Aspen Ideas Festival

Heard around Aspen – July 2

We’re wrapping up another busy day at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Make sure to check out our full series of posts on this year’s event. Here are some of the most interesting, provocative and salient quotes we heard around Aspen:

“Every tweet is data that tells a story.” -Vivian Schiller, Head of News, Twitter

aspen ideas festival“We currently can select certain genetic traits for offspring, and we’re on the cusp of genetic modification.” -Nita A. Farahany, Professor of Law and Philosophy, Director of Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University

“Conservation does not limit economic growth” -Roger Sant, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, AES Corporation

“Making a customer happy is almost a spiritual experience. It gives you a sense of purpose.” -Sally Blount, Dean, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Data don’t move us, stories do. This is how to change minds on climate change or any issue.” -Neal Baer, Physician; Television Writer and Producer

“Tell client, ‘we want to work on your toughest problems,’ not ‘how much money can I take from you?'” -Horacio Rozanski, President and COO, Booz Allen Hamilton

“We have more slaves in the world today than ever in history: 30 million.” -Monique Villa, CEO, Thomson Reuters Foundation

“The ability to tell stories is frighteningly powerful” -Kendall Haven, Master Storyteller; Story Consultant; Author, Story Proof

On the Common Core: “It’s a huge change in a short time… but I feel this huge sense of urgency: our kids can’t wait.” -Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education

“It’s more important to be right than to be fast.” -Jim Bankoff, CEO, Vox Media


Aspen reflections – an aura of ideas

aspen ideas festival

Last week, I returned from the Aspen Ideas Festival where Thomson Reuters and our Foundation showcased a number of fascinating ideas and ideals for the world we live in. Thomson Reuters was well represented in Aspen and in good company among like-minded leaders and industry icons. I tried to explain the event to my father who was seeing my various updates via social media: “Imagine a town where everyone is highly influential and relaxed,” I explained, “but open and motivated to connect to new opportunities and ideas.”

Sitting in my office overlooking the hullabaloo of Times Square, I’m thinking back to this place, which may be my new favourite place in America, and its aura of ideas. A few reflections: (more…)

Trust, faith & confidence – panel tackles what we believe in (and don’t) and why it matters

Thomson Reuters TRust Index

Last week at the Aspen Ideas Festival, we offered a panel on Trust as the Currency of the New Economy moderated by Thomson Reuters Global Head of Regulatory Intelligence Scott McCleskey and expert panelists

  • Peter Orszag, vice chairman of corporate and investment banking and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group at Citigroup, previously President Obama’s director of the Office of Management and Budget;
  • William Mayer, founder of Park Avenue Equity Partners, former president and chief executive officer of First Boston and chairman of the Aspen Institute from 2000 to 2008, currently on its Executive Committee;
  • James Coulter, co-founder and founding partner at TPG Capital, formerly with the Keystone Group, LP and Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb Inc.; and
  • Gillian Tett, markets and finance commentator, assistant editor of the Financial Times, previously U.S. managing editor and overseer of global coverage of the financial markets.

Based on our own Thomson Reuters TRust Index, the panel explored the topic of trust today and the panelists ranged across many sectors and many points of view in a meaningful conversation about one of the hottest issues of our time.

Among the most interesting opinions and comments: (more…)

Why TV is in a ‘golden age’

Kurt Andersen, host of public radio’s ”Studio 360,” tells Reuters Opinion Editor James Ledbetter that companies are producing great content and using new business models that spur different modes of consumption, all of which is propelling TV into one of its best phases. They spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival.


Powering Tomorrow panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival

"Powering Tomorrow" panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival

By Laura Gaze, Thomson Reuters

“Carbon emissions know no boundaries. The effects of global warming are extremely urgent. This is a human race epidemic.”

Chris Kibarian, president of Thomson Reuters IP & Science, led a panel of thought leaders at the Aspen Ideas Festival titled “Powering Tomorrow,” on the challenges effecting our transition to clean, renewable energy as a primary source powering our world. The panelists alongside Chris were Dr. Kristina Johnson, CEO of EnduringHydro; Michael Levi, author of “The Power Surge;” Mick Sawka, director of business development at Harvard University; and, Jeff Logan, senior energy analyst for the National Renewable Energy Lab. They focused on solar, wind, hydro and biofuels as the main renewable sources in their conversation.

