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THE ASPEN INSTITUTE
THE ASPEN IDEA • SUMMER 2012
The Arts in Action Action
The Institute’s Arts Programs Take Center Stage
PLUS: NEW YORK EXPANSION, A BETTER PATH TO LEADERSHIP, ALBRIGHT’S FOREIGN POLICY DREAM TEAM, AND MORE
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6 l key staff 8 l Aspen Institute facts l
What is the Aspen Institute?
14 l insights & ideas l
We launch in Prague, probe the limits of just war, reconsider undergraduate business education and welcome our first class of Ascend fellows.
SUMMER 2012 The Aspen Institute
32 l society of fellows l
Symposia and discussion events for the Institute’s key donor group featured Amy Sullivan, Alan Wolfe, Gillian Tett, and Jeffrey Madrick.
46 AL B R IGHT’S D REAM TEAM
On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Aspen Ministers Forum, Deputy Director of the Aspen Strategy Group Jonathon Price reflects on how the group came together and on its legacy thus far.
34 l seminars l
An Aspen Seminar participant reflects on her experience, while Aspen España considers transatlantic values.
52 B E IJ IN G AN D
B E yo N D
36 l socrates program l
From Madrid to Havana, Socrates features Mona Eltahawy, Jeff Rosen, Stephen Balkham, and Mark Brownstein.
38 l Aspen community programs l Great Discussions
and Great Conversations range from the Middle East to cybersecurity to the global economy, while Aspen-area teenagers consider happiness in the “always on” age.
From Manhattan to Beijing to Chicago, the Institute’s Arts Program is working to integrate the arts into our ongoing “Great Conversation.”
Table of Contents continues on page 4.
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On the Cover: Aspen Institute Arts Program Director Damian Woetzel and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Photo by Dong Lin. Photo illustration by TMG. Insets left to right: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Meryl Streep, Michael Bloomberg, Melody Barnes, Billie Jean King, and Hillary Clinton.
40 l ideas in action l
Senator Byron Dorgan discusses the Center for Native American Youth’s mission and its attempts to improve life for Indian children.
42 l ideas in action l
Partners for a New Beginning and the US-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity come together in Morocco to brainstorm how to spur economic growth in the region.
44 l reading room l
The Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series hosts authors who have written on illness, oil, global politics, and the pitiable billionaire.
56 T HE M AN H ATTAN P RoJECT
The Institute expands its New York City footprint with public programs and policy work.
78 l international Aspen l
Aspen Institute España, Institut Aspen France, Aspen Institute Germany, Aspen Institute India, Aspen Institute Italia, Aspen Institute Japan, Institutul Aspen Romania, Aspen Institute Prague
C o N V E R S AT I o N
64 A B E T T ER WAy To GoVERN
82 l faces l
Memorable people and events from the season: behind the scenes at the Annual Awards Dinner, McNulty Awards, Socrates Aspen, and New York Ideas.
Clay Johnson and Mack McLarty report on an Institute commission’s work on the federal appointments and confirmation process, and lay out their proposal to fix it.
72 WH ERE ECoN oMICS AND
D IP L oMACy MEET
68 T HE S o UL oF AMERICA
88 l next l
What’s coming up at the Institute—in Aspen, Wye, Washington, New York, and around the world.
Jose Vargas, Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez, and Touré answer Juan Williams’ tough questions about what it means to be an American.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses Russia, China, the power of economic statecraft, and the relationship between innovation and international affairs.
76 TH E H EALTH oF A NATI oN
With the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act looming, Melody Barnes, Bruce Bodaken, and Shannon Brownlee examine the law from multiple angles.
92 l profiles in leadership l
AGLN Fellow Ghassan Hasbani answers our questions about leadership, the classic texts that have influenced him most, and how he plans to use the Aspen and AGLN model to ignite change in the Middle East.
70 T HE P IoN EER
Tennis legend Billie Jean King holds forth on the importance of role models, taking your power back, and playing like a girl.
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How Will You Shape the Future?
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M A J A D U B R U L JEWELRY
Upon retiring from the US Senate in 2011, Byron Dorgan donated $1 million of excess campaign funds to create the Center for Native American Youth at the Institute. Senator Dorgan is currently teaching, writing, consulting, and serving on a number of boards of directors. On page 40, he discusses why addressing the challenges facing Native American youth should be top priority for the United States.
Clay Johnson is co-Chair of the Institute’s Commission to Reform the
Publisher and Senior Editor
Federal Appointments Process. He served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Director of Presidential Personnel in George W. Bush’s administration, and was previously Bush’s Chief of Staff during the 2000 election. On page 64, he lends his years of expertise in and out of the public sector to discuss the state of the federal appointments process and the Commission’s recommendations to fix it. the Federal Appointments Process and is President of McLarty Associates. He served President Bill Clinton as Chief of Staff, and later as a special envoy for foreign affairs. During his time in government, he witnessed firsthand the pitfalls the broken federal appointments process presents. He examines these problems, along with the Commission’s proposed solutions, on page 64.
Mack McLarty is co-Chair of the Institute’s Commission to Reform
Missy Daniel Jean Morra James Spiegelman
Devon Rodonets Glenn Pierce
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The Aspen Idea is published twice a year by the Aspen Institute and distributed to Institute constituents, friends, and supporters. To receive a copy, call (202) 736-5850. Postmaster: Please send address changes to The Aspen Institute Communications Department, Ste. 700, One Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC 20036. The opinions and statements expressed by the authors and contributors to this publication do not necessarily reflect opinions or positions of the Aspen Institute, which is a nonpartisan forum. All rights reserved. No material in this publication may be published or copied without the express written consent of the Aspen Institute. ©The Aspen Institute All Rights Reserved
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Toni Verstandig is Executive Director of the Institute’s Middle East Programs and Executive Director of the Secretariat for Partners for New Beginning-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity—a public-private partnership committed to economic opportunities, business-to-business partnerships and job creation for youth. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, and holds positions on the Children’s National Medical Center, Center for Global Development and the University of Denver’s Korbel School for International Affairs. On page 42, she discusses PNBNAPEO’s work in North Africa.
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Aspen Institute facts
B o a rd o f Tr u s t e e s
Chairman Robert K. Steel President & CEO Walter Isaacson Madeleine K. Albright Paul F. Anderson Mercedes Bass Berl Bernhard Richard S. Braddock Beth A. Brooke Melva Bucksbaum William D. Budinger Stephen L. Carter Cesar Conde James S. Crown Andrea Cunningham John Doerr Thelma Duggin Sylvia A. Earle Michael D. Eisner Brooks Entwistle Leonhard Fischer Alan Fletcher Henrietta Holsman Fore Ann B. Friedman Stephen Friedman Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Mircea Geoana David Gergen Alma L. Gildenhorn Gerald Greenwald Patrick W. Gross Arjun Gupta Jane Harman Hayne Hipp Gerald D. Hosier Ann Frasher Hudson Robert J. Hurst Jean-Pierre Jouyet Michael Klein Yotaro Kobayashi David H. Koch Timothy K. Krauskopf Leonard A. Lauder Frederic V. Malek James M. Manyika William E. Mayer Bonnie Palmer McCloskey David McCormick Anne Welsh McNulty Diane Morris Karlheinz Muhr Clare Muñana Jerry Murdock Marc Nathanson William A. Nitze Her Majesty Queen Noor Jacqueline Novogratz Olara A. Otunnu Elaine Pagels Charles Powell Michael K. Powell Margot L. Pritzker Peter A. Reiling Lynda Resnick Condoleezza Rice Jim Rogers Isaac O. Shongwe Anna Deavere Smith Michelle Smith Javier Solana Gautam Thapar Shashi Tharoor* Laurie Tisch Giulio Tremonti Roderick K. von Lipsey Vin Weber Michael Zantovsky *On Leave of Absence
WHAT IS THE ASPEN INSTITUTE?
The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: • Seminars, which help participants reflect on what they think makes a good society, thereby deepening knowledge, broadening perspectives, and enhancing their capacity to solve the problems leaders face. • Leadership programs around the globe that bring a selected class of proven leaders together for an intense multi-year program and commitment. The fellows become better leaders and apply their skills to significant challenges. • Policy programs, which serve as nonpartisan forums for analysis, consensus building, and problem solving on a wide variety of issues. • Public conferences and events, which provide a commons for people to share ideas. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and by the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners.
LIFETIME TRUSTEES Chairman James C. Calaway Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Keith Berwick John Brademas William T. Coleman, Jr. Lester Crown Tarun Das William L. Davis Alfred Dietsch William H. Donaldson James L. Ferguson Richard N. Gardner Jacqueline Grapin Irvine O. Hockaday, Jr. Nina Rodale Houghton Jérôme Huret William N. Joy Henry A. Kissinger Ann Korologos Robert H. Malott Olivier Mellerio Eleanor Merrill Elinor Bunin Munroe Sandra Day O’Connor Hisashi Owada John J. Phelan, Jr. Thomas R. Pickering Warren B. Rudman Jay Sandrich Lloyd G. Schermer Carlo Scognamiglio Albert H. Small Andrew L. Stern Paul A. Volcker Leslie H. Wexner Frederick B. Whittemore Alice Young
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Aspen Institute facts
The Aspen Seminar
For over 60 years, the Aspen Seminar on Leadership, Values, and the Good Society has challenged leaders in every field to think more critically and deeply about their impact on the world. A premier leadership and professional-development roundtable, the Aspen Seminar is a unique opportunity to step away from the demands of the present and to reflect on the concept of a good and just society—with 20 others in a moderated, text-based, Socratic dialogue. The sublime settings of Aspen, Colorado, and Maryland’s Eastern Shore are ideal for rejuvenating body, mind, and spirit. “The Aspen Seminar is the best whetstone out there,” says Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix.
and at Wye River; day-long seminars in major US cities; and will soon add international seminars. Recent topics include bioethics, the impact of the global financial crisis, technology and privacy, China and America, energy security, Afghanistan and Pakistan, globalization, Islam and democracy, sports and society, health care reform, and green investing.
Justice and Society
This seminar brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds to discuss what justice means and how a just society ought to deal with issues such as private conduct and public mores, entitlements, race and gender, criminal justice and the morality of punishment, and the meaning of justice beyond national borders. This program works on rule of law questions with judges from around the globe. The annual Justice and Society Seminar, co-founded by former Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, by invitation only, is held in Aspen and led by preeminent judges and law professors.
The Philanthropy Seminar is a collaboration with the Global Philanthropy Forum and is open to principals of family foundations, individual philanthropists and CEOs of private and corporate foundations seeking a meaningful and substantive exploration of philanthropic values and effective strategies. The seminar includes classic and modern readings and an interactive, peer-learning approach that transforms thinking. Participants develop a greater self-awareness, a refined philanthropic vision, practical strategies for achieving results, and supportive relationships with fellow philanthropists.
Ari Ratner, Peter Lind, and Mona Eltahawy at a Socrates seminar
cal and contemporary dynamics of structural racism, ideological and political debates regarding race-related issues, the ways public policies and social processes promote or limit racial equity, and social and cultural influences on popular perceptions of race and ethnicity.
Custom seminars enable organizations and companies to develop one- to multi-day seminars relevant to their day-to-day operations. This program has grown to include many of the world’s leading corporations.
Wye Faculty Programs
Racial Equity and Society
The Racial Equity and Society Seminars provide an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in readings, study, and dialogue on issues of race, ethnicity, and equity in the United States. Participants explore a range of issues, including histori-
In a longstanding collaboration with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, these seminars engage faculty, senior academic administrators, and college presidents in an exchange of ideas about liberal arts education, citizenship, and the global polity.
HOW TO SIGN UP
For more information, contact Charlene Costello at (410) 820-5374 or visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ seminars. Limited financial assistance is available for most seminars.
The Socrates Program
2012 SEMINAR SCHEDULE
The Socrates Program provides a forum for emerging leaders (ages approximately 28–45) from a wide range of professions to explore contemporary issues through expert-moderated roundtable dialogue. Socrates also provides an introduction into a diverse professional network and into the broader range of the Institute’s programs. Socrates events include weekend-long seminars in Aspen
The Aspen Seminar
By invitation/nomination only. Visit www.aspeninstitute.org/aspenseminar to learn more or contact Todd Breyfogle at email@example.com. June 16–22, Wye, Md June 23–29, Wye, Md July 28–August 3, Wye, Md August 11–17, Aspen, CO August 18–24, Aspen, CO September 15–21, Aspen, CO October 6–12, Wye, Md
Socrates Seminar July 5–8, 2012, Summer Socrates Seminars, Aspen, CO
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Aspen Institute facts
EDUCATION AND SOCIETy PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/ education ENERGy AND ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/ee GLOBAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT www.aspeninstitute.org/ghd GLOBAL INITIATIVE ON CULTURE AND SOCIETy www.aspeninstitute.org/ cultureandsociety HEALTH, BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE, AND SOCIETy INITIATIVE www.aspeninstitute.org/health HOMELAND SECURITy PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/security INITIATIVE ON FINANCIAL SECURITy www.aspeninstitute.org/ifs JUSTICE AND SOCIETy PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/justice MANUFACTURING AND SOCIETy IN THE 21ST CENTURy www.aspeninstitute.org/mfg MARKET-BUILDING INITIATIVE www.aspeninstitute.org/mbi MIDDLE EAST PROGRAMS www.aspeninstitute.org/ mideast PROGRAM ON PHILANTHROPy AND SOCIAL INNOVATION www.aspeninstitute.org/psi ROUNDTABLE ON COMMUNITy CHANGE www.aspeninstitute.org/rcc SPORTS AND SOCIETy www.sportsandsociety.org
The Institute’s Communications and Society Program hosts The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta and The Washington Post’s Marcus Brauchli to discuss “The Future of Content”
ur Policy Programs serve to advance knowledge on the most pressing issues of today. The programs frame critical topics, propose innovative ideas, and convene leaders and experts to reach constructive solutions. While each Policy Program is unique in substance and approach, each shares a common mission: to serve as an impartial forum that brings a diversity of perspectives together through informed dialogue, research, and action.
ASPEN PRIZE FOR COMMUNITy COLLEGE EXCELLENCE www.aspenprize.org ASPEN STRATEGy GROUP www.aspeninstitute.org/asg BUSINESS AND SOCIETy PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/bsp CENTER FOR NATIVE AMERICAN yOUTH www.centerfornativeamerican youth.org
CHANGE AND PROSPERITy: THE PROGRAM ON THE WORLD ECONOMy www.aspeninstitute.org/pwe COMMISSION TO REFORM THE FEDERAL APPOINTMENTS PROCESS www.aspeninstitute.org/ federalappointments COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIETy PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/c&s COMMUNITy STRATEGIES GROUP www.aspeninstitute.org/csg CONGRESSIONAL PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/ congressional ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/eop www.skillsforamericasfuture. org
ADVOCACy PLANNING AND EVALUATION PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/apep AGENT ORANGE IN VIETNAM PROGRAM www.aspeninstitute.org/ agentorangeprogram ASCEND www.aspeninstitute.org/ascend ASPEN NETWORK OF DEVELOPMENT ENTREPRENEURS www.aspeninstitute.org/ande
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Aspen Institute facts
Aspen Ideas Festival
This weeklong, large-scale public event—co-hosted by The Atlantic—brings some of the world’s brightest minds and leaders to Aspen every summer for enlightened dialogue on the planet’s most pressing issues. The next Festival will take place June 27–July 3, 2012. For information, call Deborah Murphy at (970) 544-7955.
exchange, and develop ideas and policies. Events and discussions are held throughout the year. To learn more, contact Zlato Fagundes at zlato.fagundes@ aspeninstitute.org
Ongoing Programs in Aspen
Washington Ideas Forum
Presented in partnership with The Atlantic and the Newseum, this Washington, DC-based event features leading figures in public policy discussing the most important issues of the day. The next Forum will take place in November 2012. By invitation. For information, contact Christine Gasparich at christine. firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 736-2913.
The Institute offers residents of Aspen and the surrounding Roaring Fork Valley communities a variety of programs throughout the year, including the McCloskey Speaker Series, Arts & Ideas Series, Community Great Ideas Seminar, Sharing Shakespeare, and NEW VIEWS Documentary Film Series with aspenFILM. For information, contact Cristal Logan at cristal. email@example.com.
Ongoing Programs in Washington, DC
New york Ideas
In April 2012, the Institute and The Atlantic hosted a new, daylong discussion event focused on the state of the Union. For more information, contact Christine Gasparich at christine. firstname.lastname@example.org or at (202) 736-2913.
scheduled for October 22–24 in Tokyo, Japan.
ing the Summer Words Literary Festival, Winter Words, Lyrically Speaking, and Story Swap.
Aspen Environment Forum
Global Initiative on Culture and Society
The Global Initiative on Culture and Society highlights the importance of culture in socioeconomic development, international relations, and global security. The Initiative seeks to build a neutral platform for reflection, network-building, and cooperative engagement in the cultural sector. Domestic and international convenings bring together distinguished professionals from diverse backgrounds to share information, generate cultural and socioeconomic development policy debates, and seed new initiatives. The 2012 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum is
The 2012 Aspen Environment Forum will be co-presented by National Geographic and themed “Living in the New Normal.” The forum will explore the challenges posed by the changing conditions of the planet on food supply, city planning, water scarcity, energy security, and extreme weather, and find solutions for adapting to these new realities.
Aspen Security Forum
The Aspen Security Forum convenes in Aspen leaders in government, industry, media, think tanks, and academia to explore key homeland security and counterterrorism issues. The next forum will take place July 25–28, 2012.
From September through June, the Institute’s DC headquarters hosts the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series, lunchtime discussions with major recent authors, and the Washington Ideas Roundtable Series, which focuses on world affairs, arts, and culture and is made possible with support from Michelle Smith and the Robert H. Smith Foundation. To learn more, contact Jeffrey Harris at email@example.com.
Ongoing Programs in New york
Aspen Writers’ Foundation
Throughout the year, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation encourages writers in their craft and readers in their appreciation of literature through its repertoire of year-round programs, includ-
The Aspen Institute Arts Program
The Arts Program supports, invigorates, and returns the arts to the center of the Institute’s “Great Conversation” by bringing together leading artists, arts managers, sponsors, government officials and patrons to generate,
The Institute now hosts a variety of programs in New York City, from book talks and benefits to Socrates seminars and the ongoing discussion series “Conversations with Great Leaders in Memory of Preston Robert Tisch.” For more information, contact Christine Gasparich at christine.gasparich@aspen institute.org or at (202) 736-2913.
