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Institute plans big birthday bash

Allyn Harvey

Who knows what Walter Paepcke was thinking 50 years ago when he established the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies?Is it possible he conceived an organization that would play a major role in treaty making? Did he think that future presidents and prime ministers would announce their intentions to crush an errant Mideast leader from the Institute’s West End campus?Could he have possibly conceived that the Great Books seminars established in 1951 under the tutelage of Mortimer Adler would be running stronger than ever in the year 2000? Quite possibly. The Aspen Institute 50th birthday bash begins this weekend, and as birthday parties go, this one fits the Institute to a T: A four-day symposium titled “Globalization and the Human Condition.” Paepcke probably couldn’t have come up with a better theme himself.Celebrants will hear speeches by ex-president Jimmy Carter and current World Bank president James Wolfensohn. They’ll attend panel discussions on topics that include “Globalization, Religion and Social Justice,” “Globalization and its Discontents,” “Globalization and the Rule of Law” and “Globalization and the Human Imagination.”The panelists are a literal who’s who list of “Who’s Who.” They include author and historian Stephen Ambrose, M.I.T. economics professor Lester Thurow, Harvard professor of aesthetics and the general theory of value Elaine Scarry, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, television newsman Jim Lehrer, Time Warner Inc. CEO Gerald Levin, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy, Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias. And that’s just to name a few.”The panel discussions are going to be very interesting,” says Institute president Elmer W. Johnson. “I met with each group via conference calls to see if the sparks would fly and they did.”The four-day event begins tomorrow afternoon and ends Tuesday evening. Tickets are still available by calling 544-7788 or by stopping by Paepcke auditorium all day today or Saturday morning.Saturday1 p.m. – Welcome & Introduction of Conference: Henry Catto and Elmer Johnson1:15 – Understanding Globalization: David Gergen, moderator. Panelists: Bill Joy, Gerald Levin, Jessica Matthews, Joseph Nye, and Olara Otunnu6:30 – Plenary Address: James Wolfensohn with introduction by Lester Crown7:30 – Fiftieth Anniversary Gala Dinner and Dance: (restricted to Gala Dinner Ticket holders)Sunday9 a.m. – Globalization, Religion and Social Justice: Opening Remarks by Father Bryan Hehir. Panelists: Helena Cobban, Rabbi Irwin Kula, Weiming Tu, and Garry WillsNoon – Globalization and Its Discontents: Betty Sue Flowers, moderator. Panelists: Norman Augustine, Georges Berthoin, Nayan Chanda, Herman Daly, and Lester Thurow4 p.m. – Aspen Music Festival Concert7:30 – A Dialogue: Globalization and its Discontents: Introduction by David Gergen Speakers: Thomas Friedman and Michael SandelMonday8:30 a.m. – Peace, Global Security, and Human Rights: Introduction by William Mayer. Opening Address by Oscar Arias. David Gergen, moderator. Panelists: Oscar Arias, Sissela Bok, Jean-Marie Guehenno, Joseph Nye, and Mary Robinson1 p.m. – Globalization and the Rule of Law: David Gergen, moderator. Panelists: Derek Bok, Gerhard Casper, Ira Millstein, Saskia Sassen, and Cass Sunstein2:45 – Science, Technology, and Globalization: Opening Address by Jessica Mathews, who is also the moderator. Panelists: James Barskdale, John Seely Brown, Neil Jacobstein, and Patrick Whitney4:15 p.m. – Science, Technology, and the Natural Environment: Jessica Mathews, moderator. Panelists: Bruce Babbitt, Ged Davis, Sylvia Earle, Murray Gell-Mann, and Tim WirthTuesday8:15 a.m. – Globalization, Culture, and Civilization: Introduction by Ann McLaughlin. Opening Address by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan. Betty Sue Flowers, moderator. Panelists: Martha Nussbaum, Robert Putnam, Richard Rodriguez, Richard Sennett, and Joan Williams10:15 – Globalization and the Human Imagination: Don Miller, moderator. Panelists: Stephen Ambrose, James Billington, J. Carter Brown, Don Miller, Elaine Scarry, and Shashi Tharoor12:15 p.m. – Concluding Address and Passing the Torch: Introduction by Sidney Harmon. Concluding Address by President Jimmy Carter12:45 – Q&A with Jimmy Carter and Selected Aspen Alumni: David Gergen, moderator. Aspen Alumni: Suzanne Nora Johnson, Michael Powell, Iqbal Quadir, and Peter Reiling


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