Aspen Ideas

5 Can't Miss Events at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival

Be a part of these timely discussions.

By Aspen Sojourner Staff June 27, 2018

With the Aspen Ideas Festival in full swing and Festival 2 (aka the final session for 2018) commencing this afternoon, now is the time to clear your schedule for a talk or several. Tickets are still available for all of these events and more, be sure to check the full schedule here. Get ready to challenge your mind. 

Yeethoven: How Kanye West and Beethoven Collide
8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, Hotel Jerome Ballroom
In case you're raising your eyebrows at the combination of these two artists, Yuga Cohler and Stephen "Johan" Feigenbaum make a compelling comparison in their orchestral concert by the same name. Here they'll discuss the similarities while accompanied by an eleven-piece classical ensemble to demonstrate their theories. From the catalog: "On his last two albums, Kanye West's music departed dramatically from traditional pop song structures, launching into a more symphonic approach. Ludwig van Beethoven — similarly controversial in his time — wrought havoc on existing musical forms and alienated many in the process." $25,

What Is It Like to Be Inside the American Immigration System Today?
7:50 a.m., Thursday, June 28, Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Discussing immigration reform in Congress is one thing. Have you ever considered what it's like to actually live it? Listen in as Ismahan Abdullahi, Gaby Pacheco, and Jose Antonio Vargas delve into this challenging topic. From the catalog: "While Congress looks less and less likely to take on any meaningful move on comprehensive immigration reform, hundreds of thousands of people live in limbo every day. Many of them face daily trials, ranging from inconveniences to crippling uncertainty to, in some communities, hatred, and outright danger. What’s it like to be at the mercy of our immigration system today?" $45,

Reddit: The Most Human Place on the Internet?
Noon, Thursday, June 28, St. Regis Hotel Ballroom
The internet can be hailed as a great equalizer or something that highlights our aloneness. In this talk, you'll hear from Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, interviewed by Katie Couric, about how Reddit helps people connect. From the catalog: "Every major social platform has to wrestle with its influence on society and how its leaders’ decisions affect people. But one site that hasn’t made many headlines is Reddit, a network of hundreds of thousands of communities for people to connect across shared interests, in politics, jokes, hobbies, life struggles, and countless other topics. From new content policies to protecting user privacy, Reddit’s approach to human connection sets it apart from its peers." $55,

Intelligence Squared Debate: Globalization Has Undermined the American Working Class
5:30 p.m., Thursday, June 28, St. Regis Hotel Ballroom

This live debate amongst economics experts is your chance to be part of a live stream event that will also air on the Intelligence Squared podcast. From the catalog: "For its proponents, the global integration of states and their economies was a political and economic win that created a wealth of opportunities for workers and consumers around the world. But in the United States, jobs are disappearing in construction zones, clerical offices, and coal mines. Did the push toward global integration turn our most vulnerable populations into the losers of this grand experiment, or is globalization being used as a scapegoat for failed public policies and unprecedented advances in technology?" $25,

Free Radical: One Man's Journey Into and Out of America's Most Violent Hate Movement
5:30 p.m., Friday, June 29, Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Christian Picciolini is a former leader of America's neo-Nazi movement. Now he's tackling modern racism, hate and the growing alt-right social movement head on. From the catalog: "Shaken from his old ideologies by tragedy, he’s now a leading figure in de-radicalizing people away from violence-based ideologies through his writing, his Free Radicals Project, and a controversial new MSNBC docu-series, “Breaking Hate.” What is this phenomenon of white nationalism, where did it come from, can we counter it — and should we all be terrified?" $25,

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