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Aspen Institute facts
THE ASPEN GLOBAL LEADERSHIP NETWORK
Since 1997, the Institute has built a series of programs for accomplished leaders in the United States and abroad—
from South Carolina to South Africa. The Aspen Global Leadership Network, inspired by the Henry Crown Fellowship Program, is developing a new generation of civically engaged men and women by encouraging them to move “from success to significance” and to apply their entrepreneurial talents to addressing the foremost challenges of their organizations, communities, and countries. Each Aspen Global Leadership Network program selects an annual class of approximately 20 proven leaders ages 30–45 and convenes them four times over the course of two years for a series of intensive leadership seminars. Each Fellow is also required to design and carry out a high-impact leadership project. Today, the Network numbers nearly 1,500 Fellows from 45 countries and continues to grow.
The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership American elected leaders.
The Aspen Teacher Leadership Fellowship Program
The Catto Fellowship Program Leaders in the environment.
The Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI)
The India Leadership Initiative (ILI)
The Liberty Fellowship South Carolina leaders.
The Middle East Leadership Initiative (MELI)
OTHER LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS THE ASCEND FELLOWSHIP
AGLN Fellows past and present meet with Victor Kod, CEO of video-sharing site yonku, in Beijing.
Founded by the Institute’s Ascend Program, the Ascend Fellowship targets diverse pioneers paving new pathways that break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
The Henry Crown Fellowship Program The flagship leadership program.
The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI)/ South Africa
FIRST MOVERS FELLOWSHIP
The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI)/ East Africa Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya
The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI)/ West Africa Ghana and Nigeria
Founded by the Institute’s Business and Society Program, the First Movers Fellowship seeks to help the business community live up to its full potential as a vehicle for positive social change.
The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI)/ Mozambique
Aspen Institute/NewSchools Fellows: Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education
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insights & ideas
Big Ideas, happenings Around the Institute and Around the World, and What’s Coming Up
Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, along with four finalists-withdistinction—Lake Area Technical Institute (SD), Miami Dade College (FL), Walla Walla Community College (WA), and West Kentucky Community and Technical College (KY)—won the inaugural $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence at a December 2011 ceremony attended by Dr. Jill Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The College Excellence Program’s Aspen Prize rewards community colleges that balance the delicate relationship between open access, student performance and degree completion, and employment and earnings after graduation. “For seven million Americans, community colleges represent the most promising path to education and employment,” said Richard Riley, co-chair of the prize’s jury and former US Secretary of Education. “But, for them to fulfill that promise, we need to identify ways for them to boost student success—and that’s what this prize is all about.”
To learn more, visit
Biden presents Dr. Sanford Shugart of Valencia College with the Aspen Prize
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Ethics and Modern War
In February, the Institute’s Justice and Society Program held two dialogues probing the complex ethical and legal issues surrounding modern warfare and genocides. In the first, Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley moderated a discussion between Obama and former Bush administration officials and academics on the legal and policy implications of targeted killings through drone strikes. The next day, the Justice and Society Program co-sponsored “In Search of Accountability: Justice after Nuremberg,” in partnership with the US Holocaust Memorial Bradley Museum and the US Institute of Peace, where participants explored how the legal system has grappled to administer retributive justice in the aftermath of genocides since the Second World War. A panel including David Scheffer, ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues during the Clinton administration; William Shawcross, British ambassador at Nuremberg; moderator Michael Abramowitz, executive director of the Museum’s Committee on Conscience; and Harold Koh, State Department legal advisor, kicked off the discussion.
For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/justice.
Social media may have played a role in the Egyptian revolution, journalist Mona eltahawy told the audience at February’s Socrates winter weekend, where she moderated a seminar on the new leadership in the Middle East and North Africa, but “social media did not invent courage.” Still in her cast from being assaulted by the Egyptian police, Eltahawy and Family Online Safety Institute CEO stephen Balkam held a fireside chat to discuss “Tweeting from Inside the Revolution.” Eltahawy recounted her arrest and experiences in Tahrir Square during the revolution, and explained how social networking site Twitter “saved her life” by spreading the news of her detention.
To learn more, visit
TRANSFORMiNG CAReeR PROSPeCTS
FOR UGANDAN YOUTH
With 75 percent of the Ugandan population under the age of 30, Africa Leadership Initiative/East Africa Fellow Oskar Semweya-Musoke saw that young adults were about to flood the labor market. So for his fellowship project, he partnered with another Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellow, Mariam Luyombo, to transform Taibah High School in Kampala into the Taibah Techo University of Business and Employment, specializing in high-quality vocational training. The University seeks to overcome Ugandan prejudices against vocational education, and has commercial businesses within each department (engineering, agriculture, construction, motor vehicle, printing, and hospitality and catering), allowing students to gain work experience to complement their training. The University launched in January, and will train 150 students before constructing a permanent site The Taibah Techo University to accommodate 1,200 of Business and Employment more in the next five years.
To learn more, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/agln.
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Networked for the Future
Tom Friedman calls them the “job factories of the
USAID’s Rajiv Shah at MLI’s January roundtable
future”: ultra-high speed internet networks in universities and their surrounding communities that result in hubs of innovation. These networks are the focus of Gig.U, or the University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, launched in 2011 by Communications and Society Program Fellow Blair Levin, which has brought together 37 leading US research universities in the quest to initiate, nurture, and accelerate the development of such networks. “We need to approach our national challenges in a different way,” said Levin, who previously led the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative. “With broadband as the new commons of collaboration for our time, and by enabling the communities that surround our research institutions with world-leading bandwidth, we can unleash the bottom-up, high-performance collaboration that will be the killer app of the next generation of the Internet.”
To learn more, visit www.gig-u.org.
on Country Ownership in the Developing World
In January the Institute’s Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health convened ministry leaders from the developing world, donors, and development organizations for a discussion on the contentious issue of reducing reliance on foreign aid while delivering it. MLI members shared salient takeaways from working with health ministries in Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. USAID administrator Rajiv Shah encouraged development partners to listen to recipient country priorities. “If we don’t, a lot of the talk on country ownership remains rhetoric instead of reality,” he said. To learn more or read The MLI Model for Advancing Country Ownership, visit www.ministerial-leadership.org.
Jump-Starting Trade in Africa:
The DNA of Economic Growth
What are the prime economic growth opportunities for underdeveloped countries? What should these countries be seeking to produce and trade? In December, the TransFarm Africa initiative of Aspen Global Health and Development held a roundtable discussion with Dr. César Hidalgo of the M.I.T. Media Lab to discuss “Product Space,” a new tool that may answer these questions. Hidalgo, along with Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann, observed that technologies, capital, institutions, and skills are more easily used to make some products than others. Their resultant DNA-like map shows the products that may be easiest for societies to “jump” to based on existing capabilities. Hidalgo will be working with TransFarm Africa to develop applications of this new methodology in policymaking and development practice.
For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ghd.
HOW CAN WOMeN DRiVe THe eCONOMY?
On the day of President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address, Racquel Russell, the President’s special assistant for mobility and opportunity, joined pollster Celinda Lake and Calvert Investments President Barbara Krumsiek in a conversation hosted by Ascend, the Family Economic Security Program, about the role of women, particularly low-income women, in the American economy. New York Times Washington Bureau Chief David Leonhardt moderated. “The Untapped Engine: How Can Women Drive the Economy?” touched on issues ranging from investing with gender in mind to the persistent pay gap between women and men, as well as solutions—such as corporate social responsibility measures—to move more women into better paying jobs. To learn more, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ascend. 16
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Houghton House at the Institute’s Wye River campus
Secretary Duncan Joins Aspen Superintendents Session
US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with the Institute’s Urban Superintendents Network at a retreat at the Institute’s Wye River campus in December. The gathering brought together superintendents from 14 large urban school districts and high-performing charter schools to share ideas on the most pressing issues in educational reform and learn from promising practices across the country. The meeting was a homecoming of sorts for Secretary Duncan, who was active in the Urban Superintendents Network during his tenure as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools (the post he held before being tapped by President Obama). At the meeting, Secretary Duncan updated the group on national policy developments and listened to the superintendents reflect on the opportunities and barriers they face in implementing federal policy.
To learn more, visit
The Word from Wye
What do former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former US Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco Edward M. Gabriel, Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel, Washington College president Mitchell Reiss, and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis have in common? Each of these distinguished leaders visited the Institute’s Wye River campus in 2011 for special events with the Aspen Wye Fellows. For a listing of our future programs and to learn more about joining the Aspen Wye Fellows, visit
In November, the Center for Native American Youth commemorated National Native American Heritage Month, with a discussion moderated by the Center’s founder and chairman, former US Senator Byron Dorgan, about the past, present, and future of Native American youth. The panel included the White House Domestic Policy Council’s Kim Teehee, and two members of the Center’s board, Indian legal expert Allison Binney and Iowa tribal leader Dirk Whitebreast. Teehee shared her background and experience of working with Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller: “She always pressed upon me the significance of education and inspired me to think beyond the present.” In addition to emphasizing the importance of tribal governance, the panel discussed health disparities and youth suicide prevention in Indian country. Senator Dorgan also premiered a public service announcement featuring himself, National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel, and Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
To learn more, visit www.cnay.org.
Native American Heritage Month
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Napolitano and former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff
Aspen Hosts Homeland Security Experts
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The Aspen Homeland Security Group—a select group of homeland security and counterterrorism experts who convene to discuss security issues and make recommendations to policymakers—gathered in January at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to talk threats to the homeland and what sort of role the Department of Homeland Security should play internationally. Former CNN Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve moderated the discussion, which featured Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, former National Security Adviser Jim Jones, and former Acting and Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin.
For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/security.
Business is now the most popular undergraduate major in the US, but can a business education alone equip students to think critically about the world and their role in it? Business education critics and advocates alike are exploring how the liberal arts can complement undergraduate business degrees, and the Business and Society Program jumped into the conversation this March. Bringing together faculty and administrators from 30 colleges and universities to examine this kind of integration, the conference—hosted by the George Washington University School of Business and held in partnership with the authors of Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education—enabled participants to share curricular and extracurricular best practices tying the liberal arts tradition and business training together in ways they have seen resonate for their students—and for their future employers.
For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/bsp.
WHeRe LIBERAL ARTS AND BUSINESS MeeT
The Global Health and Wellness Summit Comes to Aspen
A former board member of Institut Aspen France, Phillipe Bourguignon has been involved with the Institute since taking the Executive Seminar in the early 1990s. Currently the Vice Chairman of Revolution Places and CEO of Miraval Resorts, Bourguignon also sits on the board of the Global Spa and Wellness Summit. As a result of his longstanding relationship with the Institute, Bourguignon and the Institute’s Biomedical Science and Society Initiative partnered to hold this year’s Summit at Aspen Meadows. The Summit, held in June, featured US Surgeon General Richard Carmona and Chancellor of the Duke Medical Center Victor Dzau, among others. “Of course you must spend part of the time talking about the specific industry at a conference, but my relationship with the Aspen Institute has also shown me that you must elevate the level of discussion beyond the specifics of any one industry,” Bourguignon said. “We are going to use Aspen’s model of dialogue and discussion to try and explore what imagination means, and how it can be used to increase innovation.”
TWO GeNeRATiONS AT A TiMe
Ascend Fellow In February and March, Ascend, the Katie Albright at Family Economic Security Program, a breakout session held two events to launch its first class of Ascend Fellows. In the first, more than 100 policy and program leaders, philanthropists, researchers, and businesspeople gathered for the announcement of the inaugural class and the release of Ascend’s report, Two Generations, One Future: Moving Parents and Children Beyond Poverty Together. Trustee Ann Friedman provided opening remarks and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Program Officer Steve Patrick moderated a panel featuring Ascend Fellows Karla Davis, Henry Wilde, Wes Moore, and Dr. Eduardo Padrón—four of the 20 dynamic leaders selected for the 18-month Ascend Fellowship. In March, the Fellows convened at Aspen Meadows, kicking off the first of four Fellows Forums over the next 18 months. The two-day Forum focused on education, economic supports, and social capital; and development of plans for Fellows to implement over the course of the Fellowship. Open Society Foundations’ Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation Director Mimi Corcoran delivered opening remarks in conversation with Ascend Executive Director Anne Mosle highlighting the role of philanthropy in changing systems and policies for vulnerable families. The following evening, Aspen Institute Trustee Anna Deavere Smith spoke to the Fellows about her emotional connection to the fellowship. “My heart is fuller because of the work you do,” she told them. The next Fellows Forum will be held June 6–8 at the Aspen Wye River Conference Center.
To learn more, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ascend.
trE in S Ma En E. 411 B, aSp 07 #2 on
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Bourguignon and 2012 Global Spa Summit Host and CEO of Allure Africa Dzigbordi Dosoo
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White House Joins Aspen for Nonprofit Leadership Summit
In November, the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation partnered with the White House Offices of Social Innovation and Civic Participation and Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to discuss the role of the nonprofit sector in America’s economic recovery. The forum engaged more than 200 participants in conversation. Speakers included White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation Director Jonathan Greenblatt; then-director of the Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes; and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett. The summit was held in collaboration with partners including American Express, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Independent Sector, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/psi.
Musician and novelist Josh Ritter performs at the AspenEsquire “Fiction Throwdown.”
Michael Temchine Michael Temchine Barbara Hansen
The Aspen Writers’ Foundation and Esquire Honor Short Stories
This fall, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and Esquire magazine held a short-fiction contest honoring extreme brevity. As an homage to Esquire’s 78th year in publication, each entry was limited to 78 words. Ten finalists participated in a fiction workshop taught by National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann, and competed in a “Fiction Throwdown” at the Esquire Penthouse. The grand prize winner, Nate Ochs from Custer, South Dakota, was awarded a full scholarship to the Aspen Summer Words Writing Retreat, to be held in Aspen June 17–22. To read Nate’s story and learn more about the 2012 contest, visit www.aspen writers.org.
Rodel Fellows Eric Garcetti, councilman on the Los Angeles City Council; Rob McKenna, attorney general of Washington; Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta; and Jennifer Carroll, lieutenant governor of Florida, discussed bipartisanship at the Institute’s April board meeting in Washington, DC.
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Meet Me in Tennessee
This January, the Education and Society Program brought senior Capitol Hill staffers from its Senior Congressional Education Staff Network to Tennessee for a firsthand look at Tennessee’s ambitious Race to the Top reform initiatives. Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, Democratic and Republican leaders from the state legislature, and Governor Bill Haslam’s policy director kicked off the visit by giving an overview of the state’s past and present educational challenges, and laying out possible solutions. At dinner that evening, the president of the Tennessee Teacher’s Union Gera Summerford, Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year Byron Booker, and the president of the reform organization SCORE Jamie Woodson weighed in with their perspectives. The next morning, the group embarked on two days of school visits, where they met with students, teachers, and administrators in rural DeKalb County and Metro Nashville’s urban schools to examine implementation of new teacher evaluations and broader efforts to turn around underperforming schools.
The Gates Foundation’s Mildred Otero and congressional staffers Tiffany McCouffee and Margaret Tipton listen during a focus group at DeKalb County High School
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Ameri cA n L e g A L e x perTS H oST
SAudi JudiciAL repS
In a significant display of trust, 20 high-ranking Saudi Arabian judicial representatives met with US legal experts, visited various courts, and observed several models of judicial procedure in December in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York. The Justice and Society Program served as a consultant to this Saudi Judicial Engagement Project, which was sponsored by the US Department of State. “This exchange is only the second of its kind, and the most extensive official engagement to date with members of the Saudi judiciary,” said Justice and Society Program Director Meryl Chertoff. “I am impressed by their intense interest in the American justice system, and how willing Meryl Chertoff, Judge Stephen F. Williams of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, and Hon. Sulaiman Abdullah they are to describe their Alqasem, an appellate judge in Riyadh own jurisprudence.” A planned second phase of the project will include a judicial engagement conference to be held in Saudi Arabia. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/jsp.
Fostering the Freedom to Communicate in Mexico
What steps can Mexico take to foster a fully connected society where innovation, creativity, and free expression flourish? The Communications and Society Program posed these questions and many others at the first Aspen Institute Forum on the Freedom to Communicate in partnership with Grupo Salinas in Mexico City this February. Director Charlie Firestone and Mexican writer Sergio Sarmiento moderated the forum, which examined free expression, attacks on the press, and issues of connectivity, competition, and censorship in Mexico and the West. Panelists included Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation at the US State Department, Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists, PBS NewsHour’s Ray Suarez, and 11 other business, government, journalism, and academic leaders. Institute President Walter Isaacson and Grupo Salinas Chairman Ricardo Salinas delivered keynotes. The Communications and Society Program will submit key takeaways and recommendations to candidates prior to Mexico’s presidential election in July.
Learn more and watch clips at
The Community Strategies Group and the Creation of Rural Wealth
In October, the Institute’s Community Strategies Group hosted a group of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to strategize how poor rural communities might partner with dominant industries to grow economically. The keynote was given by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and breakout discussion topics ranged from coal mining to the farming industry. The Community Strategies Group facilitated Vilsack a listening session with the newly formed White House Rural Council immediately afterwards, and interest generated by the conference resulted in the creation of an online hub for nearly 600 practitioners to share stories and strategies. The event was co-sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
To learn more, visit
ThE ASpEn IdEA SUMMER 2012
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Around the institute
Bill Budinger Honored for Leadership of the Rodel Fellowship
Rodel Fellowship Director Mickey Edwards presented Institute trustee and Rodel Foundations President Bill Budinger with a framed proclamation of the California State Senate’s resolution honoring Budinger for his leadership in the Rodel Program at the Institute’s April board meeting.
Aspen Receives 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator
The Institute is proud to announce receiving its second consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 15% of the organizations Charity Navigator reviews have received at least two consecutive 4-star ratings, placing the Institute in the upper echelons of American charities. More information about the Institute’s rating can be found at www.
