Rank #1: Millennials and Motivation, Featuring Simon Sinek and Adam Grant
Millennials shoulder a lot of stereotypes. They’re called entitled and in need of instant gratification. They’re not committed to their work and expect a work-life balance at their very first job. Do these labels actually define them? Are they really any different than the generations before them? In this lighthearted and informative conversation, organizational psychologist Adam Grant and inspirational teacher Simon Sinek sit down with Katie Couric. Couric is an award-winning journalist. They explore what motivates Millennials at work and how the digital world is impacting their productivity.
Aug 01 2017
Rank #2: The Next Big Challenge in Your Life
What if you examined your life in the context of all of its stages? The annunciation and initiation phases in your youth and young adulthood are full of discovery and learning. Then, the odyssey years in your twenties bring wandering and loneliness and lead to a commitment-making phase in your thirties. David Brooks, author and New York Times op-ed columnist, says life’s mountains and valleys shape who we are and eventually lead us to a “second mountain.” This phase, later in life, often results in a feeling of true peace and happiness. In this lecture, Brooks uses examples from his own life and of others who encountered challenges along the way, like biologist E.O. Wilson, Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl.
Find our companion episode, "A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg," by clicking here. Find the Aspen Insight episode featuring the Aspen Words Literary Prize here. Follow our show on Twitter @aspenideas and Facebook at facebook.com/aspenideas. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan 02 2018
Rank #3: The Perils of Over-Parenting
By trying to provide the perfectly happy childhood, a generation of parents may be making it harder for their kids to actually grow up. Hear from psychologists Polly Young-Eisendrath and Madeline Levine, as well as psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb on how our preoccupation with choice, self-esteem, and happiness may be yielding a generation marked by entitlement, materialism, narcissism, and an inability to face the challenges of adult life. The conversation is led by award-winning journalist Katie Couric.
Show Notes Watch What is the Goal of Parenting? from the Aspen Ideas Festival. Follow our show on Twitter @aspenideas and Facebook at facebook.com/aspenideas. Email your comments to email@example.com.
May 15 2018
Rank #4: A Conversation with Ruth Bader Ginsburg
As the second female justice confirmed to the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg says her experiences as a female give her a unique perspective her male colleagues don’t share. In this episode, Justice Ginsburg talks about her relationships with Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and the late Antonin Scalia. She also explains what it’s like to work with newly-elected Justice Neil Gorsuch. Her discussion with the Aspen Wye Fellows, also touches on her book My Own Words. Ginsburg is interviewed by Elliot Gerson, executive vice president of policy and public programs at the Aspen Institute.
Jun 14 2017
Rank #5: The Choices That Create Your Life
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a life well lived. In this episode he examines happiness and commitments. In his book The Road to Character, he studies people who radiate an inner light. What work did they do to reach higher levels of happiness? A successful life usually depends on making four major commitments: to spouse or family, a faith or philosophy, a community, and a vocation. How do we choose what we will commit to, and how do we execute those commitments?
Nov 29 2016
Rank #6: Infidelity and the Future of Relationships (Rebroadcast)
Why do happily married couples cheat? Why does the modern egalitarian approach to marriage quash desire? Are the heightened expectations we bring to modern love combined with our pursuit of happiness directly related to infidelity? In this special rebroadcast, author and couples therapist Esther Perel tackles the topic of infidelity. Her book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity was released October 10, 2017. Perel is interviewed by Hanna Rosin, co-host of NPR’s Invisibilia.
This week's recommended companion episode is "Unfinished Business with Anne-Marie Slaughter." Find it here. Follow the show on Twitter @aspenideas and Facebook at facebook.com/aspenideas. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct 10 2017
Rank #7: WTF (What's The Future)?
The “next economy,” or digital revolution, is restructuring every business, job, and sector of society. By 2055, it’s estimated that half of today’s work activities will be automated. Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, says we should be harnessing technology, rather than fearing it, to grow jobs and increase economic activity. He speaks with Charles Duhigg, senior editor and columnist for The New York Times, about O’Reilly’s new book WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us.
