Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Aspen Ideas Festival

Aspen Ideas Festival

When it comes to generating ideas about some of the most important and pressing issues of our time, the Aspen Ideas Festival might be the best that's out there. The theme of this year's festival, 'Ideas That Work,' is particularly relevant to the creation of Wish Wonk so we thought we would feature it.

The festival offers (what am I, their salesman?) the most eclectic mix of brilliant people to debate one another, talk, and exchange ideas. The guest list year in and out is ridiculous, and next week's festival is no exception.

Some of those speaking include the author of one of my favorite current books, 'Great Endeavors,' and former U.S. Ambassador to France, Felix Rohatyn (more on him in my next entry); Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Attorney General Eric Holder; Meet the Press Host David Gregory; author, president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman; architect Frank Gehry; author and Pulitzer-Prize winner Thomas Friedman; former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and James Baker III; Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and former Justice Sandra Day O' Connor; former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff; former CIA Director R. James Woolsey...I could go on.

I will...former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan; actress and author Mia Kirschner; the band 'They Might Be Giants' (ideas on music); NY Times columnist David Brooks; CNBC Correspondent Maria Bartiromo; Lewis Black (yes, that Lewis Black); the best host and news show out there (personal interjection) Charlie Rose; U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice; Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools Michelle Rhee; and those are just some of the names I recognize ;) .

I don't know anyone, myself included, that can dream about paying to register for this beauty (estimated cost is $2,450) that takes place next week in Aspen, Colorado (is it anyone else's dream to go out there one year for their Food and Wine Festival? But my dawgs at C-Span (C-Span 2 and 3 are even more gangster) will air many of the sessions.

This is probably a good space to mention that we created this site with the thought that, over time, Wish Wonk could have the potential to be a site about -not our ideas to change the world - but yours. We firmly believe that there are a lot of really good ideas floating out there that can change peoples lives. There just hasn't been a marketplace to exchange or aggregate these ideas. They are, in other words, ideas that work.


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