Content from the 2011 Ideas Festival is now available on iTunes University. Talks on topics including the frontiers of medicine, growing the US economy, green tech, and the state of the union can be downloaded and listened to from the iTunes store. With this partnership, the Institute joins the ranks of the New York Public Library, Stanford, Yale, and other educational organizations as providers of thought-provoking content for iTunesU. To find us there, visit the iTunes store online and click on iTunes U.
Ideas on iTunes
inVesting iN THe iNSTiTUTe’S FUtUre
With deep appreciation, the Institute recognizes the generosity and foresight of Jim and Elaine McDade, residents of Aspen for many years who have established a charitable remainder trust to benefit nonprofit organizations they have supported during their lifetimes. The McDades have been involved with the Institute since the 1990s, and helped fund the renovation of the Meadows campus. The Institute will utilize its distribution from their trust to create a named scholarship fund that will bring a diverse range of leaders through the Institute’s programs for many years to come. 24
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Jim and Elaine McDade
Around the institute
Hats Off to Henkin
US State Department Legal Adviser Harold Hongju Koh (then dean of Yale Law School) with Justice and Society Program Director Alice Henkin at the 2007 Justice & Society Seminar
More than 35 years after joining the Institute’s Justice and Society Program, Director Alice Henkin retired in 2011. The centerpiece of the program Henkin crafted is the Justice & Society Seminar, a weeklong, Socratically-moderated seminar that enlists classical and current readings as jumping-off points for participants to explore contemporary questions and cases, their own values, and the ideals that constitute a just society. The Seminar has attracted prominent legal figures such as US Supreme Court justices William Brennan, John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Harry Blackmun (who helped shape the Seminar and moderated it for many years, and asked that some of his ashes be strewn on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus), as well as legal scholars like State Department legal adviser Harold Koh. Henkin also regularly convened American and foreign judges, lawyers, and legal experts to consider international legal issues, with special attention to human rights—a passion of Alice’s and of her late husband Louis Henkin, a pioneer in the field of human rights law. Henkin, who is succeeded in her post by Georgetown Law Professor Meryl Chertoff, was honored at the November 2011 Aspen Board of Trustees meeting in New York City with a special tribute.
hurst Fund Grows Aspen Programming
Join explorers, business leaders, scientists, journalists, and policy makers when the world’s premier environmental forum examines how adapting to urban living, climate change, and population growth affect transportation, energy, food security, water resources, and more—and offers cutting-edge solutions. The 5th annual aspen environmenT Forum is open to anyone who wishes to address the most important issues of our time.
Institute Trustee Bob Hurst and his wife, Soledad, have committed a generous gift of $2 million to create an endowment supporting programming for the Aspen community in perpetuity. The new Hurst Community Fund will make a Great Ideas seminar available for middle school students and also expand a seminar based on the Institute’s flagship Aspen Seminar for high school juniors in Aspen and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. The Fund will also be used to establish the Hurst Lecture Series, featuring high-profile leaders in conversation. Lectures will be open to the public at a modest ticket price, starting with The End of Illness author David Agus on August 10, and former Governor Jon Huntsman on August 13. Bob and The first installment of the Hurst Student Soledad Hurst Seminars took place in June 2011. Twentyeight students from eight area middle schools read Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Vaclav Havel, Virginia Woolf, Hobbes, William Faulkner, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thucydides, and spent four days discussing their lives and values against the backdrop of these timeless texts. “What Bob and Soledad have given the Aspen community is truly exceptional,” said Institute President Walter Isaacson. “The impact of our work will be immeasurably strengthened by the connections we forge with residents and families from the Roaring Fork Valley. We’re grateful for their foresight and generosity.” To learn more about these and other Aspen Community Programs, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/aspenevents.
June 22–25, 2012
For tickets and more information, please go to aspenenvironment.org.
We’d like to thank our sponsors:
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Around the World
Aspen International Partners in Government
This spring, two Aspen international partners will further the Institute’s mission to promote values-based leadership through appointments to their respective governments. Former Secretary General of Aspen España Pablo Garcia-Berdoy has been appointed Spain’s Ambassador to Germany, and has been succeeded by José M. de Areliza. General Director for International Affairs for Aspen Italia Marta Dassù has become Italy’s Deputy Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Dassù will join numerous Aspen Italia members in the Italian government, Dassù including Prime Minister Mario Monti, Parliament Relations Minister Pero Dino Giarda, Minister for European Affairs Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities Lorenzo Ornaghi, Minister for International Cooperation and Integration Andrea Riccardi, Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Vittorio Grilli, and Undersecretary of State Antonio Caricalà.
To learn more about Aspen Italia and Aspen España, visit
www.aspeninstitute.it and www.aspeninstitute.es.
to Chair Board of Trustees for Aspen Germany
Corinne Flick assumed the chairmanship of the Aspen Germany board of trustees this spring. “The Aspen Germany board and staff are delighted that Dr. Flick has agreed to chair the board as we continue successfully to rebuild in Germany. Anyone who has attended gatherings Corinne has organized knows she has a passion for what Aspen does, and that her leadership holds great promise for the Institute’s future,” said King Mallory, executive director of Aspen Germany. To learn more about Aspen Germany, visit www.aspeninstitute.de/en.
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Around the World
Lotfi El-Ghandouri at Aspen España’s summit for young leaders
Welcome, Aspen Prague!
Holds Young Leaders Program
Aspen España and the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs hosted a three-day seminar on “Leadership and Education in Times of Transition” in February on the campus of BBVA La Moraleja in Madrid. Participants hailed from Algeria, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, the UK, and the US. Moderated by Pablo Vázquez, president of transport engineering firm Ineco and professor at Complutense University, and Alejandro Beltrán , director and managing partner of McKinsey in Spain and Portugal, the seminar—the third in an ongoing series of Aspen Mediterranean Initiative gatherings—addressed globalization and Mediterranean values, the role of religion in culture, and theories of education and leadership relevant to current challenges.
Institute President Walter Isaacson signs documents officially establishing Aspen Prague, while chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees Bob Steel and President of Aspen Prague Ambassador Michael Zantovský look on.
In April, the Institute board approved Aspen Prague as the newest member of the Institute’s network of international partners. “I am delighted that the Institute is establishing a platform for policy innovation and dialogue in my hometown of Prague,” said Institute trustee and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. “Aspen Prague will provide a regional forum for airing new ideas and diverse points of view. The result is sure to enrich and enliven public debate, while providing a more informed background for making decisions that will affect us all.” Adds Radek Spicar, executive director of Aspen Institute Prague, “I can hardly think of any other institution that would be better suited to help us to face our most significant challenges: dramatically decreasing confidence of people in their political representation, fragmentation of society, and lack of responsible leaders.”
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T he A spen e nvironmenT F orum : Come to Dinner
The theme of the 2012 forum will be Living in the New Normal—based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recently released report that America’s average temperature has warmed by half a degree in the last decade. These new climate norms will spark our discussion on how the planet and its population can adapt to this new environmental paradigm. The Forum will be solutions-oriented, with tutorials, multimedia presentations, and the world-renowned photographers from National Geographic, the forum’s co-presenter. Confirmed speakers include Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes, CERES President Mindy Lubber, and Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist E.O. Wilson. Visit our website to review this year’s program and register at www. aspenenvironment.org.
Living the New Normal
“THe DiGiTAL FUTURe”
Institute President Walter Isaacson will moderate a discussion at the Socrates Program dinner on July 7 between Marissa Mayer, vice president of location and local services for Google, and Thomas Gensemer, managing partner at Blue State Digital on “The Digital Future.” Gensemer The dinner, chaired by Tarek and Shiva Farouki and David and Lisa Hernand, will honor Socrates founders Gary and Laura Lauder, and will be held at the Doerr-Hosier Center on the Aspen Meadows campus. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Socrates Program. For tickets and more information, visit www.aspen institute.org/socratesdinner.
in July :
19th Annual Summer Celebration
n August 4, the Institute will host its 19th Annual Summer Celebration benefit. Awardees Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, and Cisco Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior in the Greenwald Pavilion at the Aspen Institute, and a festive dinner will follow the discussion at the Doerr-Hosier Center on the Aspen Meadows campus. The dinner will be chaired by Institute trustee Jerry Murdock and his wife Gina. Tickets for the celebration are available at www.aspeninstitute.org/ summercelebration.
Costolo Warrior Schmidt
C a l l in g a l l Wri ters:
Join Us in Aspen June 17–22
Each June since 1976, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation has hosted Aspen Summer Words, a festival that gives writers a forum to learn from each other’s experiences. Participants begin the mornings with a writing retreat and meet with agents and editors in the afternoons. From author readings to panel discussions to live music, participants pause from the often solitary work of writing to examine their craft and celebrate the literary arts. This year, the Aspen Writers’ Foundation will celebrate the literature of Latin America and the Caribbean, featuring authors from the region. For information, and to sign up, visit www.aspenwriters.org.
On November 1, the Institute will host its 29th Annual Awards Dinner at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. This year’s event will honor Star Wars creator George Lucas and Rodel Fellow and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Institute is especially grateful for the continued commitment of the dinner chair, Mercedes Bass. Visit www.aspeninstitute.org/annualdinner for further information, ticket pricing, and registration.
Fall awards dinner to Honor GeorGe lucas and Gabrielle GiFFords
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he Institute lost a beloved friend in December when Vice Chairman of the Board Henry Catto died peacefully in his home in San Antonio. Catto had a distinguished career in diplomacy and public service, and was instrumental in maintaining and supporting the Catto Fellowship, which seeks to take environmental leadership to the next step by encouraging fellows to move from individual success to collaborative significance. Catto penned his own obituary, below, which was published in the Washington Post and New York Times upon his death. It captures perfectly his inimitable style and wit, which the Institute will sorely miss. Henry Edward Catto, Jr., was born in Dallas, Texas, on December 6, 1930, to Henry E. Catto, Sr., and Maurine Halsell Catto. His death, on December 18, 2011, was caused mostly by living so long. He married Jessica Hobby quite some time ago; she preceded him in death in 2009. He is survived by daughter Heather Catto Kohout and son-in-law Martin D. Kohout of Austin, Texas; son John Hobby Catto and daughter-inlaw Laurel Garrett Catto of Basalt, Colorado; son William Halsell Catto and daughter-in-law Kristina Kent Catto of Chevy Chase, Maryland; daughter Isa Catto Shaw and sonin-law Daniel A. Shaw of Woody Creek, Colorado; and eleven grandchildren. Catto graduated from the Texas Military Institute and Williams College, with a degree in American history. After college, he joined his father and uncle in an insurance brokerage, Catto and Catto, in San Antonio. He became interested in politics in the late 1950s, specifically in building a two-party system in Texas. He ran as part of the first Republican legislative ticket
Farewell to Henry Catto
in Bexar County in 1960 and again in 1961, and lost both times, as was usual for Texas Republicans in those days. The custom in the US, if a candidate cannot get elected, is to ask for a job from the President, who grants the wish on the condition that the candidate leave the country. In keeping with that custom, President Nixon named Catto first as deputy representative to the Organization of American States, then as US ambassador to El Salvador, and eventually as chief of protocol to the White House and State Department. President Ford asked him to go to Geneva as US ambassador to the European offices of the United Nations. During the Carter administration, Catto was a consultant in Washington. After the revival of Republican fortunes in 1981, he served as assistant secretary of defense, where he learned to explain how a toilet seat could cost the government $600. In 1988, President George H. W. Bush, a long-time friend, asked Catto to go to London as US ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. After two fascinating years there, President Bush brought him back to Washington to head the United States Information Agency. In 1993, the Cattos returned to San Antonio and to their Colorado ranch. He wrote a memoir, Ambassadors at Sea: The High and Low Adventures of a Diplomat; taught public diplomacy at the University of Texas at San Antonio; and in 1999 became the chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States, a public policy group in Washington. He received honorary doctorate of law degrees from Aberdeen University and St. Mary’s University and was a corporate director of Cullen-Frost Bankers, the Aspen Institute, National Public Radio, and numerous civic organizations, and an honorary deputy sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado. In life, always prompt; now, alas, the late Henry Catto.
Remembering Evelyn Lauder
On November 12, 2011, the Lauder family and Aspen Institute community suffered the great loss of Evelyn Lauder, who passed away at her home in New York City. During Evelyn and Institute trustee Leonard Lauder’s 52-year marriage, they raised a wonderful and devoted family and worked side-by-side as Estée Lauder grew from a small family business into one of the world’s largest cosmetics brands. After attending their first Aspen Seminar in the 1970s, Evelyn and Leonard became integral members of the Institute community, chairing many events over the years and making possible the renovation of the Paepcke Memorial Building and the Scholars and Scholarship campaign. Her passion, creativity, energy, determination, and humor are dearly missed by all who knew her. She will be remembered always with great admiration and affection.
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American jobs for today. Energy for tomorrow.
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Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, units 1, 2, 3 and 4, in Waynesboro, Georgia
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society of fellows
VANGUARD: Bringing Young Donors
Into the Society of Fellows
Over the holiday season the Society of Fellows launched the Vanguard Chapter for the purpose of engaging younger donors in the work and mission of the Aspen Institute. Several secondgeneration supporters are leading the charge, including Lauren McCloskey elston, who chairs the Chapter’s advisory board. Other advisory board members include Lisa Baker, Randall Bone, Michael Bourke, Bill M. Budinger, soledad Hurst, Melony Lewis, Christine Light, Christopher seldin, and alexandra steel. Additional events are scheduled throughout the year. For more information contact Isadora Wagner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vanguard Chapter advisory Board Chair Lauren McCloskey elston
This summer in Aspen, the Society of Fellows is presenting several evening discussions, hosted by local donors in their homes, and sOF Luncheons in the Doerr-Hosier Center. Each event will feature a distinguished guest speaker, who will take questions and lead a discussion with participating Fellows. Institute CEO Walter Isaacson will host SOF’s Opening Reception on June 22, and SOF’s summer Reception will be held on August 11.
From God to the Global economy
At the annual Society of Fellows winter symposia in Aspen, participants spent three days discussing the complex and charged subjects of religion and the European debt crisis. In February, TIME editor amy sullivan and Boston College professor alan Wolfe led an exploration of “The Role of Religion in the Public Sphere,” and in March, Financial Times Managing Editor Gillian tett and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Jeffrey Madrick led intimate groups in discussions on “Europe on the Brink: The Euro and the Global Economy,” illuminating contemporary headlines with their unique perspectives.
diane Morris, ann Korologos, and tom Korologos at the society of Fellows holiday reception in aspen
Immigration and the Courts July 18–21 trends in Philanthropy July 23–24 employment for the arab spring August 5–8 the Great Gatsby August 15–16
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Individuals and couples who wish to engage more deeply with the Aspen Institute are invited to join the Society of Fellows. By joining this community of donors you will form new relationships, broaden your thinking, deepen your involvement, and help sustain the mission and work of the Institute. Society of Fellows donors enjoy:
• Advance notice of public programming and events. • Donor-exclusive receptions and symposia throughout the year. • Invitation-only gatherings in Aspen, New York, and Washington, D.C. • Direct hotline for information & reservations. • Regular updates on the work and successes of the Institute.
Vanguard Chapter for young donors. Contact us for information.
For information contact Peter Waanders, Director of the Society of Fellows, 970-544-7912 or email@example.com. www.aspeninstitute.org/sof
L etter from a S eminarian :
oted human rights lawyer for children and the disabled Charlotte McClainNhlapo attended the August Aspen Seminar on leadership, values, and the good society. McClain-Nhlapo is USAID’s coordinator for disability and inclusive developing, and previously served at the World Bank and on the South African Human Rights Commission, as appointed by Nelson Mandela. Here, she reflects on her Aspen Seminar experience: “The first evening set the stage for the rest of the week,” McClain-Nhlapo said. “Over dinner, a seemingly accidental discussion about how we understood the [first seminar reading] ‘An Agreement of the People’ already had me revisiting and reframing my hard-wired thoughts. After dinner, I returned to my room and began to dig deep into my own tried and tested value system and understanding of the human condition—I questioned it, I interrogated it, I challenged it. This continued throughout McClain-Nhlapo the duration of my stay in Aspen—it was mentally exhausting but in the end it opened my mind up to a richer, more nuanced understanding of leadership, values and the good society. As if this mental exercise was not enough of a challenge, I was appointed to direct the play Antigone…This was the turning point when I went from intellectualizing the various concepts we were discussing to having a vision and implementing it as a leader. This is also when the true value of the diversity of the group and the different leadership styles went live. In our group there was no shortage of opinion—some very strong, others less so but still valid. This inevitability spilled over into how to interpret and dramatize Antigone. But fortunately, we had a collective goal—we all wanted to succeed, and succeed we did. I started to see how the diversity of the groups had helped me grow and refocus my own leadership skills.”
Participants rehearse scenes from The Visit at a café in Ronda
Aspen España Considers Transatlantic Values
The inaugural Aspen España seminar, “Transatlantic Values at a Crossroads: Contemporary Leadership Challenges,” was held in Ronda, Spain, in December, and used the Institute’s classic Socratic approach to examine economic, political, and cultural challenges facing leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. Spanish leaders from the corporate, nonprofit, and diplomatic sectors were joined by leaders from Egypt, Romania, the United Kingdom, Turkey, India, and the United States. Participants reflected on broader issues of justice, liberty, and equality as well as on nationalism, contemporary democracy, and tensions between national and European sovereignty. Seminar readings included two passages from Don Quixote, the first of a number of Spanish texts chosen for the seminar. In the tradition of the Aspen Seminar, participants also staged a dramatic reading of a play, in this case, Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, which illustrates the tensions between democratic decision-making, fundamental values, and greed. “The Seminar’s readings were chosen to give us certain understandings of moral issues, and then to present us with the problems inherent in that position in a subsequent reading,” participant enrique Mora Benavente said. “This foundation is critical for leaders hoping to understand nuance and channel that understanding toward the common good.”
June 16–22 (Aspen, CO) June 23–29 (Wye River, MD) July 28–August 3 (Wye River, MD) August 11–17 (Aspen, CO) August 18–24 (Aspen, CO)
the aspen seminar
September 15–21 (Aspen, CO) October 6–12 (Wye River, MD) Alumni Seminar: Leadership and Character—October 18–21 (Aspen, CO)
Limited to approximately 20 people per seminar, by invitation/nomination only. Visit www.aspeninstitute.org/aspenseminar to learn more.
