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

‘The Mind’: Where the ideas for Aspen Ideas Festival come from

Staff report
Then-Vice President Joe Biden in a lighter moment with then-Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson at Aspen Ideas Festival in 2016.
Dan Bayer, Aspen Institute/Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: This is the third 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 on 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.

The Mind

From the blog: “We’re living in what’s been called the golden age of neuroscience. What does this mean for human thriving? We’ll explore how biology is being integrated with technology in unprecedented ways; the science of creativity and consciousness; nervous system hacks for better living; and tips for navigating mental health when our minds work against us.

“Plus — Dan Harris, founder of 10% Happier and author of “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics,” will guide attendees in a meditation workshop.”

What we’re consuming

What SuperAgers show us about longevity, cognitive health as we age, The Washington Post

Opinion: Provide a résumé, cover letter, and access to your brain? The creepy race to read workers’ minds, LA Times

Are brain implants the future of computing?, The Economist

A groundbreaking scientific discovery shows that we can reverse death, Popular Mechanics

Why you don’t feel like creating today, Science of Creativity

What alcohol does to your body, brain, and health, Huberman Lab

Being You: A new science of consciousness, TED

Questions we’re grappling with

As big tech influences nearly every aspect of our lives, what do we need to know about cognitive liberty?

What are the latest breakthroughs in improving brain function as we age, and how much difference does lifestyle make?

What do advances in brain computer interfaces (BCIs) portend for the general population?

A mental-health crisis is gripping our youth — how do we help?

Can we use science to unlock creativity?

How might we harness emotional responses like stress and anxiety to enhance our lives rather than hinder them?