The Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Some 350 presenters, 200 sessions, and 3,000 attendees comprise the annual Festival, launched in 2005, on the Aspen Institute's campus in Aspen, Colorado. Working with the Aspen Institute Arts Program and its director, Damian Woetzel, we set up a Portal Tent at the 2016 festival and connected attendees to sites in Kigali, Herat, and Milwaukee for discussions on international security, criminal justice, and art.
Asked what subjects would be profitably debated, two speakers at The Aspen Ideas Festival, co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, focused on reason. Evan Thomas, the journalist and author of Being Nixon, wrote:
Shining brightly on the Aspen Institute campus this week is a portal to another space. It’s a project of Shared Studios LLC. It’s a temporary set up, mirroring the gold-painted shipping containers placed in public areas all over the world that provide audio and video connection to other portals. Or, more accurately, provide human connection.