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Aspen Ideas touches on violence, health care, religion

Marci Krivonen

Health care, violence and the wage gap are a few topics to be tackled at this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival. The 10-day event started Thursday (6/25). 

It’s the Festival’s eleventh year and this year it looks different.

"We decided to freshen it up a little bit and change some things around, and we’re sitting in a new pavilion," she says.

Kitty Boone is Vice President of Public Programs for the Institute. With espresso machines humming in the background, the large pavilion is meant for diving into conversation. The 5000-plus speakers, moderators and participants will have plenty to talk about. Boone says one topic is on violence.

"Some people have called this year a little bit of the ‘Urban Spring.’ We’ve had some issues around race and violence. We’re going to talk about what we are as Americans. We needed to do more on the subject of violence. Why are we the most violent nation in the world? So, one of the themes in the first half of the festival is on violence in America and what we do about it."

Challenges to democracy, the beauty of mathematics, and the endangered American dream will be debated. Speakers include Paul Ryan, David Patraeus, Mitch Landrieu and many others, as well as locals like snowsports athletes Gretchen Bleiler and Chris Davenport.

Many of the Ideas Festival talks will be aired live on Aspen Public Radio, starting at 9 o’clock Friday morning. Click here for a full live broadcast list.