Photos from the Aspen Ideas Festival

I’ve had an amazing time attending the Aspen Ideas Festival during the past few days. Here are some photos I’ve taken along the way.

 Festival underwriter Mercedes-Benz showcases one of its F-Cell A vehicles that provides zero-emission driving without the need to plug in.

Orchestral melodies play as participants stroll around viewing “legacy spheres” hanging around the grounds – part of an exhibit sponsored by U.S. Trust, the exclusive financial services underwriter for the 2012 festival. The installation, as well as associated panel discussions, ask the question “What is a legacy worth?” forcing us to evaluate our impact on future generations in terms of values, deeper beliefs, and a concern for others….not just in terms of money.

At the Aspen Institute Campus, ideas hang from the trees. Ketchum has hung creative inspiration (pages ripped from books, for example) from the ceilings before for brainstorming inspiration.

Fresh air lends itself to open-mindedness.

Vyykn water refill stations (featuring “pure,” “ion,” and “oxygen” options) demonstrate their new “clean water” technology, created to reduce bottled water waste and increase water purity. Sure the oxygen-infused water was tasty (but I think that’s because it was the coldest of the three).

At scenic Maroon Bells with my new friends from Mercedes-Benz.

Annual festival favorite, Let’s Be Frank hot dogs are more than just street meat — an organization committed to ethical, sustainable food provenance and sustainable practices. If that’s not delicious, I don’t know what is.

Aspenites react to Obamacare ruling in a live version of NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” at the Hotel Jerome in downtown Aspen, mostly agreeing with the ruling but questioning the administration’s methodology in getting the plan passed.
Lauren Bush, CEO and co-founder of FEED projects, discusses hunger on a global scale.
The Aspen Music Festival, also a visitor-drawing event, features aural stimulation for idea-generating festival goers. At Ketchum, we brainstorm with all five senses, including sound. Do you?
Frito Lay (client) Chef explores flavor inspiration at the PepsiCo café with new recipes incorporating Lays into the dish. PepsiCo, an underwriter of the festival, was a strong presence at the festival through speakers, on-site activations, and free product everywhere. As the Atlantic’s Jeff Goldberg said, “This is the place to be if you want to eat free Doritos in an oxygen-free environment.”
Damian Woetzel prepared a surprise gift for director Julie Taymor at the conclusion of her conversation with former Disney head Michael Eisner yesterday—a haunting duet between Chinese musician Wu Tong, on the sheng, and Dutch composer Merlin Twaaflhoven, on the violin. Video will be availible on
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Political and International Affairs at Princeton University, discusses her recent cover story in The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”“ in an intimate Ripple Effect” discussion – a brief, 30-minute interactive chat. The premise behind these sessions is to inspire attendees and underscore that one person can make a difference by championing issues that matter to them, thereby setting in motion ripple effects that change social norms and lives.
Moby muses on architecture, science fiction, his creative process, and music during a one-on-one interview with the head of IDEO, Tim Brown. Moby’s creative process is surprisingly method-less — his M.O. is walking into a studio with no preconceptions, sort of in a blank state. Clearly, this works for him.
Celebrity fitness expert Bob Harper showing his willingness to get hands on in his instruction. During the workout I felt like I was on “The Biggest Loser” as he sat next to me and timed me doing crunches with a stopwatch…and I thought I had showed up for yoga!