This week’s recommended companion episode is “How to Survive Our Faster Future.” Find it here. Find additional notes from the show in our blog. Follow the show on Twitter @aspenideas and Facebook at facebook.com/aspenideas. Email your comments to email@example.com.
Sep 26 2017
Rank #8: Finding Meaning in Our Work
The average American spends a third of his or her life working. What is the secret to achieving happiness because of our work and not in spite of it? How can we make a job into a vocation? David Brooks and Arthur Brooks have both studied and written about these questions. They say, no matter what the job is, the answer is to find meaning in it. In this episode, the thought leaders discuss the elements of meaningful work, the ways to achieve it, and how we can use these insights to improve culture and policy.
Sep 20 2016
Rank #9: The Road to Character - David Brooks and Katie Couric
I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it, David Brooks has said about his experience writing his latest New York Times bestseller about personal virtues and honesty in a materialistic age. Katie Couric explores this journey with the deeply thoughtful author.
Jan 11 2016
Rank #10: Finding Happiness at Every Stage of Life
Economists who have researched happiness over a lifetime find it starts to decline after adolescence and noticeably dips when people enter middle age. How can we avoid the middle age blues and feel purposeful later in life? Arthur Brooks, behavioral economist and American Enterprise Institute president, uses eastern and western philosophies, classical music, and the latest research to give usable advice on how to be joyful throughout life’s different stages. It’s inescapable that we’ll grow older, so how can we develop new strengths as our life journey progresses?
Show Notes At the Aspen Ideas Festival in June, Arthur Brooks will talk about his new book, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from Our Culture of Contempt. Passes to the Festival are still available. Register today! Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The views and opinions of the speakers in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.
Apr 02 2019
Rank #11: The Road to Depth, Thinking about what Character Is
Description Some people seem to lead inner lives that are richer and more substantive than the rest of us. How do they do it? In this talk, author and commentator David Brooks explores some of history's leaders in terms of personal character. He asks how love, suffering, struggle, surrender and obedience lead them to their depth. His latest book, "The Road to Character" was released on April 14, 2015. This talk, recorded last summer at the Aspen Ideas Festival, serves as a preview to many of the themes Brooks explores in the book.
Apr 27 2015
Rank #12: Circuit Training for Your Brain: Well-Being Is a Skill
Scientific evidence suggests that we can change our brains by transforming our minds and cultivating habits of mind that will improve well-being. These include happiness, resilience, compassion, and emotional balance. Each of these characteristics is instantiated in brain circuits that exhibit plasticity and thus can be shaped and modified by experience and training. Mental training to cultivate well-being has profound implications for schools, the workplace, and society as a whole. Richard J. Davidsonis the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Davidson has published over 320 articles and edited 14 books, including The Emotional Life of Your Brain. NOTE: Davidson shared a couple of short video clips during his talk at the Festival. The first shows video games developed for kids to cultivate habits of kindness and pro-social behavior. The second is a demonstration of the preschool kindness curriculum that he refers to in the podcast. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8BvPl8tylU
Jul 27 2015
Rank #13: The Epidemic of Loneliness
A crisis is emerging that could pose as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse: social isolation. Neuroscientists have identified regions of the brain that respond to loneliness, and a powerful body of research shows that lonely people are more likely to become ill, experience cognitive decline, and die early. Across the industrialized world, millions of people live with sparse human contact, putting their well-being at risk. Does social media drive loneliness, or help to cure it? How does loneliness alter the brain, and how can we treat this condition? Featured guests are Carla Perissinotto, Dixon Chibanda, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, and Katie Hafner.
Find our companion episode "The Opioid Tsunami," by clicking here. Find Katie Hafner's New York Times investigative article about loneliness here. Follow the show on Twitter @aspenideas and Facebook at facebook.com/aspenideas. Email your comments to email@example.com.