The panel explored government policies, financing, competition, globalization and other important aspects related to this critical subject. One sentiment that was repeated by all panelists was that government policy pushing renewable use is a vital component of its adoption. However, and unfortunately, as Levi said, “The ‘pulse’ in Washington is the patient is dead.”


The new strategy to pass gun control

Dan Gross, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president, says the Manchin-Toomey background check legislation will return and he believes his group may have a good chance for success in the House. Rob Cox, global editor of Breakingviews, caught up with Dan at Aspen Ideas Festival.

Heard Around Aspen – July 2nd

aspen ideas festival

Today was the final day of Aspen Ideas Festival, and we heard from an awesome lineup of speakers. Here are some of the most interesting, provocative and salient quotes we heard around Aspen today:

“If you are competing with a bigger competitor, it’s important to make people smile.” – Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, Ltd.

“Humans learn more in the first five years than they do in any other five, and they do it for the pure joy of learning.” – Dr. Andrew N. Meltzoff, co-director of the Institute for learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington

“We are a generation of women who were told we could be anything, but we heard that we have to be everything.” – Courtney E. Martin, author, blogger and speaker

“This week we’ve seen a hopeful reemergence of empathy for others.” – Fred Dust, partner at IDEO

“It’s not about donating to charity – it’s about your money going to the right place and making transformational change.” – Annie Lennox, singer, songwriter and a tireless campaigner on the issue of HIV/AIDS

“Data is where it’s at. Figuring out where we are and where we can go.” – Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control

“We need something disruptive to fix education. We can’t just measure the failure because we all know we’re failing.” – Arianna Huffington, chair, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group

“Leadership is about listening; listening is a sign of respect and the basis of dignity.” – Thomas L. Friedman, internationally renowned author, reporter and columnist

“There’s no guarantee in this world you get your way. That’s why people need to learn civics.” – Justice Stephen Breyer, United States Supreme Court



Eli Broad on education, L.A.’s downtown revival and gun control

Entrepreneur Eli Broad says the money he’s putting into education reform is working in cities across the nation. He also praises the changes in downtown Los Angeles and says he believes gun control still has a chance of succeeding in Congress. Hear more of what he had to say in this interview at Aspen Ideas Festival with Rob Cox, editor, Reuters Breakingviews.

Justice Kagan calls surveillance cases ‘growth industry’

Speaking late Saturday afternoon at the Aspen Ideas Festival, U.S Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was every bit as diplomatic as you would expect a woman who has survived the Senate confirmation process to be. Chief Justice John Roberts? “A great chief justice,” who faces the “tall order (of) trying to forge agreement” on a court whose members traditionally treasure the right to go their own way. Justice Clarence Thomas? “I enjoy him enormously. He’s a justice with incredible integrity and a very principled one,” Kagan said. “We disagree on a lot of stuff and we’re going to disagree on a lot of stuff but I enjoy every moment I spend with him.”
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And Justice Antonin Scalia, whose opinion in American Express v. Italian Colors was very dc hoodies? The justice told her interviewer, George Washington University law professor and New Republic legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen, that she and Scalia go hunting together a few times a year, a tradition that began when she promised one senator before the confirmation vote that even though she hadn’t held a gun – as a native of New York’s Upper West Side, she said, “that just wasn’t what we did” – she’d ask Scalia to take her out shooting. When she joined the court, she told Scalia that this was the single promise she had made in the confirmation process. “He thought it was hilarious,” she said. On their most recent trip, to Wyoming, Kagan shot a deer. (Kagan seemed quite proud of her prowess but the audience wasn’t as enthusiastic.)
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A one-way ticket to the Sun

NASA will launch a probe to orbit and study the Sun, hoping to learn ways to predict solar flares that could fry satellites and wipe out the U.S. power grid. Smithsonian astrophysicist Justin Kasper is one of the team’s leaders, and he sat down with Reuters at the Aspen Ideas Festival to talk about the mission.