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The Aspen Institute and the Atlantic Announce 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival

Exploring Ideas That Work

The Aspen Institute and the Atlantic Announce 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival

Exploring Ideas That Work

Published 05-26-09

Submitted by Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, May 26, 2009 -- The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic announce their fifth annual celebration of ideas with the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival. From June 29 - July 5 in Aspen, Colorado, more than 175 leaders from the fields of arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics and politics will speak about "ideas that work"-describing and discussing proven, innovative solutions to challenging problems. Contributing their provocative perspectives, these presenters will engage the festival audience of nearly 2,000, as well as those following the festival online, in a deep and inquisitive public discourse on the most invigorating ideas and issues facing the world today.

Speakers currently confirmed to attend include US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Google CEO Eric Schmidt; Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry; US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and former colleague Sandra Day O'Connor; British Ambassador to the United States Nigel Sheinwald; former US Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, and Madeleine Albright; former McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin; former Hillary Clinton campaign senior strategist Mark Penn; DC Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee; former US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff; economist Hernando de Soto; neuroscientist Antonio Damasio; Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Washington Post Media CEO Katharine Weymouth; former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan; and photorealist painter Chuck Close, who will also serve as the Institute's 2009 Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence. Alongside leading journalists such as Andrea Mitchell, Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, Maria Bartiromo, James Fallows, Michael Kinsley, Andrew Sullivan, David Brooks, and Linda Wertheimer, presenters will discuss their ideas in plenary sessions, tutorials, and other sessions on program tracks including Rebuilding the American Economy; Media Crack-Up; World Affairs and the Global Economy; Managing Planet Earth; Arts and Culture; Living Digitally; The Middle East; and Innovations in Education.

"What's exciting about the Aspen Ideas Festival is the convening of truly remarkable minds across so many disciplines," said Kitty Boone, Vice President, Public Programs at the Aspen Institute. "Our hope is that people on and off our campus, in person and online, will be spellbound by both the issues and the solutions that are presented here - we have a wonderful opportunity to share sheer genius and at the same time, offer intelligent solutions to some of our most pressing problems."

The Atlantic will extend the dialogue from Aspen to a global audience with a six week-long Ideas Special Report at Running from June 16 to July 24, content will include one-on-one video interviews with Aspen Ideas Festival speakers, an ongoing Idea Blog and an Idea of the Day. The Ideas Special Report coincides with July/August Ideas issue of The Atlantic in print and online, focused on "Ideas to Save the World." Additionally, daily video highlights from the Ideas Festival will be posted at, and event updates will be featured at and

"The Ideas Festival provides a great forum for the latest thinking about our rapidly-changing political, economic and cultural landscape, and for debate about how to turn that thinking into action," said James Bennet, editor of The Atlantic. "We're thrilled to tap the shared strengths of the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic to help shape the week's conversation."

For a list of currently confirmed speakers, program tracks, and passholder information, please visit Sponsors for the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival include Altria, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, Philips, Shell, and Thomson Reuters.

About 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, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, CO, and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About The Atlantic
Since 1857, The Atlantic has played a central role in shaping the national debate on current affairs and cultural trends. Dedicated to bold, independent, diverse, and highly reasoned perspectives, its writers, bloggers, and critics represent the best in American journalism. The Atlantic's award-winning commentary and coverage can be found in its magazine, on its website at, and at 100+ events a year produced by its industry-leading events division, Atlantic LIVE.

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Aspen Institute

Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @AspenInstitute.

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