Live from the Aspen Ideas Festival: Aspen Ideas Festival Opens with Haiku and Big Ideas
The opening session featured big ideas from more than a dozen of the Festival’s speakers, and Smith got the ball rolling.
“One hundred forty characters is OK if you’re verbose,” quipped Smith, who proceeded to rattle off his six big ideas in only 17 syllables each:
“Chinese bloom or frost? / Which will the Red groundhog see? / Ni hao, Mr. Xi.”
“Downturn or bubble? / Economy: confusing / As a CDO”
“Institutions fail! / Global systems under strain. / And no DSK…”
“Unreliable / And soon unavoidable. / See the future: cloud.”
“Poor warming globe! / Prevention time now long past. / Cry, adapt or flee.”
“US Politics In 8 words / jobs jobs jobs / Jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs”
Smith wrapped up his opening comments by urging participants to “put forth your ideas and smash them together.”
Aspen Institute president and CEO Walter Issacson then welcomed participants, saying “Festival comes from the word feast, and sometimes we need a feast of ideas … to give us joy.” He also pointed out that historically festivals are “an opportunity to bring different tribes together.”
Several of the speakers then shared their big ideas in less than three minutes each. Ideas focused on topics ranging from higher ed to race, the debt ceiling, addressing the societal effects of the Great Recession, impact investing, mom-ism and many more.
Watch some of the opening session and hear some of the big ideas here.