

These look good..
Is America Still the Land of Opportunity?

Where Are the Jobs In America’s Future?

Also, go to Basalt, a little town less than 20 miles down river. It is extremely pleasant with great restaurants and community, great shopping. Aspen is a transient town for jet setters. Yawn.

Posted by: mminka | July 8, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Aspen, where the beer flows like wine.

Posted by: Jenga918 | July 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

grab a bite at Root Down in Denver on the way out. will hook you up for sure.

Posted by: colinrydell | July 8, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

There are some economic discussions that could be interesting but I'm not thrilled about the presenters. So, there's an evening of jazz. A definite. And a "bring your own poem" event. You could share with us.

Posted by: TomCantlon | July 8, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Steele did not speak, because Steele is going to fight for his job and that is exactly what he should do. He needs to shout his opinions from the rooftops in order to re-direct a wayward party. And he is doing it by kicking off a speaking tour – the 2 Legit to Quit tour, to be exact. Read about it at the link below.


Full disclosure: I think the dude should quit, while I don't agree with the Republican Party's platform on many issues, the RNC chair certainly should. Anyhow, read the article, it is really funny.

Posted by: eye95 | July 8, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

"Fine Restaurants: Pinons has great New Zealand Elk and Colorado Lamb now on menu (venison when available)"

Heaven help us.
is this what people eat at a festival of "good ideas?"
why not eat the pinions, instead?

better idea: go out at dusk in colorado, and listen to the elk bugling in the hills. it is a haunting and beautiful sound.
and watch the pronghorn antelope, springing in the grass...
an unforgettable sight in colorado.

Posted by: jkaren | July 8, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse


thank you:-)

Posted by: jkaren | July 8, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

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