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The Socrates Program launched international seminars this spring. Two seminars were held in cooperation with Aspen España in Madrid, Spain, with European and US participants. Clive Crook of The Atlantic moderated a seminar on the current state and future of capitalism, while Jeff Rosen of the George Washington University School of Law moderated a seminar on the future of privacy and technology in the age of Google. In May, Socrates headed south to Havana for two seminars with Cuban participants. William LeoGrande, dean at the American University School of Public Affairs, and Margaret socrates participants during a Crahan, Latin Ameriwalking tour of Old Havana. can expert at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, co-moderated seminars on “The Making of Modern Cuba,” with elliot Gerson, the Institute’s Vice President of Policy and Public Programs. American and Cuban participants engaged in discussions on the political, historical, and economic factors that shape modern Cuba. Participants also met with leading Cuban officials, and members of the diplomatic, cultural and art communities.
the view of Havana’s Capitol building from the roof of the Hotel Parque Central, where socrates participants stayed
JULY 5–8, asPeN
“Social Enterprise and Impact Investing,” moderated by Henry Crown Fellow seth Goldman, president and teaEO of Honest Tea; and Brian trelstad, CIO of the Acumen Fund “Heroes and Villains, Winners and Losers: Leading Business, Politics, and Civil Society in the 21st Century,” moderated by Leigh Hafrey, senior lecturer of communication and ethics at the MIT Sloan School of Management “The Employment Debate: Public or Private Responsibility,” moderated by andrew Ross sorkin, columnist at the New York Times; and author of Too Big to Fail “Reconsidering China’s Edge: From the End of ‘Cheap China’ to the Frontiers of Technological Innovation,” moderated by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China business editor of The Economist “From Rock the Casbah to the Rising Islamists: The New Middle East Order,” moderated by Robin Wright, senior fellow and Wilson Center distinguished scholar at the US Institute of Peace
NOVeMBeR 2–3, Ne W Y O R K
Join the socrates Program!
For more information, contact Melissa Ingber, director of the Socrates Program, at melissa. firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.aspeninstitute.org/socrates.
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ASKING THE BIG QUESTIONS
DLA Piper is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. We are inspired by the festival’s dedication to dialogue and exchange and its commitment to bringing big ideas to the public at large. When it matters to our community, it matters to us.
www.dlapiper.com | DLA Piper LLP (US)
Lee Miller, 203 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL 60601.
Aspen community programs
Great Conversations for All Ages
ach winter, the Institute hosts a variety of programs in Aspen for community members of all ages. January marked the kickoff of both “Great Decisions” and “The Great Conversation: Engaging Young Aspen.” In its eighth year, Great Decisions brought together 65 participants to discuss foreign policy issues including the Middle East, US relations with Mexico, cybersecurity, the geopolitics of energy, and the global economy. Moderated by friends of the Institute James Arnott, Peter Fuchs, Parker Maddux, and Neil Siegel, Great Decisions has featured lively discussions among participants ranging in age from 22 to 82. In “The Great Conversation,” young Aspenites took a close look at “The Pleasures and Perils of Democracy.” Using traditional Aspen Seminar texts alongside contemporary readings, University of Colorado-Denver professor Jon Peacock and former Institute staff member Steven Wickes gave the group an introduction to the Institute’s Socratic method of discussion. “One of the best aspects of the Great Conversation has been engaging with my peers outside of the seminar room,” participant Damien Williamson said. “Interacting with others who care about democracy and civic engagement has already made me less pessimistic about the direction of our country.” In February, The Great Books Series featured lively discussions lead by veteran Institute moderator Pete Thigpen. Participants worked through excerpts from philosopher Mortimer Adler’s seminal curriculum, including Dewey, Thucydides,
Susannah Burrage at “The Great Conversation”
Woolf, Chekhov, Weil, and Midgley. Through engaging in close examination of the texts and with each other, participants gained a richer understanding of both modern and historical works, their relationship to one other, and their applicability to the construction of a good society. In February, 25 high school students from across four states and six countries joined journalist and author Lisa Napoli to discuss the idea of happiness in our constantly-plugged-in society. Using readings to launch discussion, including excerpts from Napoli’s recent novel, Radio Shangri-La, participants discussed the role of technology in their lives, and the pressure they felt to be constantly connected to email, Facebook, Twitter, and the Internet while keeping up with the demands of high school. As the final exercise, the group created a “Happiness Manifesto,” from which participant Dyer Rhodes created a “word cloud,” whose main themes included passion, perspective, and generosity.
Join us! The Aspen Community Programs hosts
Andy Docken and Lindsy Fortier at “The Great Conversation”
over 60 days of programming each year. To help sponsor these programs, or to participate, please contact Cristal Logan, director of Aspen Community Programs, at (970) 544-7929.
THE ASPEN IDEA
a legacy of teaching children how to handle legacies
According to a 2011 U.S. Trust survey,* less than one-third of adults believe their children will be prepared to handle an inheritance. Which is why we created the Financial Empowerment Program: to provide your children with all the insights, guidance and assistance necessary to help preserve and grow the assets they’ll inherit. And carry on the values that helped you earn that wealth. For more on how we can help with your legacy and estate planning needs, please read “The Power of Positive Teaching” at ustrust.com/lessons
U.S. Trust is a proud underwriter of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival.
1.800.U.S. TrUST | ustrust.com/lessons
*2011 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth™ survey of high-net-worth adults with $3 million or more in investable assets. U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A., and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America, N.A. and U.S. Trust Company of Delaware (collectively the “Bank”) do not serve in a fiduciary capacity with respect to all products or services. Fiduciary standards or fiduciary duties do not apply, for example, when the Bank is offering or providing credit solutions, banking, custody or brokerage products/services or referrals to other affiliates of the Bank. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. WhAT IS WorTh is a trademark of Bank of America Corporation. © 2012 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. ArK531S4
ideas in action
Avis Little Wind and the Tragedy of Native Youth Suicide
By Senator Byron Dorgan
vis Little Wind was just 14 years old when she took her own life. She lived on an Indian reservation in North Dakota, a community with all of the burdens of endemic poverty, including alarmingly substandard housing, limited access to health care and education, and high rates of substance abuse and violence. Her family had suffered numerous tragedies, with both her sister and her father taking their own lives before she took her own. Avis Little Wind never had a chance. She lay at home in bed in a fetal position for three months, and no one seemed to miss her. Neither relatives nor school or health officials came to check on her. She lay there hopeless and helpless before ultimately choosing to end her own life as well. As bleak as Avis Little Wind’s story is, it is one that is far too common in the United States. Of all the areas that I worked on during my 40 years in elected office, no set of issues has proven more pressing than the need to improve the lives of our country’s First Americans. Our federal government has trust obligations to provide this country’s four million American Indians with health care, education, housing, public safety, and other services. But time and again, the promises made to Indian tribes have been broken, and the impact of these broken promises on Indian children has been devastating. As a result of limited resources and attention, American Indian youth are the most at-risk group in the country today. Teenage suicide rates on Indian reservations are nearly four times the national average; in some areas reaching as high as ten times the national average. Due in large part to the isolation of Native American communities on reservations, these issues are largely invisible to the American public at large. Tribal leaders and parents work valiantly every day to address the needs of youth and families in Indian country, but more atten40
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tion and resources are needed. Multiple sectors of society must work together to start to address the dismal prospects for Native American youth. Despite the vast challenges in Indian country, there are also reasons for great hope. When I decided to retire from the US Senate, I donated $1 million of my excess campaign funds to create the Center for Native American Youth at the Institute. The center is dedicated to improving the lives of Indian youth, focusing on teen suicide prevention, substance abuse, and improving educational opportunities for young Native Americans. We bring together Native youth and their parents, tribal leaders, and key federal stakeholders to ensure that a constant spotlight and more resources are dedicated to the obstacles faced by young Native people. Through our work, I am determined that Avis Little Wind’s story will be less common in the future than it is today.
Senator Dorgan with attendees at the Center for Native American Youth’s one-year anniversary
S T R AT E G Y & O R G A N I Z AT I O N
E N G I N E E R I N G & O P E R AT I O N S
A N A LY T I C S
Freedom of thought and debate has been the cornerstone of groundbreaking ideas, technological breakthroughs, and con ict resolution for centuries. Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading strategy and technology consulting rm, is proud to sponsor the Aspen Ideas Festival—where ideas become the catalyst for change. See our ideas in action at boozallen.com/aspen
ideas in action
A New Beginning
By Toni G. Verstandig, Executive Director, Aspen PNB Secretariat
orth Africa is widely believed to have tremendous untapped economic potential, which was true before the political upheaval in the region, and is certainly true now. 2011 has propelled new opportunities for North Africa to address longstanding disputes, which have held the economies of the region Hind Benmilond, Omar Chaabi, Amel Boychamaoui, behind and resulted in high unemployment and David Arkless in Morocco and marginalized economic engagement. Over the past five years, unemployment has hovered at 15% in the “North Africa is at a historic juncture and business needs general population, and at a staggering 23% among youth. As to play a vital role in this region’s economic growth,” PNB recent events have shown, this under-utilization of human Chair Madeleine Albright said. “Domestic and foreign investcapital can be a tinderbox for instability. ment can be a driving force for increased prosperity and a In light of these circumstances, the Institute’s Partners strong middle class.” Her message resonated strongly with the for a New Beginning public-private partnership expanded young attendees at the conference who recognized the pivotal their work in the region to include North Africa. Since PNB moment their region faces. launched in September 2010, the initiative has facilitated Education was at the forefront of the conference agenda, more than 100 projects through with multiple project announcements augmenting roundpartnerships in eleven countries, tables and speeches. Among numerous education enterprises fostering mutual respect and promoted at the conference, Intel Corporation and the understanding across borders, PNB-NAPEO Tunisia local chapter announced an initiative with undertakings ranging from designed to facilitate the implementation of business plans education exchange programs to created by students in their final year of university, called expanding access to capital for the FICRA project. Education for Employment, a program emerging small and mediumdoing work in Morocco, announced a dramatic expansion of sized businesses. its programs in the region to train Tunisians, Algerians, and This past January, PNB’s Moroccans to become trainers in high-demand skills in their first regional partnership, the respective regions. Henrietta Holsman Fore US-North Africa Partnership for Key to the conference’s success was its unique regional Economic Opportunity (PNBfocus. There was a strong positive response to the idea that North Africa should be viewed as a region unique in many NAPEO) facilitated the second annual US-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, to address oppor- ways relative to the rest of the Middle East, Africa, or the Mediterranean. Participants responded enthusiastically to contunities for economic growth and development in the region. As one of the only initiatives focused exclusively on North versations on cross-border business partnerships and catalyzing Africa as a region, PNB-NAPEO brings together an array of growth through cooperation throughout North Africa. The conference’s workshops, panels, and speakers brought entrepreneurs, business executives, policy makers, and civil society leaders to focus on developing economic opportunity in about a new wave of optimism and energy about the future of the region. The PNB-NAPEO Morocco local chapter hosted North Africa’s relationship with the US. Setting the stage for the conference in coordination with the Institute and with the an economic renaissance in the region, the conference gave support of the US Department of State. Discussion focused on precedence to education as the key to prosperity for budding entrepreneurs and established businesspeople alike, and the the connection between education and employment, creatmost important engine of growth for our increasingly global ing an entrepreneurial environment, and fostering small and economy. medium enterprises.
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rom doctors to diplomats, the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series and the Washington Ideas Roundtable series featured author-experts sharing their prescriptions for the 21st century’s unique challenges. And in Aspen, the Aspen Writers Foundation’s Winter Words series reminded audiences of the importance of literature in modern life, and of its ability to capture the spirit of a society.
The Help Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 2009
“I was very nervous that I was crossing this line that I had been taught never to cross (in writing about race). I wasn’t even allowed to watch black people on TV at my grandmother’s house. I couldn’t watch The Jeffersons—I thought that the highest echelon was getting to watch Sanford and Son on TV! We had all these funny rules— Demetrie had a bathroom on the side of the house, she came in the back door when she got there. It was just such a surprise to me when The Help came out that people were understanding this story that I thought only Mississippians would get. One of the first letters I received after publication was from Rome, and this person said that they identified with The Help because it made them reflect on some of their own race and class issues. And that was a big eye-opening experience, that these boundaries that we put between us, whether it’s color or class or money, they don’t exist, and yet it is a problem all over the world.”
National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter
Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power Basic Books, 2012
Professor of medicine and engineering at the USC Keck School of Medicine, and head of USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine
The End of Illness Free Press, 2012
“What is health? Is it your cholesterol? Is it how you feel? Is it how old you are? Is it how you sleep? How do you define health? We really don’t have a metric for it. So if you look at an engineer, they say, ‘I optimize the system on x, y, z,’ well, if you don’t know what health is, how are you going to optimize your life, your therapy, what you do, your activity? We don’t have a definition of health…to me, health is going to where there is data from studies.”
“Not every mass upheaval is itself democratic. Some are populist, but not democratic. But populist movements can be democratic, or can become democratic, as was the case in Central Europe. I think we have much more of a question mark in that part of the world which is being dominated today by what we call the Arab Spring. There is a populist phenomenon, the outcome of which could be democracy, but it could be very intensely popularly supposed dictatorships, fanaticism, dogmatism. And that is true elsewhere. In that context, our ability to dominate it is limited, and it is furthermore limited by our own social system, which has lost some of its global appeal.”
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State of Wonder Harper, 2011
Columnist, Harper’s Magazine
Pity the Billionaire Metropolitan Books, 2012
“There is a real failure of liberals to make any kind of arguments to counter the Tea Party movement, or promote the things that they themselves want to do. One of the seeds of this book was when I was listening to a town hall meeting on satellite radio in Washington State. And I was listening to this audience getting angrier and angrier at their Democratic senator talk about healthcare universal. This is a party that is proposing a grand expansion of social insurance in the middle of economic catastrophe. It should not be a hard sell, but instead they are faced with this massive uprising—people showing up at these meetings and screaming and yelling and saying ‘what about freedom? What about liberty?’ And he doesn’t have an answer. He can’t explain how social insurance enhances freedom…Democrats always fall back on expertise—on health care, on deficit spending, everything that they do—they say, ‘we’re doing this because the experts tell us to do it.’ They cannot give you the ideological or political reasons we need to do these things, and that’s just not very convincing.”
“Parnasus (Patchett’s independent bookstore in Nashville) is so packed night and day with people who come in and say ‘I learned my lesson, and I am going to support my local independent bookseller.’ The thing I think in my whole life that I feel proudest about is that I am creating jobs, and a tax base, and supporting my community, and that I have this message, which is, in a nutshell, the best price doesn’t necessarily represent the best value. It’s really easy to have something come to your house, but it’s really important to think it through and say, ‘I Patchett would really like there to be some cops in my community, I would really like there to be some teachers, I would really like there to be some jobs, because this idea that the most important thing is the lowest price for us hasn’t actually been so good for our communities.”
Chairman, Cambridge Energy Research Associates
The Quest: The Global Race for Energy, Security, and Power Penguin Press, 2011
“Shale gas, or fracking, is 30 percent of American gas production, and it’s going up. It’s cheaper energy, it’s relatively low carbon, it’s created hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs at a time when jobs are really important, and it’s also revitalizing American industry. For example, there is one large petrochemical company that was never going to invest another dime in the United States, their money was all going to be in the Middle East, and now it’s invested something on the order of $4 billion in the past few years on the basis of shale gas.”
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By jon at h o n p r i c e
n 2003, at the height of the debate over whether the United States should head to war in Iraq, an anxious President of the Party of European Socialists, Robin Cook, burst out of a packed meeting hall. Cook had just spent the last few hours listening to his colleagues from across Europe disparage the United States. Previously a long-serving British Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons, he had seen the alliance weather many crises. But this time was different. Despite the strong transatlantic agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, the prospect of war in Iraq was threatening to fracture the long and constructive alliance that Europe and the United States had nurtured since World War II. Both sides of the Atlantic were to blame. With half of the European Union’s citizens saying they saw Washington as a threat to world peace rather than a force for good, some elected leaders in Europe were staking their popularity on anti-Americanism. Meanwhile in Washington, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld set off a firestorm when he referred to France and Germany as “old Europe.” Against the precipitating division, Cook saw a leadership vacuum. He knew he would need partners to help soothe the heated rhetoric and bring both sides to face-to-face dialogue. He picked up the phone and dialed a familiar number.
