aspen ideas festival logoThe Aspen Institute in collaboration with The Atlantic puts together the Aspen Ideas Festival every year that brings together leaders from around the globe to present and discuss ideas on issues affecting everyday life.

As an Aspen Ideas Scholar (2017), I had the opportunity to discuss, debate and share ideas with other attendees on a variety of topics including:

Reimagining the Internet – Conceived a half century ago as an open commons for sharing ideas and promoting research, nobody imagined the Internet would become the province for widespread commercial transaction. It has given rise to spectacular technologies — Google, Amazon, Facebook — many would find it hard to live without. It’s a critical commodity for commerce and individuals alike. But with crippling and increasingly pervasive detriments like hacking, trolling, spam, and disinformation, to name a few, there is mounting concern about the Internet’s efficacy. Even its reputation for augmenting productivity has fallen sharply. Should the Internet be regulated, and who gets to make the rules? How do we keep pace with global cybersecurity when it comes with a $7-trillion price tag? Is it time to rethink this remarkable engine? (taken from the festival website)

Moral Commitments, Moral Choices – In an age defined by disruption and transformation, speed and innovation, compromise and conflict, it’s crucial to take a step back and reflect on the big questions that define our lives and broader society. When is war justified? Do we have an obligation to distant refugees? What do we owe future generations? What is the value of human life? Is there a universal morality? In this series of lectures, debates, and discussions, we’ll delve into the large moral questions that philosophers and ethicists have pondered for centuries, focusing on applications of moral choice to some of the critical contemporary challenges that we all face — individually and as part of a larger collective. (taken from the festival website)