Nov 14 2017
Rank #14: Robotic Moment: Who Do We Become When We Talk to Machines? (Aspen Lecture)
Conversation is facing a crisis in our culture. We regularly put people on "pause" in conversation to check our phones. We treat machines as if they are almost human. We want technology to step up, as we ask humans to step back. And having nothing to forget about how we used to relate to one another, children embrace these new rules for talking to machines. In this talk, Sherry Turkle, MIT professor of the social studies of science and technology and author of "Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age," explains how we have arrived at this "robotic moment." She explores what she calls the "four fantasies of the robotic relationship" and the impact our dwindling face-to-face conversations have on empathy.
Oct 26 2015
Rank #15: Inside the Mind of a Dog
When your dog wags its tail or welcomes you home, what are they thinking about? How do they perceive you and the world around them? Two canine cognition scientists, Alexandra Horowitz and Brian Hare, share what dogs know, understand, and believe. This field of research is growing and these scientists are gaining valuable insight in the minds of America’s most popular pet.
Show Notes Listen to The Bauhaus Roots of Aspen from Aspen Insight. Follow Aspen Ideas to Go on Twitter and Facebook. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The views and opinions of the speakers in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.
Feb 05 2019
Rank #16: Can We Reclaim Civitas in American Society?
Everything—from the country’s place in the world to the social contract between citizens, government, and the private sector—seems to be knotted in hard, uncompromising debates. In this episode, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, former presidential advisor David Gergen, and Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large for The Atlantic, discuss how the country can regain a spirit of civitas. In the past, civitas—binding laws and mutual commitment of a shared national journey—has assured respect for opposing positions. Have we lost the ability to find common ground? Does national civitas need a reboot?
Mar 07 2017
Rank #17: Atul Gawande on Love, Death, and Worth
Famed writer and surgeon Atul Gawande believes there’s a gap between our aspiration for how we treat each other and the reality. In this divisive era, it’s especially challenging to see that all lives have equal worth. He explains to Lucy Kalanithi, professor of medicine, how we can bridge the gap. Kalanithi is the widow of the late Dr. Paul Kalanithi who wrote the bestselling book When Breath Becomes Air.
Show Notes Follow Aspen Ideas to Go on Twitter and Facebook. Email your comments to email@example.com. The views and opinions of the speakers in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.
Dec 04 2018
Rank #18: How to Lead a More Meaningful Life at Work
Adam Grant is exploring “how to make work suck less.” For his podcast WorkLife, he visited unconventional companies to discover how to improve the work experience. Grant, who authored Give and Take and teaches at the Wharton School, thinks we should be leading more creative and meaningful lives at work. After all, we spend a quarter of our lives there. He speaks with Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of the Aspen Skiing Company based in Aspen, Colorado.
Show Notes Listen to the Aspen Insight episode Beyond a Level Playing Field. Follow Aspen Ideas to Go on Twitter and Facebook. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The views and opinions of the speakers in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.
Oct 16 2018
Rank #19: Living a Moral Life
For centuries the human race has been grappling with how to live a moral life. In this conversation we hear from scholars who think deeply about moral philosophy and helping others. David Brooks suggests that, “We have words and emotional instincts about what feels right and wrong,” yet questions the criteria we use to “help us think, argue, and decide.” New Yorker author Larissa MacFarquhar profiles a number of do-gooders whose deep, even extreme moral commitment leads as frequently to criticism as to admiration. Columbia philosophy professor Michele Moody-Adams believes that we find our best selves through serious self-examination and constant scrutiny. And Stanford political philosopher Rob Reich engages us all in deep exploration of these questions.
Mar 21 2018
Rank #20: Healthy Gut, Healthy Body
How are diet and lifestyle linked to bacterial communities in the gut? How can growing knowledge about gut health be used to develop new therapies? Researchers are learning how the gut microbiome responds to the food we eat, influencing obesity, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and even mental health. Trillions of bacteria inhabit the human gut, working in close and complex symbiosis with our cells. Novel analytic methods offer new insights about those biochemical interactions, and help us understand how they impact well-being. When it comes to a healthy body and mind, an increasing number of people are focusing on improving bacteria in the gut.
Jan 24 2017