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Albright with Turkish President Abdullah Gül
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n a glass and steel office in downtown Washington, Madeleine albright answered cook’s call. the two had gotten to know each other well during the Kosovo war, and their rapport had continued to build ever since. cook’s SoS call could not have arrived at a better time, as albright shared his concerns about a possible schism in the transatlantic relationship. their conversation did not dwell long on the looming troubles; rather, both were eager to find a solution for healing the alliance that had drawn them together a decade before. albright and cook reminisced about the “Quint”: a group of five Foreign Ministers—joschka Fischer of Germany, hubert Vedrine of France, Lamberto Dini of italy, albright, and cook—who spoke almost daily on a conference call to share information and plan strategy during the Kosovo war. through their constant communication they had developed deep friendships
United States through dialogue. the easiest task was figuring out which former foreign ministers would join their envisaged group. in addition to the five ministers from the Quint, it was agreed that the group would be expanded to include former foreign Ministers from nato member countries and other major powers in the international arena, including igor ivanov of russia. the more challenging task was to find an institution that would support the group and help further its ideas. albright, a board member of the institute, reached out to institute president Walter isaacson, to see if the institute might serve as the intellectual home for the group. and thus, in 2003, the “aspen atlantic Group” was born under the umbrella of the institute. the staff at the institute immediately began to plan a series of meetings for the former Foreign Ministers. they hoped to depart from the all too familiar model of US-european convenings that
The Enough Project’s Mark Quarterman with former Foreign Minister of Jordan Marwan Muasher in The Hague
and trust, and most importantly, a common understanding of the pertinence of the transatlantic partnership. at its apex, the Quint and the other nato Ministers they called held together the nato alliance in the 1990s. More than ten years later, even as now former foreign ministers, albright and cook believed an iteration of the Quint that also included a broader set of Ministers could be revived to maintain and rebuild the ties between europe and the 48
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focused almost exclusively on diagnosing current problems and not enough on advancing constructive dialogue. Furthering thoughtful conversation and getting america and europe thinking as partners would be the foundation of the group’s work. With shared vulnerabilities, such as international terrorism, and shared challenges, such as the rebuilding of afghanistan and iraq and seeking resolution to the Middle east peace crisis, cooperation between the US and
europe was critical to both sides. Moreover, with this assembly of former foreign ministers from both sides of the atlantic and across the political spectrum, there was reason to believe an invested and cooperative group could move the conversation forward. Building on a history of constructive negotiations, policy acumen, and continued influence as members of parliament, advisors to governments and political parties, and opinion leaders, these former ministers were uniquely positioned to leverage their credentials to promote a more candid, open, and collaborative transatlantic exchange. Most uniquely, the group no longer spoke from binding national positions, and could speak with greater candor. although finding effective and lasting solutions to the transatlantic differences of 2003 promised to be difficult, the assembled group was determined to try. the first meeting of the aspen atlantic Group, held in june of 2003 at the institute’s Wye river campus, tackled first the questions that inspired the founding of the group. entitled Transatlantic Relationship at the Crossroads, the group discussed whether differing views on multilateralism and the use of force would prevent europe and america from addressing their long list of global challenges together. in addition to the Quint members, the group included Lloyd axworthy of canada, ismail cem of turkey, erik Derycke of Belgium, jaime Gama of portugal, Bronislaw Geremek of poland, nadezhda Mihaylova of Bulgaria, and jozias van aartsen of the netherlands. also in attendance were senior members of the administration and congress, along with experts from academia and think-tanks. the stakes could not have been higher. jim Steinberg, who would later serve as president obama’s Deputy Secretary of State, wrote a paper for the group that laid out the stark choice: “as with most debates, each side brings an element of truth to its argument. perhaps even more important, which side proves more “right” in the long-term depends as much on the choices US and
european leaders make today, as on the relative force of long-term trends that are both pulling us together and pushing us apart. this is not the first time in our histories that the transatlantic bargain has been stressed. But there is reason to believe the new challenges facing the United States and europe are qualitatively different from those that have vexed us in the past…” Looming large over this first debate was a critical concern: Was atlanticism dead, to be replaced by new, ad hoc arrangements? this question was at the heart of the debate on invading iraq and was especially difficult for this particular group of ministers, whose cooperation in Kosovo had demonstrated how important a united transatlantic front could be in marshaling support for decisive military and diplomatic action. none of the former ministers believed that the alliance between the US and europe had outlived its strategic purpose, but there was little doubt that europe and the United States would need new strategies to repair the relationship and return to a shared agenda. Drawing on their reservoirs of experience, the group worked together to develop core principles for a new relationship between the United States and europe, focusing first on post-conflict reconstruction in iraq. over time, as the group grew, the topics also diverged. Despite being the most widely discussed divide between the US and europe, action in iraq was not the only issue complicating the transatlantic relationship. Disagreements over other areas of policy further divided the old allies, including differing views on environmental protections and the Kyoto protocol, the israeli-palestinian conflict, the international criminal court, national missile defense, capital punishment, and regulations on trade. a further shift in the group’s mission came following its 9th meeting in 2009, entitled Turkey: Forging a Common Agenda for a Defining Moment, held in ankara. in this first ever meeting held outside of north america or western europe, discussion focused on turkey’s unique role in the Middle east, eurosUMMeR 2012
ost uniquely, the group no longer spoke from binding national positions, and could speak with greater
candor. Although finding effective and lasting solutions to the transatlantic differences of 2003 promised to be difficult, the assembled group was determined to try.
Albright with former French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine
pean and turkish perspectives on the accession to european Union membership, and the financial crisis’ impact on foreign policy. around the table in ankara, the sixteen former foreign ministers that now comprised the group realized that the challenges that were being discussed exceeded the boundaries of the transatlantic sphere. Moreover, the group wished to include a more global perspective that would be more inclusive of views outside the atlantic. “there was a conscious shift,” recalled albright, “that was triggered in part by consensus among members of the group that today’s challenges are clearly relevant to and shared by other regions and actors. it points to a broader recognition that many emerging countries have an indispensable role in an increasingly interconnected and multipolar world.” the group today includes ministers from countries such as egypt, russia,
jordan, thailand, australia, Mexico, new Zealand, Denmark, hungary, iceland, israel, Luxembourg, norway, Spain, Sweden and india, and bears a new name to reflect its broadened scope: the aspen Ministers Forum. perhaps the most illustrative examples of the group’s broadened vision are the two most recent meetings in 2011 and 2012, which centered on the global loss of faith in international institutions. at the 2011 meeting in the hague, the group gathered nearly 40 ministers, academics, and researchers to assess the fitness of international organizations to address contemporary challenges and identify ways to improve their accountability, transparency, and legitimacy. in copenhagen in 2010, the group focused on ways to strengthen these institutions, specifically in the areas of peace and security. Sessions explored United nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s vision for his second term
The Aspen IdeA
at the helm of the United nations, as well as peacekeeping, collective security, economic stabilization, and the Un’s role in climate change policy. an important byproduct of the group’s diversification is that it has allowed greater room to devise creative action plans and outputs. at the hague meeting, the group could not ignore the revolutions under way in north africa and the Middle east. of particular concern was the ongoing violence in Syria, and the possibility of using international institutions to stop the bloodshed. the idea of using the international criminal court to launch an investigation into the bloodletting in Syria was conceived during discussions on Lamberto Dini and Jozias van Aartsen in The Hague confidence in and the capabilities of international institutions today, and getting much time to reflect on, or resulted in a joint op-ed piece by the sustain, a helicopter view,” said former ministers in the Financial Times. Deputy prime Minister and Minister of “i was a practitioner of international Foreign affairs for new Zealand Don politics for nearly 20 years where McKinnon. “the great thing about the everything is done on the run, you are aspen Ministers Forum is having the switching subjects hourly and never opportunity to spend time discussing a
subject and developing strategies with the luxury of time, and, across many of the same or similar areas where all of us were previously intensely involved. the background knowledge, knowing the key players and what, empirically, does and does not work gives our proposals some value.” the group continues to grow, both in number and in scope. each year, as Ministers leave their official posts and titles around the world, they are considered as potential members. Meanwhile, the group has had the opportunity to twice give back to the institute by helping to launch aspen españa in 2010 and aspen institute prague in 2012. With 2013 marking the 10th anniversary of the Ministers Forum, now is an appropriate moment to look back and see how the group has evolved to adapt itself to the shifting international landscape. the threats to global security remain unchanged, but “Madeleine and her exes,” as the group is affectionately called, reflect a globalized world in which incentive to cooperate has never been higher. A
Albright Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
The White House describes the Presidential Medal of Freedom as an honor for those “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or otherwise significant public or private endeavors.” As such, it was only fitting that President Obama bestowed the medal on Albright, the first female Secretary of State, and a longtime trustee and friend of the Institute. The White House said the medal would in particular honor Albright for strengthening and enlarging the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and for her deft diplomatic campaign against ethnic cleansing and terrorism in the Balkans.
The Institute Helps Albright Launch Prague Winter
Although few people have such intimate knowledge of the contours of the world as Madeleine Albright, it was only recently that Albright learned more about her own family’s history in Europe before and during the Second World War. Such is the subject of Albright’s latest book, Prague Winter, which she came to the Czech Embassy in Washington to discuss in May with Institute President Walter Isaacson. When asked the grand moral lesson of Prague Winter, Albright used the chaotic decade between the Munich Agreement and the onset of the Cold War the book chronicles as relief against which to feature “two kinds of people: those with the souls of collaborationists, and those who speak truth to power. There is a little bit of both Albright and Isaacson discuss Prague Winter at the Czech Embassy in Washington in everybody, and none of us quite know how we would behave in certain situations. In many ways it is the journey that is part of it—what is moral behavior, how do you operate? That search is the core moral lesson.”
The Aspen IdeA
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Damian and Yo-Yo share the stage in Beijing
The Aspen IdeA
For four exhilarating days this November, musicians, actors, directors, dancers, painters, sculptors, and even chefs from the US and China met in Beijing to revel in each other’s cultures at the US-China Forum on the Arts and Culture. But Beijing is just the beginning of the Aspen Institute Arts Program’s mission to integrate the arts into society across the globe.
The Aspen IdeA
The forum—organized in partnership among the Institute’s Arts Program, which is led by Damian Woetzel, the Asia Society, and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries—was the first in a series of cultural exchanges seeking to strengthen understanding between Americans and Chinese through panel discussions, lectures, film screenings, museum tours, dinners, and performances. At the core of this exchange was an all-star roster of American and Chinese cultural representatives, including author and activist Michael Pollan, dancer Lil Buck, and filmmaker Joel Coen, engaging in personal and reflective dialogue, on their cultures, traditions, innovations, and experiences. But as remarkable as Beijing was, it was only one of the Institute’s Arts Program’s initiatives to illuminate the importance of the arts in many sectors of society, from education to urban planning. The opening dinner was hosted by US Ambassador to China Gary Locke at the sprawling yet elegant US Embassy, with its main building wrapped in glass and glowing like a lantern to welcome attendees to dinner. Renowned chef Alice Waters curated the evening’s menu, working with local purveyors and farms to create a menu reflective of both American and Chinese culinary traditions. The remaining forum activities took place at two of Beijing’s most breathtaking architectural venues—the National Museum and the National Center for the Performing Arts (affectionately known as the “Egg” in homage to its shape). In a panel on multiculturalism called Growing Up In Two Worlds, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and author Amy Tan discussed their experiences being brought up with influences from two or more cultures and its effect on their artistic output and achievement with the Asia Society’s USChina center’s director Orville Schell.
Tan posited that this duality forced one to “discover what things you believe about yourself” in the midst of tension between differing cultural identities, and all the panelists agreed that contrasting cultures allowed them richer personal narrative and modes of expression. In a session On Film and Performing: The Actors’ Perspectives, acclaimed actors Meryl Streep, Liu Ye, and Ge You discussed their careers in the cultural mirror that is film. While each actor’s career rose to its dramatic heights differently, each panelist professed their great respect for film’s ability to provide a cathartic release for audiences and make them feel connected to a larger human experience beyond their own. Through performance one “can break from moral or legal constraints, express [oneself] in ways that [one] wouldn’t dare otherwise,” said Liu Ye. In one of the forum’s most energetic evenings, forum participants filled the National Concert Hall at the Egg for A Musical Dialogue, starring Yo-Yo Ma. This event was not meant to be one “where people simply sit down and are entertained,” said Woetzel, who directed the program as an interactive performance that fully engaged the audience. Memphis jooker Lil Buck and musician Wu Tong started off the unorthodox evening by entering from the back of the house and performing in the aisles among the audience, breaking the traditional barrier between performer and viewer—further broken later in the performance when Woetzel led the house through an opening excerpt of Balanchine’s Serenade. Asking audience members who usually would have been passive observers to engage with the performance together celebrated not only American and Chinese culture, but also friendship, collaboration, and risk-taking. Many of the evening’s artists performed together for the first time,
including a duet of words and music between Ma and Streep, that spontaneously culminated in a competition between the artists as to who could bow lower in admiration of the other. To close the forum, attendees were treated to an exclusive pre-release viewing of Streep’s Iron Lady, followed by a discussion with the actress. “The Arts Program works to further the positive impact that arts and artists can have on society,” said Woetzel, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. The program, which also includes the Aspen Writers Foundation headed by Lisa Consiglio, and the Global Initiative on Arts and Culture, headed by Damien Pwono, promotes the arts as useful and relevant to multiple sectors of society, as reflected in highlights from the past year. In October, the Institute’s Arts Program brought together arts advocates and public officials, including Chicago Public Schools CEO J.C. Brizard, to discuss the importance of including the arts in public school curriculums, even in an era of shrinking budgets. The discussion used Chicago as a model, since Chicago’s public school system is revamping its curriculum to fit a longer school day. The conversation was led by Woetzel and Ma, and resulted in a pledge to include the arts sector in planning for use of the extended school day. It was announced in May that for the first time, Chicago Public Schools is creating a district-wide Arts Education program. The fall event was held in partnership with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Arts Partnership in Education. The following month, actress Anne Hathaway and the Public Theater’s director, Oskar Eustis, opened an evening probing culture and identity. The event, held in conjunction with The
The Aspen IdeA
Public Theatre, explored how culture shapes us as individuals and as a society and was aptly titled: Does Culture Make Us Who We Are? A panel including New York Times columnist David Brooks, actor Bill Irwin, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Vice Chair Mary Schmidt Campbell, Public Forum Director Jeremy McCarter , and Woetzel debated how social and economic factors have shaped culture’s reach over many decades, and how the arts can contribute to the world we live in and aspire towards. And because creativity begets creativity, the Arts Program hosted an event in February featuring Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts President Reynold Levy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Director Richard Koshalek; and Elizabeth Diller, a founding partner of the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, for a conversation on cultural institutions creating new spaces that emphasize openness, accessibility, and forums for creative communities. DS+R is the firm behind Lincoln Center’s recent innovative renovation, the Hirshhorn’s upcoming Bubble Project, and New York City’s High Line, a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure on Manhattan’s West Side. “It was the vision of Sidney Harman to bring the arts back as one of
Dancer Lil Buck “jookin” in Beijing
the foundations of the Aspen Institute, as they were at our creation,” said the Institute’s Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs, Elliot Gerson. “And now, under the energetic direction of Michael Eisner and our arts committee, the extraordinary leadership of Damian Woetzel, and the inspiration
of our gifted Harman-Eisner Artist-inResidence, we are able to bring the sensibilities of artists to all that we do. And given the Institute’s core mission to find common ground and shared values, the arts are uniquely powerful as they remind everyone of what we all share as humans.” A
The Director & The Architect:
The 2012 Harman-Eisner
Director and producer Julie Taymor and architect Elizabeth Diller will serve as the Institute’s 2012 artists-in-residence. Taymor is a Tony Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated American director whose productions range from musicals to Shakespeare to classical operas. Hailed as one of today’s most imaginative and provocative directors and designers, Taymor is best known for staging the megahit The Lion King on Broadway and for creative, risk-taking films such as Frida and Across the Universe. Diller is a founding principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, an interdisciplinary design studio firm. Diller’s work includes the High Line in New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and the Lincoln Center expansion and renovation in New York. Both Harman-Eisner Artists-in-Residence will participate at the Aspen Ideas Festival, as well as engage in Institute activities throughout the year in New York, Washington, DC, and other cities around the country. To learn more, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/artsprogram.
The Aspen IdeA
The Institute Expands Its Footprint in New York City
Steve Kelley/mudpig/Getty Images
be part of intelligent, civil dialogue; and, we hope, find some common ground to move forward together on the issues that vex and challenge us,” said Bob Steel— chairman of the Institute’s board of trustees and New York City’s deputy mayor for economic development—opening the inaugural public convening “New York Ideas 2012: Questions for America in a Year of Choice,” in April. “Now,” he joked, “although the first words that jump to mind when most people think of New York City may not be ‘civil dialogue,’ we’re keen to be here. One of my boss’s predecessors, Mayor Ed Koch, once said that ‘the future comes to audition in New York City,’ ” he continued, “and we think this is just the right place for the Institute to be.”
Former Governor Mario Cuomo
“The Aspen Institute is a venue where people come to share ideas;
New York Ideas—presented in partnership with The Atlantic magazine and the NewYork Historical Society, which also hosted the event—brought together more than 450 people for a full day of discussions on the country’s critical policy issues. Speakers included former Obama White House domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes, Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s David Gergen, former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Citigroup Vice Chairman Peter Orszag, and many others. New York Ideas is the newest chapter in a larger story for the Institute: a concerted effort to grow its footprint in New York City. This New York presence is not entirely new—in the 1970s and early ’80s, under the leadership
of then-president Joe Slater, the Institute was actually headquartered in the Arco Building on 56th Street and 5th Avenue—but it is recently reinvigorated and central to the Institute’s strategic vision for the near future. “We are often told by people who have attended an Aspen program, be it a seminar, policy program meeting, or the Ideas Festival, that it is a life-changing experience,” says Steel. “So it is no surprise that they are eager for more opportunities to listen to remarkable people, discuss important ideas, and think in new ways about solutions to our society’s greatest challenges. New York is the hometown of big ideas, so it is a natural place for the Institute to expand its programming.” “Our goal is to be the place where people come for smart, nonpartisan dialogue that makes a difference on any one of the critical
Hockey legend Mark Messier
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
The “Aspen at Roosevelt House” series, presented together with Hunter College, has tackled big ideas since 2008: Here NBC News anchor Brian Williams, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and presidential advisor David Gergen reflect on presidential character in the lead-up to a historic election. SUMMER 2012
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon ThE ASpEn IdEA
Institute Chairman Emeritus Leonard Lauder and Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian at the 2010 Annual Awards Dinner at the Plaza Hotel
issues we work on around the country and world,” says Institute CEO Walter Isaacson. “And if you’re not in New York, you’re not entirely engaged in the conversation.”
Ideas In actIon:
Policy Work in New York New York City is home to three of the Institute’s policy programs. The Business and Society Program uses research, dialogues, and outreach to help established and emerging business leaders put values at the heart of their work. The Roundtable on Community Change is a forum in which leaders working on some of the country’s most innovative and promising efforts to revitalize poor communities—especially those affected by issues of race, ethnicity, and equity—meet to discuss the lessons they are learning and the common challenges they are facing. And the Agent Orange in Vietnam Program is a collaborative effort to raise awareness of the long-term effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam; highlight solutions to the problem; and connect individuals, foundations, and non-governmental organizations with opportunities to get involved.
New York is also home to the Aspen Institute Arts Program, which has been led since 2011 by Damian Woetzel, former principal dancer for the New York City Ballet. It brings together leading artists, arts managers, sponsors, government officials and patrons to
the new York offices
477 Madison Avenue, Suite 730 New York, NY 10022 Phone: 212-895-8000 Fax: 212-895-8912 58
Roosevelt House, the onetime home to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, is the site of many Institute activities in New York City.
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generate, exchange, and develop ideas and policies to encourage vibrancy and dynamism in all artistic realms, and to enrich civic culture in ways only the arts can do.
