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Aspen Institute’s big week in full swing

Eben Harrell
Special to The Aspen Times

The Aspen Institute’s annual summer celebration culminates this weekend with a series of high-profile events and public lectures.

The weeklong celebration began Monday with Fortune magazine’s third annual Brainstorm 2003, a conference which brought together more than 200 business and policy leaders for dialogue about current issues in business and international affairs.

Bringing the conference to Aspen was the idea of Institute President Walter Isaacson. He is the former CEO of the CNN News Group, a division of AOL Time Warner, the media giant which owns Fortune magazine.

On Thursday, the Institute will hold a similar panel discussion, moderated by Isaacson, entitled “America and the World.” The panel includes several high-profile guest speakers, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who resigned over the handling of the Iraq war.

On Friday, a panel of experts in theater and play-writing will hold a free public discussion exploring Thornton Wilder’s role in shaping the concept of the Aspen Idea. Wilder played a significant role in the Goethe Convocation in 1949, the event which led to the founding of The Aspen Institute and the cultural renaissance of Aspen.

The celebration culminates on Saturday with a public lecture by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Tickets are $10 for the talk, which will address one of the most contentious legal issues of the day: the balance between national security interests and civil liberties.

Afterward, Breyer will receive the 2003 Aspen Institute Public Service Award. The award is bestowed upon an individual whom the Institute believes best exemplifies the values of democracy, both professionally and personally. A dinner is also planned at $275 per person.

This is the 10th summer the Institute has designated a week to bring its trustees and benefactors together in Aspen. The week typically attracts renowned experts in politics and business, and is an opportunity for the organization to showcase its prominence in business and international affairs.

“Summer is our busiest season to begin with, so it makes sense to create a special week of programs available both to the public and to our membership,” said Jim Spiegelman, the Institute’s director of communications. “The events of our summer celebration reflect the Institute’s vital mission to promote leadership based on values.”

For more information on the week’s events, call 544-7929


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