The Afternoon Conversation, held Wednesday before a sold-out audience at the Benedict Music Tent, is in many ways what the Aspen Ideas Festival is all about — an ongoing and interactive dialogue about what is happening in the world, in the United States and in our backyards today. This year, esteemed journalist Gwen Ifill led a Town Hall discussion on “The American Identity” with guests, left to right, Joseph Echevarria, Ai-jen Poo, Michelle Norris, Ashanti Branch, James Fallows and Elizabeth Alexander. The afternoon also included conversation between Aspen Institute president and CEO Walter Isaacson and distinguished guests such as Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, as well as engaging presentations by intellectuals including physics and math luminary Brian Greene.
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.