Roosevelt House at Hunter College In 1908, as a wedding present for her son
and his new bride Eleanor, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s mother Sara built a double, neo-Georgian townhouse at 47-49 East 65th (she occupied one side of the duplex, and the building’s innovative design included sliding partitions between the two residences; but that’s another story). The house served as an incubator for Franklin’s political ambiMukherjee and Couric
tions, a place for his convalescence, and a nexus for impassioned debate among his associates over the period’s most seismic issues, from economic devastation to the ravages of a world at war. Today, the House—newly restored and renovated in 2008—is owned by Hunter College of the City University of New York, and is home to the Roosevelt House Institute for Public Policy, which offers a robust array of educational programs for Hunter students and the public. Thanks to a partnership with Hunter, it is also a primary location for the Institute’s activities in New York City. Since 2008, the Institute has hosted public officials, authors, advocates, experts, and artists for public discussions, seminars, policy dialogues, and special events at the House. The partnership has also yielded the ongoing series “Aspen at Roosevelt House,” through which the Institute and Hunter collaborate to offer public discussions on the policy issues both institutions care about.
Lessons In LeadershIp
“How can patients, advocates, scientists, physicians, national institutions and philanthropies interact to help move our knowledge about cancer and its cures along?” said Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, in conversation with ABC News host and correspondent Katie Couric. Mukherjee stressed the importance of a profound paradigm shift in the way society thinks about cancer, the critical nature of stem cell research, and the need for healthcare practitioners to make better use of social media to educate and empower the public. The program, held at Roosevelt House in New York City in April, was part of the Institute’s “Conversations with Great Leaders” series in memory of Preston Robert Tisch.
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siddhartha mukherjee reframes cancer
Since 2009, the Institute’s flagship public program in New York City has been “The Aspen Leadership Series: Conversations with Great Leaders in Memory of Preston Robert Tisch.” This ongoing program—held five times per year—presents conversations with extraordinary leaders from all walks of civic life, memorializing the legacy of one of New York’s civic heroes, Preston Robert Tisch. Among many other consequential posts, Tisch was chairman of the Loews Corporation, co-owner of the New York Giants football team, and US Postmaster General—as well as an innovative philanthropist dedicated to the well-being of his fellow New Yorkers. “For some time, I had been thinking about a program to recognize and honor some of the seemingly boundless civic contributions my father made to his beloved city,” said Laurie Tisch, an Institute trustee (as of April 2012) and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, who underwrites the series with her brothers Steve and Jonathan and sister-in-law Lizzie. “When he died in 2005, I mentioned this idea to my brothers, who also wanted to do
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PHILANTHROPY IS PLANNED GENEROSITY: MAKE IT YOUR FAMILY’S PRIORITY
Charitable giving is one very important way to make a difference, and by supporting the Aspen Institute you can help extend your impact on our programs for generations to come. Please contact Kristen Loden at (970) 544-7974 or kristen.loden@ aspeninstitute.org for information on options for your family and the benefits of membership in The Heritage Society.
need, Greed, & speed
The Institute hosted a breakfast on March 13 at the Harvard Club in New York City for Economist correspondent Vijay Vaitheeswaran to discuss his latest book—Need, Speed and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World’s Most Wicked Problems. In conversation with “Marketplace” New York bureau chief Heidi Moore, Vaitheeswaran discussed the benefits of a global innovation revolution, and how it will give way to a “Great Disruption,” requiring the US and other rich societies to find a path to inclusive growth or risk being left behind by history. “I want to go from ‘greed is good’ to ‘greed for good,’ ” he said. This program was part of the ongoing Aspen Book Series in New York City.
something important and visible in our father’s honor. The Institute was considering a larger presence in New York City, with programs to be held at the Roosevelt House. A timely partnership was formed, and we couldn’t be happier with the way that the Institute has used the opportunity to launch its New York programs.” Since its inception, the series has featured leaders including Newark mayor Cory Booker, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, activist and actress Anna Deavere Smith, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp, Doctors Without Borders Director Sophie Delaunay, former governors Mario Cuomo (New York) and Christine Todd Whitman (New Jersey), and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee—to name just a few. Interviewers have included Katie Couric, Time editor Rick Stengel, “Studio 360” radio host and novelist Kurt Andersen, and many others. Also as part of the series, the Institute gives the annual Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership to someone who has made a significant impact in his or her community. Trumpeter and educator Wynton Marsalis and ten62
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nis legend Billie Jean King have both received the award (which was first given in 2010) at programs where they have been interviewed about their lives and careers, their role models, and the values that drive them. (See page 70 for excerpts from King’s 2011 interview.) The Institute also hosts a book-discussion breakfast series several times a year in midtown—located for weekday-morning convenience—featuring notable current authors with new titles relevant to the work of the Institute. Recently, authors have included New York Times reporter Diana Henriques to discuss her recent Wizard of Lies, chronicling the Bernie Madoff scandal; former CBS News correspondent and Haunting Legacy author Marvin Kalb, who discussed the effect of the Vietnam war on the American presidency; and Economist global correspondent and Need, Greed, and Speed author Vijay Vaitheeswaran, who talked about the new rules of innovation and
how they can transform the way the world does business.
Books for Breakfast
The Institute also holds its annual Fall Awards Dinner each year in New York City. Past honorees have included New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian, and Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson. For information on the 2012 event—which will honor filmmaker George Lucas and former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow—see page 28. From the arts to policy work to power breakfasts and conversations with extraordinary leaders, the Institute’s growing presence in New York City is and will continue to be a vital part of our Great Conversation. A This article was written by New York Public Programs Director Linda Lehrer, Editor Jamie Miller, and Managing Editor Elizabeth Nicholas.
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A Better Way to Govern
Clay Johnson and Mack McLarty examine the systemic deficiencies of the federal appointments and confirmation process, and how it might be fixed.
NE dOES NOT NEEd TO kNOW MUch about the federal appointments and confirmation process to understand it is broken. We just know: Every time there is a new administration, no one can understand why it takes so long for the new president to fill his team and take full control of the reins of government. By March of 2009, news emerged of trouble at the US Treasury department. While major actions were being taken domestically and abroad to combat the financial crisis, progress was bogged down by a serious leadership vacuum. despite being three months into the new Obama administration, too few senior staff were in place to manage the massive workload—bank bailouts, loan restructuring, coordinating policy with foreign governments. While the administration performed admirably in quickly placing its seniormost key officials, such as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, it was unable to fill the positions of supporting deputies and staff expeditiously. For much of the first year of Obama’s presidency, Geithner was, as the Financial Times put it, “home alone” in the Treasury department.
As troubling as this and similar cases may be, these failures are considered normal during presidential transitions, almost a “rite of passage.” In fact, President Obama was commended for quickly assembling his team of top officials, Geithner among them, planning for transition even prior to his election. Nevertheless, Obama faced the same slow process as other recent presidents in positioning his supporting officials, who carry out the vital day-to-day activities of management and policy setting. For much of his first year, Obama, like his predecessors, had to contend with high vacancy rates across the government—initially above 50 percent in many places. This is the result of the broken appointments process. On average, only around 35 percent of the 100 most-needed presidential appointees are nominated and confirmed by May 1st—fully 100 days into a new administration. While cabinet secretaries and heads of major agencies are typically in office within a few days following Inauguration, they have too few of the senior staff needed to be able to lead effectively. Even by the August congressional recess—about 200 days into a new administration—30 percent of key agency management and national security officials remain unfilled. Why does all this matter? Unfortunately, Secretary Geithner’s lonely struggle against global financial collapse is just one of many examples of the consequences of the broken appointments process. Presidential appointees provide essential
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leadership and policy direction for the civil and military services—they run the daily machinery of the federal government. It is not just department secretaries and agency heads that are vital. These leaders need their department heads, management, budget, legal, legislative and public communications officials. These are the individuals who help respond to emergencies; set new priorities; work with other agencies, congress, and state, local and foreign governments; and communicate with the American people. As for the initial absence of key national security officials typical of presidential transitions, the 9/11 commission warned in its report: “Since a catastrophic attack could occur with little or no notice, we should minimize as much as possible the disruption of national security policymaking during the change of administrations by accelerating the process for national security appointments.” Why does this happen? Yes, political disputes and the increasingly common use of the “hold”—a senatorial procedure blocking individual confirmation—play a significant role, as do differences of opinion over the qualification of particular nominees. But the most significant part of the delay is caused by systemic shortcomings that can and should be remedied—all without interfering with the political nature of our system of government or the prerogatives of the president or the Senate. At the heart of the problem is a misallocation of resources, resulting in a lack of systematic capacity. For instance, the White house Office of Presidential Personnel, which handles the initial vetting process for nominees, usually employs the same number of staff at the beginning of the administration as it does at the end, because that was what previous administrations had done. This works for most of the administration’s term as nominees simply fill newly vacated positions. however, the Office is simply incapable of handling the massive burden it faces at the start—the need to vet thousands of required nominations following inauguration, hundreds of them for critical positions. No modern president has set a goal of fielding his cabinet and subcabinet within the first 200 days of the first year, for instance, and assembled the resources and manpower to accomplish the goal. Reform must begin with a commitment to accomplish a specific staffing level within a reasonably aggressive timeframe. In addition to these problems of capacity, nominees themselves face an unnecessarily onerous personal burden in accepting the call to pubSUMMER 2012
lic service. Each step presents a new set of forms, which ask many of the same questions already asked earlier in the process. It is no wonder that some question the government’s ability to attract the best and brightest to serve. knowing this, what needs to be done? To start, priority should be set for the most important, time-sensitive positions. New presidents need to decide which positions are the most timesensitive for their administrations, based on their current priorities and challenges. Timelines need to be drawn to set expectations for specific dates by which these appointments should be made. The people filling the 100-plus most timesensitive presidentially appointed positions should be nominated by February at the beginning of each term, and should be confirmed and in place by May 1st, 100 days after the President’s inauguration. Including those, the 400 most time-sensitive positions should be nominated by early June, such that it is reasonable to expect them to be confirmed by the August congressional recess, about 200 days into a new administration. New presidents will decide which positions are the most time-sensitive for their administrations, based on their priorities and the current challenges and opportunities awaiting them. Planning for transition—and Clay Johnson the critical personnel work to be done—needs to start much earlier—well before Election day. In 2008, both Barack Obama and John Mccain began preparing for presidential transitions significantly earlier in their campaigns than any previous candidates. The Obama administration was then able to nominate, and have confirmed, more appointees in its first 100 days than any other administration in recent times. For the most part, presidential candidates devote too little pre-election attention to the transition—and the hundreds of required appointments—in Mack McLarty the event they win the election.
“At the heart of the problem is misallocation of resources, resulting in a lack of systematic capacity.”
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Instead, all viable presidential candidates should formally commit to make it a priority to fill positions by specific deadlines. They should commit sufficient personnel and resources separate from their campaigns to begin substantial planning for a presidential transition and selection of appointees at least four months before the election. Following an election, the presidentelect must quickly assemble a presidential personnel office for the transition and first six months of the administration that can handle twice the volume as those of recent new administrations to meet the earlier deadlines. For our part—the public—we should better understand and appreciate that a candidate “measuring the drapes in the Oval Office” is acting out of responsibility, not hubris. To reduce the unnecessarily onerous burden placed on nominees, the house should pass as the Senate has done—and President Obama should sign—the Presidential Appointment and Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011, which formally calls for a faster and less burdensome appointee background data gathering process. The current process, in which each appointee must fill out numerous, long, overlapping background data forms, should be replaced by a secure, computerized database, enabling nominees to supply all necessary information one way, one time, so vetting agencies and congressional committees can download what they need. Fixing this problem is no small feat. One cannot understate the power inertia has over the appointments process, and for that matter, over Washington as a whole. Indeed, over the last 50 years, the appointments process has withstood nearly constant calls for reform—from the press, good government groups and nine other special commissions. To be fair, some good has come from the pressure; for instance, congress passed beneficial legislation in 2000, 2004, and 2010 that encourages earlier transition planning and expedites consideration of nominees for national security positions. Overall, though, reform has been slow, piecemeal, and diminutive, leaving the bulk of the problem to persist unaddressed. The 20-member, bipartisan Aspen InstituteRockefeller Foundation commission to Reform the Federal Appointments Process, of which we serve as co-chairs with Senators Bill Frist and chuck Robb, has accepted this challenge headon. Together with similarly interested parties, such as the US chamber of commerce, the US conference of Mayors, and the Partnership for Public Service, we are actively working with representatives of the Senate, White house, and relevant government agencies on paths to reform—specifically those just outlined above. Presently, we see the passage of the Presidential Appointment and Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 by the house of Representatives as an important step in the right direction. The Act will exempt from Senate confirmation around 200 non-policymaking, non-senior presidentially appointed positions (management officers, public affairs officials and members of various advisory commissions and boards), in a move that will start to unclog the appointments pipeline. Also provided by the law is an important authorization to develop the improved background gathering system mentioned previously—a path towards a streamlined system that will meet the needs of our government in the 21st century. Additionally, the commission is mindful of the upcoming election and its resulting possibility of yet another transition in the near future. In light of this, we are working to obtain commitments from the viable candidates to commit the necessary personnel and resources in their campaigns to plan for a possible transition. We will help ensure viable candidates obtain current, accurate job descriptions for each presidentially appointed position, including statutory and management responsibilities, which can potentially be shared with a new president-elect, should that be the result of November’s election. Finally, it should be noted that these reforms will significantly help, rather than hinder, the White house and executive branch to select the best candidates for office. Similarly, reform will better assist the Senate in exercising its power to advise and consent on those appointments. These efforts are not politically motivated—this is not aimed at President Obama nor any other president or administration. Rather, the goals we seek will benefit future administrations of both parties. The ability to govern the United States of America effectively should not diminish during presidential transitions. The American people elect a president to govern—they deserve to have a president who can govern for the full four-year term, and they deserve to have a betterfunctioning government. changes must be made if we are to avoid further degradation in the quality of government, or worse, a true crisis. The failure of the appointments process has persisted for too long. The case for reform is clear and the time for change is now. A
“Fixing this problem is no small feat. One cannot understate the power inertia has over the appointments process, and for that matter, over Washington as a whole.”
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2013 SL shown in Mars Red paint with optional equipment. Optional equipment described. No system, regardless of how advanced, can overcome the laws of physics or correct careless driving. Please always wear your seat belt. ©2012 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC For more information, call 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES, or visit MBUSA.com.
The Soul of America
T The COmmunICATIOnS AnD SOCIeTy Program’s annual Symposium on the State of Race in America in April, author and cultural critic Touré, former Washington Post journalist Jose Vargas, and Director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State university Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez held forth on new attitudes, opportunities, and challenges for and about people of color in 21st century America in a discussion moderated by Fox news commentator Juan Williams.
On the Fallacy OF ‘POst-racialism’
Touré: The election of Obama has thrown the discussion of diversity and race into total conflict and there is a large group of people who want to say, ‘well, now we’ve reached the mountain top, now we can stop talking about these issues, because we’re in a post-racial or color blind society.’ So these meaningless terms have arisen… and as a linguist, they bother me because they don’t mean anything and people use them to mean different things. And we don’t even have a consensus around what they mean as a nation. But there are people saying, ‘well, we’ve reached it, so we can stop talking about this stuff.’ And another group of people are saying, ‘well, no, that’s just him [Obama]. We’ve always had superstar, successful blacks, you know, even going back to Frederick Douglass. That doesn’t mean that things are happening down here on the ground that have actually changed anything.’ Touré: Does Romney really represent that? Vargas: Well, I don’t know. I don’t know, Touré. But what I do know is that for everybody in this country for whom America has always been a fight, they’re looking at him to whom everything has always been given, and are going ‘Okay, do you see yourself? Do you fully and comprehensively see yourself and how you fit in this?’
On the UnderrePOrted stOries OF immigrant liFe
Vargas: If you think about how people think about illegal immigrants in America, what do we have cemented in our head, that role of people jumping over the fence, right? When people think that—when people think illegal people, that’s usually what they have in mind. That’s because I think the media—and I’m talking about it broadly here—has failed in representing the reality of the illegal immigration in this country, about the fact that we are integrated. To me, what’s one of the most optimistic things happening is you have churches, you have schools, you have families all standing up and
On the 2012 electiOn
Vargas: In some way the soul of the heterosexual white man is at stake. That is what’s at stake. 68
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saying, ‘Wait up a second. you can’t deport that kid. That kid belongs to us. he’s an American, right?’ Arthur miller said, ‘A good newspaper is a country talking to itself.’ I don’t think we have that anymore. represent me.’ There are all sorts of ways that we distance ourselves from America. And I feel like we need to fully embrace America because otherwise it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that we’re rejecting America before it rejects us. And then it rejects us and we say, ‘Well, there, that’s proof.’ But you reacted first. Vargas: But that comes from a perspective of having to reject something. I found out I didn’t have papers when I was 16 after I went to the DmV. I didn’t know when I got there that I didn’t have papers. And ever since then I have wanted to be here. That was what, 15, 16 years ago now? And it’s funny because people were asking me, ‘why don’t you just leave?’ I get emails from people—‘just go home, you know, go home.’ Thankfully, I’m a writer, and the Internet doesn’t require a passport. I can be a writer anywhere. But I’m staying here because if there is one commonality, I have to say, I think America has always been a fight. I think this country has always been a fight from the very beginning. And that’s why it’s fascinating to me. Williams: The Southwest is an area that I think in some ways is a preview of what’s coming for the rest of America, because the whole notion of the border, of racial identity, ethnic identity is greatly confused and mixed there. Is there one single American identity that you find as people come in to the American experience they adopt? That they immediately say, ‘oh, I’m going to check either non-white hispanic on that box?’ Or do they check white, do they check black, do they check Indian? What happens? Vélez-Ibáñez: Depends whether you’re thinking about it internally or whether you’re checking a box for the Census Bureau. The notion of being hispanic was instituted during the nixon administration, so it’s a category from outside the population. The whole region of northwest mexico and southwest united States has always been a region of multiple identities, not a single identity. People have been crossing back and forth since the 19th century and people have to understand that the united States is only 160 years old there. my father’s great-uncle saw the last mexican flag come down in 1853 in Tucson. So that’s a different reality, a different region in which we’ve always accepted the dynamic of the border region. A
On the case FOr ethnic stUdies
Vélez-Ibáñez: Chicano studies and the rest, African-American studies and so on, were necessary because we were left out totally. And the history that was being told was the single prism, the single kind of eastern (uS) prism of the way the world works. If and when the time comes that history departments have integrated—and I’m not talking at the university level—that knowledge base within the departments of history, within the departments of english, or in interdisciplinary departments, then there’s not going to be a need, per se, for programs like the ones I founded.
