‘Powering the Future’: Where the ideas for Aspen Ideas Festival come from | AspenTimes.com

‘Powering the Future’: Where the ideas for Aspen Ideas Festival come from

Staff report
Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks during a tribute to Madeleine K. Albright as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2022.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

Editor’s note: This is the second of a series about the Aspen Ideas Festival’s themes and the thought behind them.

Have you ever wondered how the programming is put together for the Aspen Ideas Festival? The organizers of the festival explain in a blog: aspenideas.org/articles/how-we-build-the-aspen-ideas-festival. Here, we’re serving up slices by the theme.

The blog posted Tuesday delves into this year’s themes to give a behind-the-scenes look at how they create the program tracks that will guide seven days with some 300 speakers, 150 sessions, and 3,000 attendees.

The themes this summer: “Age of Uncertainty: Imagining a New World Order,” “The Mind,” “Powering the Future,” “The Edge of Intelligence,” “Driving the Economy Forward,” and “We the People.” 

These themes change every year in response to the news of the world, the emerging challenges local and global, as well as inspiring the cutting-edge ideas.

Powering the Future

“A typical global greenhous-gas pie chart will show that energy production is the biggest contributor to emissions. We’re taking a closer look at technology that holds great promise for getting carbon out of the electric grid and out of our industrial processes.

“Plus — in partnership with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, we’ll take people outside to learn about local ecosystems on a tour under the towering peaks of the Maroon Bells. Attendees will also get the opportunity to walk along the burn scar of a recent wildfire and take tree-core samples to see how a changing climate affects forest health.”

What we’re consuming

The Age of Energy Insecurity, Foreign Affairs

The Ten Most Innovative Energy Companies in 2022, Fast Company

Is Hydrogen Our Energy Future?, PBS

The Mining Industry’s Next Frontier is Deep, Deep Under the Sea, WIRED

Why America’s Founders Worried About Climate Change, The Wall Street Journal

Biden Administration Proposes Evenly Cutting Water Allotments From Colorado River, The New York Times

Questions we’re grappling with

What does the latest climate science tell us about how fast we need to transition away from fossil fuels?

How will the developing world adopt new low-carbon technologies given the costs and other challenges it faces? 

Is there a chance that climate hysteria is overblown? 

How will geopolitical ties with countries like China and Russia impact the world’s ability to meet climate targets?


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