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2019 Aspen Ideas Festival to Gather Leaders Across Politics, Business, the Arts, Science, and More

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For Immediate Release

Contacts: Jon Purves

The Aspen Institute

202 736 2111 | [email protected]


Anna Bross

The Atlantic

202 266 7714 | [email protected]


2019 Aspen Ideas Festival To Gather Leaders Across Politics, Business, The Arts, Science, And More


Speakers include rap star Common, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath, Boeing CEO DennisMuilenburg, President & CEO of the National Women's Law Center Fatima Goss Graves, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Free Solo climber Alex Honnold, and Educated author Tara Westover


Washington, DC and Aspen, CO, May 1, 2019 — The Aspen Ideas Festival today announced the first group of speakers among more than 300 thinkers and leaders who will participate in the 15th annual festival this June in Colorado. Speakers and attendees will engage with many of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, including the breakdown of the international political status quo, climate change, and growing social and economic divides in the U.S. And as in previous years, speakers will also explore timeless questions around art, science, and philosophy. 


This year’s Festival will run from June 23-29, 2019, preceded by Aspen Ideas: Health from June 20-23, 2019. The Festival is presented by the Aspen Institute and co-hosted by The Atlantic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A limited number of press passes are available. To apply, please fill out the form here: https://www.aspenideas.org/speakers?view=list . The Festival can accommodate both print and broadcast media; and Festival staff can assist in facilitating interviews on-site.

The Aspen Ideas Festival is an experience for the curious: bringing together the people leading their industries for in-depth and often intimate conversations about today’s most critical issues. The Festival’s ten tracks will dive into such areas as division and renewal in America, the future of conservatism, the next world order, solutions for climate change, innovation in design, the art of storytelling, the limits of human performance, and understanding emotion. 


Speakers will continue to be added in the coming weeks. A complete list is available atwww.aspenideas.org/speakers. Among the featured speakers are:


  • Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art, New York

  • Jon Batiste, Artistic Director at Large, Pianist, and Bandleader, National Jazz Museum in Harlem

  • Nadia Bolz-Weber, Lutheran minister and public theologian; Author, Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

  • Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

  • Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey

  • Common, Musician

  • Bob Corker, Former Chairman, Foreign Relations Committee; Former US Senator, Tennessee (R)

  • Mary Daly, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

  • Nigel Kim Darroch, British Ambassador to the United States

  • Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock

  • Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico

  • Masha Gessen, American-Russian Journalist

  • Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund

  • Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO, National Women's Law Center

  • Lori Gottlieb, Psychotherapist; Columnist, The Atlantic; Author, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone 

  • Heidi Heitkamp, Former US Senator, North Dakota (D)

  • John Hoke, Chief Design Officer, Nike

  • Alex Honnold, Professional Rock Climber; Author, Alone on the Wall

  • Walter Isaacson, Professor, Tulane University

  • Jeh Johnson, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

  • Kevin Love, Player, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Dennis Muilenburg, Chairman, President & CEO, The Boeing Company

  • Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines

  • Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist.org

  • Rob Reich, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

  • Paul Romer, 2018 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics

  • Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor, George W. Bush White House

  • Matt Ryan, Quarterback and Team Captain, Atlanta Falcons

  • Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology and Director, Comparative Cognition Laboratory, Yale University

  • Dani Shapiro, Author, Inheritance

  • Ed Stack, CEO, Dick’s Sporting Goods

  • Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

  • Tara Westover, Author, Educated


Joining headline speakers and participating in the Festival will be hundreds of scholars from all over the United States and around the world, selected for their work, accomplishments, and ability to transform ideas into action.


The Festival, which will feature one-on-one interviews, panel conversations, film screenings, and more, is a seven-day event. More about this year’s program can be found at http://www.aspenideas.org


Over the course of the Ideas Festival, a robust and diverse audience is expected in Aspen, CO, and many more will be able to join the conversation online. The Atlantic will report on the Ideas Festival in a special report at TheAtlantic.com. All video and audio clips of on-stage conversations will be on aspenideas.org, which has been redesigned for 2019, on TheAtlantic.com/live, and on the Aspen Institute’s YouTube channel. Regular updates from the Festival, in the run-up and during the event, will be on Facebook.com/aspenideas and on Twitter at @AspenIdeas, @TheAtlantic and @AtlanticLive, and with #AspenIdeas. Additionally, discussions can be followed all year on the Aspen Ideas Festival articles page and on the Aspen Ideas To Go podcast.

Presenting underwriters for 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival are Allstate, Audi, Comcast NBCUniversal, ExxonMobil, General Mills, McKinsey & Company, Mount Sinai Health System, Nestlé Waters North America, PayPal, Prudential Financial, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sotheby’s, Southern Company, and the Walton Family Foundation. Supporting underwriters are Grow with Google, Microsoft, Standard Industries, and The Paul E. Singer Foundation. Facebook, PBS, and the Skoll Foundation are contributing underwriters.


About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

About The Atlantic

Founded in 1857 and today one of the fastest growing media platforms in the industry, The Atlantichas throughout its history championed the power of big ideas and continues to shape global debate across print, digital, events, and video platforms. With its award-winning digital presence TheAtlantic.com and CityLab.com on cities around the world, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. Bob Cohn is President of The Atlantic and Jeffrey Goldberg is Editor in Chief. Emerson Collective is majority owner; Atlantic Media is the minority operating owner ofThe Atlantic. 











4th of July Parade Waiver


PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  


  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.


The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).


                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.


                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.  Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.


   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this



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