On twO americas
Touré: I think that the ability for us to exist as one America is at stake. We are very much two Americas separate and unequal, and [the shooting of Trayvon martin, an unarmed black teenager, by George Zimmerman, a hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer] is bringing it up from under the rug that this is true, that this is happening, that we feel entirely different about this case, that we are angry, that this is happening and continues to happen to our young boys. not all white people but many white people are saying, ‘Why aren’t you dealing with black on black crime? Deal with your own problems, why are you so angry about this?’ It is a scar on the American soul and an extraordinarily important moment in American history, and some people are not even recognizing that.
On engaging with america
Touré: Part of what I’m talking about in my book is that Black Americans really need to deal in an emotional relationship with America. So many people say ‘I’m a new yorker, I’m from Atlanta, new Orleans,’ but their emotional relationship with America is very strained. They don’t really want to call themselves American. Sometimes we do sort of a strange protest like we don’t vote because they think, ‘whoa, the system doesn’t
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ennIS GReAT and founder of the Women’s Tennis Association and Women’s Sports Foundation Billie Jean King received the Institute’s second annual Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership in new york City in november 2011. During the program, she spoke with sports columnist and commentator Christine Brennan about gender equality, social change, and teachable moments on and off the court.
Christine Brennan: September 20, 1973: the day Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs. It was the first time I had ever seen a woman beat a man at anything. You’re in the Astrodome, the match is about to start. What are you thinking? Billie Jean King: The women’s tour was only in its third year in 1973. It was the height of the women’s movement. A woman could not get a credit card on her own without a male signing. Vietnam was cooling down, Watergate was heating up. It was a very tumultuous time. Title IX had been passed June 23, 1972, which was very important to me at the time and to many of us, and I really wanted to start changing hearts and minds to match up with that. I wanted men and women to help each other. I thought about history. I thought about how can this be a positive experience? how can I make a change? how can I make a difference that will make people want to help each other? I thought what the consequences could be if I lost. I thought we could lose our women’s professional tour. I thought we’d go backwards in many, many ways from a cultural point of view. I thought if I could win women would believe in themselves more—that 70
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maybe men would look at us a little differently, that they would just start thinking differently. Brennan: There was such a push for equality where other sports still don’t have what you were doing back a generation ago. King: my generation made a huge push to mentor. The ones who really started women’s professional tennis knew we had to mentor the future, and I always wanted to try to keep the generations connected. We spent an extraordinary amount of time with martina navratilova and Chris evert, and we said to them, “you have to spend the time that we’re giving you with the next generation.” usually by the third generation it becomes a “me” generation instead of a “we” generation. Brennan: You are such a role model and such an icon for women even as you have worked so hard to have the genders together in so many ways. What are your thoughts at this point on the advancement of women? King: you have to see it to be it. you need role models. you need people who achieve things, and all across the board.
Brennan: So how are we doing? King: Whether it is science, technology, engineering, whatever—if you don’t see enough people who look like you, then you don’t think you have a chance. It’s very important that we make that possible, and women are very far behind still in engineering. Audience Question: I’m curious about the potential new young Americans we can root for in tennis. There don’t seem to be very many. Why? King: Sports are a microcosm of society. nothing’s happened to our tennis or our sports in competition with the rest of the world. I didn’t have to compete with the rest of the world as a player. We didn’t compete against the rest of the world. now we have to be able to compete against everybody and the rest of the world. Brennan: Should we be finding and identifying young talent? King: here’s my mantra: when a child signs up for tennis, he or she is put on a team immediately, the very first moment. I remember the first time I ever played tennis or went and got instruction, and it changed my life. I want to make that kind of impact on a child. I’d put them on a team, I’d put the children in a circle, I’d say you name your team. The socialization process starts immediately with the children. now they’re equal, because I put them in a circle because it’s equal, and then I say what do you want to name your team? And they name the team, and I’d have the children do everything as a team. Audience Question: You’ve been very outspoken for LGBT rights. You’ve made a huge difference, and I want to thank you. King: I grew up in a homophobic family, so I was very homophobic myself. I was afraid. It wasn’t that I was ever against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgenders. I was always for them, but I was scared. But any time something is shame-based, as all of us know, it doesn’t work. Something’s not right. I had an eating disorder, and I was really in a bad way when I was about 50, 51. I wasn’t getting it right, and I finally went to the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia, where they
have an eating disorder place, and I remember walking across this line in the asphalt, and I just remember thinking, “When I step over this line I’m going to surrender, because I have to get well. I have to get comfortable in my own skin. Somehow I have to get there.” And that was the greatest thing that ever happened to me because I just surrendered, and we had group therapy on the hour by the hour. my therapist said something to me that changed everything. She said, “When are you going to take your power back?” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “you’ve given all your power to your parents and to everybody else.” That was a teachable moment. I must have been finally open to what I needed to do, because she zinged right in there, and that changed my whole life. Finally, at 51 years of age I took my power. It was a really long, hard process for most of my life. I’m 68 now and only got comfortable when I was 51. It was really an amazing journey, so how can I not try to help someone else be more comfortable in their own skin, and why can’t our LGBT community be protected as much as anybody else in our community? A
“I thought if I could win women would believe in themselves more—that maybe men would look at us a little differently, that they would just start thinking differently.”
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Where Economics and Diplomacy Meet
eCReTARy OF STATe Hillary Rodham Clinton highlighted the importance of innovation in the global arena at a discussion with PBS newshour executive editor and anchor Jim Lehrer convened by the Institute, Intel Corporation, and PBS newshour.
Jim Lehrer: In October 2011 you made a speech about the economy and said, “Our foreign and economic relationship remains indivisible, only now our great challenge is not deterring any single military foe, but advancing our global leadership at a time when power is more often measured and exercised in economic terms.” Explain what you mean. Hillary Clinton: If we didn’t know already, the events of 2008 should have taught us that we are living at a time when the forces of the global economy are going to, perhaps more dramatically than previous times in history, shape how the world is organized; who is leading it and for what purposes; and the role and place of the united States. What we’ve tried to do in the State Department is to demonstrate clearly that economic statecraft is an essential part of American diplomacy, and we want to use all of the tools and the forces of the global economy harnessed with our diplomacy on behalf of America’s interest and values and on behalf of the job creation that we need here at home. Our goal is to firmly anchor economic work and not just a traditional State Department role of commercial diplomacy, which has been around a long time. We have thousands of economic officers around the world, three hundred people here in the State Department. We do business investment trading, open sky agreements, lots of advocacy on behalf of American business. But we need to really look at the global economy now, to understand how we are going to influence and to an extent manage it in furtherance
of global prosperity, American economic leadership, job growth, and all the other goals we seek. Lehrer: How does innovation in a global marketplace fit into the foreign policy world of today as a practical matter? Clinton: We now have tools through the World Trade Organization to deal with some of the economic challenges and distortions coming from the Russian economy. China is now going to have to come to grips with being a responsible stakeholder in the global economy as well as in the traditional area for economic statecraft. In Iran, we are using economic sanctions to try to influence their behavior. In South Sudan, the economic developments are as important as political development. you could go on and on. What we are trying to do is more firmly embed these issues within the State Department. We have put into one place the work we do on the economy, the work we do on energy, and the work we do on the environment because they are all interconnected, and we are looking for new ways to innovate. We are bringing businesses and investors together to try to explore what new, innovative ways we can think about growing our own economy here at home, creating jobs for Americans and creating an environment around the world where it’s a much more even playing field, where our companies, our workers are not from the get-go disadvantaged. But we are also looking for ways to do what we have historically done more effectively. We are asking people around the world how do we get more informaSUMMER 2012
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tion about rainfall or irrigation or drought and seeds that can survive to poor, small stakeholder farmers in Africa and Asia. how do we try to keep babies alive when they are born in very difficult situations, when the nearest hospital is a long way away? What can we do to innovate to create a kind of package of interventions that is available in even the poorest community? There are lots of examples like that where innovation is mostly carried out by interacting with entrepreneurs. Inventors and scientists are all part of how we see our mission now. Lehrer: When you made the decision to criticize what was going on in the Russian election, did you consider the possible fallout that would have economically and otherwise with the United States’ ongoing relationships with Russia? Clinton: you always take all of that into account, and there might be times when our criticism is private and other times when it’s public; when it’s a one-off and other times when it’s persistent, because you’re always trying to calibrate what will work. I’m not into just criticizing for the sake of criticizing. you are trying to give voice to and support to people who are standing up for values that are important. But to link your point in a way directly to the economy, I think the evidence proves and we certainly believe that middle-class people, societies that have upward mobility, the opportunity for entrepreneurs to start businesses, grow those businesses, create jobs and wealth— all of that is in America’s interest. And when the government is either heavy-handed, or largely the economy of a country is driven through stateowned enterprises, that disadvantages our businesses and by extension our workers, our investors, our people. Or if you have oligarchs that control so much of the wealth, that it is difficult for people with a good idea in their own country to be able to break through to start that business, that doesn’t add to the intellectual property of the entire world or create additional opportunities for our investments. Lehrer: Is China a competitor? Is it an enemy, a collaborator, a friend, or what? Describe it. Clinton: We describe our relationship, and I think it is accurate at this point in time, as a positive one, a cooperative one, and a compreSUMMER 2012
hensive one. That doesn’t mean we are also not competitors in the economic field and for political influence. That goes with the territory. We compete with countries all over the world on a range of issues. But what we have tried to do is to be very clear that we want a positive relationship with China. We do not begrudge or fear a peaceful rise of China. We think that is in the interest of the Chinese people and a remarkable story of economic growth over the last thirty years. We also think that it’s in our interest as well. We want to have a positive relationship. At the same time, though, countries go through phases like individuals do. China is off and running. They have developed a strong economic engine for growth that is not only benefiting the Chinese people but also having quite dramatic effects elsewhere in the world. Their hunt for natural resources is almost inexhaustible because of their population and the rising expectations of their people. There are ways to do that that will be sustainable, and ways to do it better, and so we engaged with the Chinese, as we do with others around the world. Let’s work together in the global community to try to be more responsible. There are many issues under the umbrella of the strategic and economic dialogue that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and I jointly chair. We have working groups on a vast array of subjects that don’t break into the headlines but are advancing science and technology cooperation. But we also have differences, as we do with even our closest friends. Lehrer: One of the main things the United States has always contributed to the world and does to this day are ideas. We are an idea society, and China is stealing them, and it all comes under the term “intellectual property.” What are you doing about that? Clinton: We are looking for leverage points, these new rules of the road to protect intellectual property, to tighten up our own controls so that we don’t see the leakage or the theft of intellectual property. But, again, on the scale that this is occurring it is quite large, but it’s not a new problem. Americans have faced intellectual property challenges and outright espionage from other countries and business people in many places. But the scale of this is different and the control over the economy, because you are not dealing with a free-market economy. you’re dealing with a still very government-controlled economic
“Our goal is to firmly anchor economic work and not just a traditional State Department role of commercial diplomacy, which has been around a long time.”
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system, which means that you have different challenges in trying to compete in China. When China was opening up they were very welcoming, and American businesses took advantage of that. now they are trying to say to themselves okay, we want to do this ourselves now, and we think we have advanced to the point where we can begin doing this, so what’s the shortcut, and we see it. We see the shortcuts being taken, and it’s deeply distressing. It would be one thing if you were competing against another business doing that, but you basically have the whole Chinese trade and governmental apparatus that you have to deal with. So we have to come to the defense of and champion our businesses in fighting this out on a case-by-case basis, but we also have to begin to move China along with others to accept new global rules about how we are going to protect global intellectual property. Lehrer: Some say China has yet to come to grips with accepting its leadership responsibilities. Clinton: That’s one of the arguments we’re making on an almost daily basis. Lehrer: And how do you make that argument? Who do you say it to? Clinton: We say it at the highest levels of the Chinese government in our constant interactions with them. you can imagine the ambivalence of the Chinese, because they look at what they have accomplished in thirty years, and they see how much more they have yet to do. They see still the lack of development in many parts of the countryside, the problems they think they might run into, unemployment as their wages naturally rise, and then even Chinese businesses start to look elsewhere for cheaper labor. They are trying to manage a galloping horse, so to speak, and we come in and say you are now the second largest economy in the world. your growth trajectory is still incredibly fast and high. you are influencing what is going on, and you need to be more thoughtful about that. you need to engage in a more responsible leadership role. This is not a conversation that’s by any means over. It’s an ongoing conversation. We have engaged the Chinese in talking about their business and development practices in places like Africa and South America. We’ve talked to them about water management, demining rivers that can dramatically affect their neighbors, and we have a long list of what we talk to them about under the rubric of responsible leadership. Lehrer: The Arab Spring: What have been the economic consequences for the United States from that? Clinton: Our emphasis has been how do we support their democratic aspirations and how do we ensure that the economic aspirations are married to that, because in all of these transitions people expect change immediately. They expect a better job, they expect a rise in income, they expect to have their business left alone by the many hands of government officials who are holding them out. And we know that if we can’t bring some economic progress, then we are not going to see the kind of institutional foundation for these changes that we want. Lehrer: Was what Newt Gingrich said about the “invented people” of Palestine helpful? Clinton: no, and I think he recognized that from what I read. I think he realized that was one of those “innovative” moments that happen in politics. Lehrer: How would you summarize the accomplishments and meaning of the Iraq war? Clinton: It is a functioning state. It has a democratically elected leadership. It is able to protect its own internal security mostly, although they face a lot of challenges. And there is a great commitment to investment and trade that they have made. So the agenda is a good agenda. Translating it into the hard daily work of setting up for government ministries that actually function in a productive way, of opening up to businesses— that’s going to take time. They are moving in the right direction. We just have to keep doing everything we can to keep them on that path. Lehrer: Was it worth the cost in US lives and resources? Clinton: That will be a retrospective for historians, but the Iraqi people now have a chance to chart their own future, which they didn’t have before. A
“We are living at a time when the forces of the global economy are going to, perhaps more dramatically than previous times in history, shape how the world is organized, who is leading it and for what purposes, and the role and place of the United States.”
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The Health of a Nation
ITh heALTh CARe and the Supreme Court’s pending decision on the future of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act dominating headlines, a panel at the Institute’s inaugural new york Ideas Festival on health policy was especially prescient. Former Assistant to President Obama and Director of the White house Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes; Chairman, President and Chief executive Officer of Blue Shield of California Bruce Bodaken; and Acting Director of the new America Foundation’s health Policy Program Shannon Brownlee talked with the Institute’s executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs Elliot Gerson about how the system might be fixed.
Gerson: Let’s take a minute at least on the health care implications of the [pending] Supreme Court decision [on the Affordable Care Act]… Bruce, as a major player in insurance markets, what will happen if the individual mandate is struck down, but not the other insurance market reforms that are part of the act, such as the guaranteed issue dealing with pre-existing conditions? Bodaken: We introduced the universal Coverage Plan in 2002, very early on, many similarities to the Affordable Care Act (or ACA). But at the heart of it was the individual mandate. And the reason for that is that if people have the option of going in and out the door when they’re sick or when they’re well, the biggest concern, of course, are those people that are young and healthy. As I used to say, we need their money to make a pool that actually is diverse enough and funded well enough so that they’re in the pool for those of us who are a little bit older and need care. And so the fact is, if the individual mandate goes, I think we have a fundamental problem whether or not [our system] can be sustained over time. We’ve seen in Washington that that program had no individual mandate, had guaranteed issue, it failed. In new york, they have guaranteed issue, no individual mandate, prices are probably 30 percent higher than the rest of the country for that reason alone. So an economically sustainable program 76
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simply has to have a way in which, sick or well, we all have a responsibility to be part of the program. Gerson: What if the Supreme Court strikes down not just the individual mandate, but says that’s not severable from the other provisions of the act. What happens then? Bodaken: Well, we’re left with the very same problems that we started with when the president introduced the plan. It’s very clear, we’ve got 50 million people without insurance. not having insurance means you have much less access to health care, which means you have a lot less access to good health… Gerson: Melody, let’s just talk about that and try to understand how we got to this point. As Bruce just said, 50 million people don’t have insurance. Many more are underinsured. Almost all of us in this room, unless we’re fortunate enough to have Medicare, are one job loss away from having no insurance at all. Coming up to the 2008 election, there seemed to be widespread, even bipartisan support for health care reform. Economists of all stripes, many business leaders, were advocates for this. Now, two-thirds of Americans are against what its opponents have very brilliantly now called in the public mind Obamacare. What happened? Is this a messaging probSUMMER 2012
lem? Is it a political problem? Was it bad legislation? How did we get here? Barnes: I think there are a number of variables that have come together for this moment. I’m always struck by exactly what Bruce was talking about, what life looked like prior to the ACA. And I remember traveling around the country during the campaign, and I was in montana and michigan and north Carolina, Pennsylvania, all over, and a number of people raised this question themselves as a problem. And they’re business people and individuals and family members and government folks. So everyone recognized that there was a problem, and there was a rallying around or a consensus for the idea that we have a problem that needs to be fixed. But then the devil is always in the details and how people respond to those details, so the consensus around the how. And what we saw over that year-plus of debate was a back-and-forth, a protracted debate, with a very, very loyal opposition, not only to some of the ideas in the health reform bill, but also the idea that this president would have a significant domestic legislative victory, and [there was] a hardening on those lines. Because when you remember that in the individual mandate—which has now become the subject of so much discussion and is at the heart of the Supreme Court debate—was an idea that was actually founded in conservative ranks, during the time that the Clintons were trying to address this problem. So the heritage Foundation and others actually supported this idea that has now become public enemy number one for many conservatives. So, one, there was a political decision made to oppose this, but two, this is such a complex issue. you’ve got medicaid and medicare, and many people who benefit from those programs don’t even understand them and their relationship to government. Gerson: Shannon, you’ve written a great deal about the health care system and its size and complexity and the economic interests at stake. You’ve also suggested that really given the fundamental problem of escalating costs, what the Supreme Court does or doesn’t do really isn’t going to make much of a difference. It may be a disaster in the short run. But longterm, have we even begun to deal with the critical problems that we have?
