Aspen Ideas Festival


While we were in Aspen, the HOTY and I had the opportunity to attend the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. How can an event named “Ideas Festival” be anything other than great?!?  I mean, really.

The festival engages its participants in a variety of programs, tutorials, seminars and discussion events that together are the ultimate in Mind Candy.  We were told to “think of it as a week-long summer university for the mind, with remarkable lectures and classes across a stimulating array of topics.”

The Ideas Festival brings together an incredible array of some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders of our time.  They come together from across the country and around the world to teach, speak, lead, question and answer.

The subjects covered during our time at the Ideas Festival include:

  • Our Digital Universe: Social Media, Mobile Media
  • Music on the Edge
  • Growing the US Economy
  • Frontiers of Medicine

If you ever have the opportunity to attend, seize it.  The Festival inspires, stimulates, motivates and exhilarates (Silver Lining!).

You all know how much I love quotes.  So, I thought that I would share this compilation of Mind Candy quotations from our time at the Ideas Festival. Whether you agree or disagree with them, I love the fact that most if not all are sure to get the noodle (i.e., Mind) working!


A Sampling of Thought Provoking Quotes from The Aspen Ideas Festival

“We’re not products of our environment; we’re products of our expectations.” —Wes Moore


“Every time we have a First Amendment case, I’m keenly aware that George Washington was not aware of the Internet or video games.” —Stephen Breyer


“The curves were my attempt over my career to humanize the inhumane boxes that buildings are.” —Frank Gehry


“I stepped on a broken bottle in my bare feet and got stitches, and that’s one of the better things that happened in the last two years.” —Austan Goolsbee


“What has happened in the Arab world is irreversible; for the first time in decades, Arabs don’t feel powerless.” —Marwan Muasher


“We need to have a new dialog between Israel and the world Jewry. The value of the Jewish world should be to preserve its values as a Jewish state.” —Tzipi Livni


“I’m never one to use the term ‘energy independence,’ because I never thought that was entirely possible.” —Shell President Marvin Odum


“Almost all Americans love someone who is a different religion from us.” —Robert Putnam


“The relationship between the US and Pakistan is like a marriage.  It’s a dysfunctional marriage, but both parties realize they need to stay together for the kids — the citizens of both countries.” —Thom Shanker


“The people who are most in need of an Arab Spring are Israelis and Palestinians.” —Thomas L. Friedman


“Orchestras and the arts are a microcosm of what’s happening in the world.” —Deborah Borda


“Fear isn’t sustainable.  It’s hard to sustain fear-based interventions. It’s the same in medicine as in politics.” —Dean Ornish


“When something is really important, like choosing a mate, use your intuitive mind.  Don’t make a list.” —David Kelley


“Prejudice is the opposite of creativity.” —Paola Antonelli


“The single biggest problem in education in this country is that 50 percent of the people who start out teaching leave in five years.” —Diane Ravitch


“We should view this not as a fix the teacher problem but as a fix the system problem.” —Wendy Kopp


“The space available in Pakistan for liberal opinion, for those who are not fundamental Islamist believers, that space is shrinking by the day.” —Shashi Tharoor


“The ethos of humility is something we have lost.” —David Brooks


“Walmart is a large part of the supply chain, so if you change a can of soup for Walmart you change that can of soup for America.” —Walmart Executive Vice President Leslie Dach


“Why has liberal become a dirty word? Because liberals since the ’60s have committed so much sacrilege on so many policy issues.” —Jonathan Haidt


“Have the Chinese, in a certain sense, created a new model, or a new direction for history?” —Orville Schell


“There is a dangerous tendency in American politics to want to come home and do the nation building from home.” —L. Paul Bremmer III


“Your first two years on the Court you make footprints, and it’s very hard to escape those footprints you’ve made.” —Stephen Breyer


“The primary purpose of a bigger mansion is to meet social expectations.” —Robert H. Frank


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