Brownlee: Well, the ACA does start to deal with it, but we haven’t really dealt with it in its entirety and its enormity. health care is going to eat our lunch, basically. It accounts for about 20 percent of unemployment right now because of the drag that it exerts for private employers… It is eating into what states and federal government can devote, can allocate to other things that we value like education and defense. The federal government now spends more money on health care than it does on defense. That line was crossed last year. It is a remarkably inefficient and unproductive industry. The delivery side of health care is incredibly inefficient and unproductive. And we keep paying more and more and more money into this enormous industry. So we have to grapple with that, and it is a delivery-system problem. And by that I mean that we have to change the way we pay, and we have to change the way health care is delivered so that it’s better care, it’s more efficient care, it’s less wasteful care. Gerson: So why is it that we seem to have such a difficult time understanding or grappling with this? We keep hearing all the international statistics—how we spend much more, yet our outcomes aren’t any better. Bruce, do you agree with Shannon’s prescription and the size of this problem? Bodaken: Absolutely. This is the one area that science hasn’t penetrated yet. you know, I sit on the Institute of medicine board for what was [called] “evidence-based” care—now it’s “valueand science-driven” care—and we don’t bring evidence to bear like we do in other industries where we actually measure, where we actually know what quality looks like, and we won’t pay for something that is not high-quality. And for a variety of reasons, there are hundreds of entrenched constituencies in health care, and they’re not going to give up easily. So what we do need is, I think, both from a public policy standpoint and, frankly, from a patient accountability standpoint, we need to bring to bear what’s happening in the rest of the market, which is that we do have metrics that tell what quality looks like. And we’re changing our reimbursement system to pay for outcomes: not for the amount we do, but for the good that we do. A
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economic, and ethical issues. Convening a diverse network of representatives from all sectors for discussion, Aspen Institute Germany seeks to address the challenges of the 21st century in areas such as global economic change, technological advancement, international security, and emerging leaders.
spen Institute India promotes values-based leadership, open dialogue, and cross-sector outreach by engaging business, governments, nonprofits, and other stakeholders on issues related to India’s development. Focusing on India’s challenges, Aspen Institute India invites industrial, economic, financial, political, social, and cultural leaders to discuss these issues in settings that encourage frank and open dialogue. The Aspen Institute India organizes five types of programs:
Aspen Institute India 2P, Sector 31, Gurgaon, Haryana India 122001 firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspenindia.org
(1) Outreach Seminars to promote a deeper understanding of India’s complexities; (2) Policy Programs that seek to improve public- and private-sector policymaking; (3) Leadership Seminars that bring together small groups to explore fundamental truths through the Socratic method; (4) Ideas India in New Delhi, which brings together diverse sections of society to discuss issues of crucial importance to India; and (5) Strategic Dialogues to help bring India closer to other parts of the world.
spen Institute Italia is a leader in promoting enlightened dialogue in Europe and across the Atlantic, organizing a number of conferences, seminars, and roundtables each year on economics, business, politics, and security. Its quarterly journal, Aspenia, is read in Italy and abroad, and has been judged one of the best foreign affairs journals in the world. Aspen Italia conferences gather prominent figures in every field thanks to its more than 300 international board members.
Aspen Institute Italia Piazza dei SS. Apostoli, 49 00187 Rome, Italy email@example.com www.aspeninstitute.it
Aspen Italia focuses on the most important problems and challenges facing society in settings that encourage frank and open debate. The aim is not to reach unanimous agreement or to crank out reassuring conclusions, but to bring to light the complexity of our world. Aspen Italia is composed of a community of Sustaining Members, Ordinary Members, Friends of Aspen, and Aspen Junior Fellows.
spen Institute Romania launched in Bucharest in 2006, which coincided with the completion of Romania’s transition to a democratic and modern society and formal entry into the European Union. The Institutul focuses on the
Aspen Institute Romania 50, Plantelor Street (Mosilor area) Sector 2, Bucharest, Romania firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspeninstitute.ro
development of leadership networks and the promotion of democratic values, the rule of law, and economic efficiency. It hosts Executive Seminars, policy programs, and a Young Leaders Program.
ThE ASpEn IdEA
Aspen Institute Japan Harks Roppongi Bldg, 2 Fl. 15-21, Roppongi chome, Minato-City, Tokyo, Japan 106-0032 www.aspeninstitute.jp
spen Institute Japan is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing values-based leadership in contemporary society. Evolved from the Tokyo liaison office of the Aspen Institute and Aspen Institute Japan Council, AIJ was formally established in 1998. Its flagship program has been the Nippon Aspen Executive Seminars. The Institute offers three seminars annually, providing the leaders and future leaders of Japan with
reflective experiences through moderator-led dialogue based on extensive readings of texts from both classic and contemporary authors and from the Western and non-Western world. In addition to the seminars, the Institute offers other executive seminars tailored to the needs of national and local government officials and young business executives. It also organizes periodic lecture programs for the alumni of the seminars.
stablished in June 2012, the Aspen Institute Prague is a regional platform for policy innovation and non-partisan dialogue, with an operational focus in Central Europe. The activities of Aspen Prague are divided into leadership, policy, and public programs, with annual conferences, seminars, panel discussions, and publications targeting diverse
Aspen Institute Prague Palackého 740/1 110 00 Praguel, Czech Republic email@example.com www.aspenprague.cz
audiences. Aspen Prague will produce a quarterly journal, the Aspen Review, to be published in English, Polish, and Czech. Aspen Prague’s aim is to support our program participants in contributing to the economic, social, and cultural growth of the region in line with the Aspen Institute ethos of values-based leadership.
The Aspen Institute’s international partners—in Bucharest, Romania; Rome, Italy; Berlin, Germany; Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; New Delhi, India; Tokyo, Japan; and Prague, Czech Republic—conduct independently developed and supported programs, conferences, and seminars on region-specific issues, global challenges, and leadership development. Each partner works closely with the Institute to develop unique programming but also to stay true to a mission of values-based leadership and enlightened dialogue.
To learn more about the Institute’s international partners and programming, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ about/global-partners.
ThE ASpEn IdEA
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28th Annual Awards Dinner
Friends of the Institute came together at the Plaza Hotel in New York to celebrate reformers in education and highlight another year of accomplishments.
Editor, publisher, and businessman Mort Zuckerman with ABC News’ Barbara Walters
Wells Fargo Managing Director Jennifer Lee, UBS Managing Director and Institute Trustee Rod von Lipsey, and Institute Trustee Henrietta Holsman Fore
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, NewsCorp Education’s Joel Klein, Kaya Henderson, chancellor of DC Public Schools, and Institute CEO Walter Isaacson
Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, with Institute Trustees Leonard Lauder and Berl Bernhard
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and Institute Trustee Madeleine Albright, and dinner chair and Institute Trustee Mercedes Bass
McNulty Prize winner Dele Olojede gets a standing ovation
The White House Council for Community Solutions’ Nancy Rubin, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Institute Chairman Bob Steel
New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham with the Institute’s Cristal Logan
Institute Lifetime Trustee Lester Crown and his wife Renee Crown with their son Steve Crown
Institute Trustee Alan Fletcher with Ron Schiller
Institute Trustees Jane Harman and Michael Eisner
ThE ASpEn IdEA
journalist Dele Olojede the John P. McNulty Prize (awarded for an outstanding Aspen Global Leadership Network project) for NEXT, his hard-hitting Nigerian newspaper.
Institute Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty and McNulty Prize winner Dele Olojede
The McNulty family and special guests gathered to award
Institute Trustee Margot Pritzker (right) with Henry Crown Fellow Rosa Scarcelli
from around the globe came to Aspen in February for candid conversation, incisive ideas, and a bit of skiing at the Winter Socrates Seminar.
Socrates participants on the slopes
Socrates Program co-founder Laura Lauder with Institute Trustee Bill Budinger and Pascal Levensohn
The Institute’s Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs Elliot Gerson (right) with Zachary Crippen and Peter Lind
ThE ASpEn IdEA
Photography by Elena Olivio
The Institute, The Atlantic, and the New-York Historical Society brought together more than 450 people in New York City for vibrant discussions on the country’s critical policy issues.
New York Ideas
Atlantic Media Company Chairman David Bradley, Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, and Peter Godwin
Steven Brill, founder of The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV, with his wife, Cynthia, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Anne Jackson
The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin and New-York Historical Society President Louise Mirrer
Stephen Sheppard, Bryan Berkopec, and actress, playwright, and Institute Trustee Anna Deavere Smith
The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons, The Blackstone Group’s Peter G. Peterson, and Citigroup’s Peter Orszag
NPR national economics correspondent Marilyn Geewax and former SEIU President and Institute Lifetime Trustee Andy Stern
Institute Trustee Laurie Tisch reads an Aspen Idea magazine.
ThE ASpEn IdEA
© 2012 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved.
Building the future?
That’s what happens when we pitch in and help strengthen our community. Ernst & Young is proud to support the Aspen Ideas Festival for the eighth consecutive year. Building a better tomorrow really makes a difference.
3–6 Health, Biomedical Science and Society Initiative: Global Spa and Wellness Summit 2012
22–25 Energy and Environment Program: 5th Annual Aspen Environment Forum
12 Partners for a New Beginning: Fast Growth 25 Summit
25–27 Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation: Mid-America Foundation CEOs Seminar
12–15 Energy and Environment Program The Aspen Clean Energy Roundtable
5 Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation: Foundation Presidents’ Series with James Canales
27–July 3 8th Annual Aspen Ideas Festival
13–19 Justice and Society Seminar, Session II
6–8 Ascend Fellows Retreat
3–7 Energy and Environment Program: Aspen Energy Policy Forum
15–20 Aspen Global Leadership Network Alumni Seminar: Pursuing the Good Life
Ascend Fellows Forum
6–9 Education and Society Program: Aspen Urban Superintendents Network Retreat
5–8 Socrates Summer Seminars
16–20 Aspen Writers’ Foundation: Scribes and Scribblers: Session II
7 Socrates Program Dinner
18–21 SOF Symposia
8 Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series: David Westin’s Exit Interview
7–12 Education and Society Program: Education Summer Workshop
19–22 Energy and Environment Program The Forum on Global Energy, Economy and Security
8–14 Henry Crown Fellowship Program: Class of 2012
7–13 Justice and Society Seminar, Session I
20 McCloskey Speaker Series with Tina Brown
11 Partners for a New Beginning: Roundtable with Dr. Sania Nishtar
8–10 Communications and Society Program: Aspen Institute Dialogue on Diplomacy and Technology
21–27 Wye Faculty Seminar: Citizenship in the American and Global Polity
12–13 Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs: ANDE 2012 Metrics Conference
9–11 Business and Society Program: Thought Leaders Forum
22–24 Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation: Aspen Institute Children’s Forum
15 The Outlook and Cross Currents facing America with the 2012 Presidential, Congressional, and State Elections
9–13 Aspen Writers’ Foundation: Scribes and Scribblers: Session I
23 NEW VIEWS Documentaries Co–presented with Aspen Film
16–22 The Aspen Seminar
10 McCloskey Speaker Series “Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs”
23–27 Central America Leadership Initiative, Class VI
San Ramon, Costa Rica
17–22 Aspen Writers’ Foundation: Aspen Summer Words
11 “Conversations about the Constitution and the Courts”: Presented by the Justice and Society Program
25 McCloskey Speaker Series in collaboration with the Aspen Security Forum
The Aspen IdeA
25–28 Homeland Security Program: Aspen Security Forum
7–9 Aspen Strategy Group: China-Europe-US Trialogue
2–7 Aspen Global Leadership Network Leading in an Era of Globalization Seminar
29–31 Communications and Society Program: Roundtable on Institutional Innovation
8–13 Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2012
29–August 1 Business and Society Program: First Movers Fellowship Seminar I
10 Hurst Lecture Series The End of Illness
5–7 Business and Society Program: Inaugural Aspen Institute First Movers Reunion
30 NEW VIEWS Documentaries Co-presented with Aspen Film
11–17 The Aspen Seminar
8–18 Ascend: 2012 Aspen ThinkXChange
30–August 1 Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation: 2012 Aspen Philanthropy Group Meeting
12–15 Communications and Society Program: 27th Annual Conference on Communications Policy
12–16 Africa Leadership Initiative/South Africa, Class VIII
Spier, South Africa
31–August 3 Communications and Society Program: Roundtable on Information Technology
13 Hurst Lecture Series A Conversation with Jon Huntsman
16–21 Aspen Global Leadership Network Leading in an Era of Globalization Seminar
Spier, South Africa
1 McCloskey Speaker Series “A Conversation with Republican Governors”
NEW VIEWS Documentaries Co-presented with Aspen Film
19–20 Socrates Salon
New York, NY
14 McCloskey Speaker Series
22–24 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum
3–7 Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop
14–18 Henry Crown Fellowship Program, Class of 2010
1 Annual Awards Dinner
New York City
4 19th Annual Summer Celebration
15–16 SOF Symposium in collaboration with the Aspen Music Festival and School
2–3 Socrates Salon
New York, NY
5–8 Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS)
15–17 Policy Priorities for Manufacturing in the 21st Century
13–16 Business and Society Program: First Movers Fellowship Seminar II
5–8 SOF Symposia
18–24 The Aspen Seminar
6 NEW VIEWS Documentaries Co-presented with Aspen Film
13–18 Aspen Global Leadership Network Leading in an Era of Globalization Seminar
Dead Sea, Jordan
15–21 The Aspen Seminar
For updates and additions to the Institute’s ever-growing schedule of events, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ events.
7 McCloskey Speaker Series US Foreign Policy Challenges
21–23 Aspen Institute Italia Seminar
The Aspen IdeA
GET IN TOUCH WITH THE INSTITUTE
To sign up, please call Charlene Costello, (410) 820-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspeninstitute.org/seminars
To learn more, contact Azalea Millan at (202) 736-1495 or email@example.com or www.aspeninstitute.org/socrates
HENRY CROWN FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Henry Crown Fellowship Program Managing Director and Vice President Eric Motley, (202) 736-2900 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.aspeninstitute.org/crown
THE SOCIETY OF FELLOWS
Programming Director Patrick Kelly (970) 544-7924 or email@example.com; or www.aspeninstitute.org/sof
DONATIONS, SPECIAL EVENTS, AND BENEFITS
Please contact Special Projects and Development Associate Leah Bitounis at (202) 736-2289 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs Jim Spiegelman, (202) 736-3849 or email@example.com
HERITAGE SOCIETY ASPEN GLOBAL LEADERSHIP NETWORK
Deputy Director of Leadership Initiatives and Vice President Abigail Golden-Vazquez, (202) 736-2537 or firstname.lastname@example.org To learn more about planned giving opportunities, please call Patrick Kelly, (970) 544-7924, or visit www.aspeninstitute.org/heritagesociety
ROARING FORK VALLEY EVENTS AND COMMUNITY PROGRAMS
Community Outreach Director Cristal Logan, (970) 544-7929 or email@example.com
Headquarters Suite 700, One Dupont Circle, NW Washington, DC 20036-1133 (202) 736-5800 Aspen Campus 1000 North Third Street Aspen, CO 81611 (970) 925-7010 Wye River Campus 2010 Carmichael Road, P.O. Box 222 Queenstown, MD 21658 (410) 827-7168 New York Offices 477 Madison Avenue, Suite 730 New York, NY 10022 (212) 895-8000
ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL
Director of Public Programs and Vice President Kitty Boone, (970) 544-7926 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or www.aifestival.org
Vice President, Policy Programs Peggy Clark, (202) 736-1081 or email@example.com
The Aspen IdeA
July 25-28, 2012 • Aspen, Colorado
The forum will bring together top-level government officials, industry leaders, leading thinkers, noted journalists, and concerned citizens for three days of in-depth discussions on homeland security and counterterrorism at our Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, Colorado.
Special thanks to our 2011 sponsors:
A GT INTERNATIONAL
A For GT INTERNATIONAL more information: www.aspensecurityforum.org Contact: Josh Diamonstein, firstname.lastname@example.org
profiles in leadership
Five Questions for Ghassan Hasbani
Ghassan Hasbani is parlaying his years of experience with communications and technology into his new role as the CEO of International Operations for global powerhouse Saudi Telecom Company, heightening connectivity in previously underdeveloped markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. Here, the Aspen Global Leadership Network fellow reflects on the lessons he’s learned from his Middle East Leadership Initiative classmates, his definition of leadership, and the reading that has had the most profound impact on his life and work. What Aspen Global Leadership Network seminar text has influenced you the most? I was most influenced by Plato’s Republic, Book VII, because it helped me to see how we are all living in a metaphorical cave, with our realities being influenced only by what we know. Once we become aware of this, the challenge becomes leading others into the light. What is the most difficult leadership challenge you have faced, and how did you respond? I had to convene 100 top executives from different parts of the world and get them to commit to a common set of priorities. I did this without having direct authority over any of them, and just getting them to the table was a challenge. I proposed each company have one vote in a leaderless council in which they could opt in or out of each initiative. I was able to bring the opt-in rate from 20% to 100% in just six meetings. Everyone realized that though they might have to make some sacrifices they would benefit both themselves and the group as a whole by taking part. This showed me that human nature can be managed for the greater good. What constitutes true leadership to you? Leadership is the ability to leverage human nature towards 92
THE ASPEN IDEA
a greater good through a common clear vision, emphasizing the good sides of human nature and redirecting the negative towards the desired outcome. As a very simple example, people’s drive to compete and improve themselves, which is derived from a survival instinct, can be combined to achieve prosperity if steered with a clear vision and managed through the power of knowledge, patience, and persistence. How will your project contribute to a good society? My project will foster enlightened leadership by creating an academy that offers leadership seminars inspired by the Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellowship in the Middle East. As seminarians start creating change around them at a small scale individually, their collective change will impact the region on a large scale. What have your Middle East Leadership Initiative classmates taught you about leadership? I learned about the importance of accepting diversity and difference of opinion, especially in the Middle East, in order to achieve change and progress.
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