Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival will gather some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large. FORA.tv is pleased to present Festival programs taking place at the Aspen Institute's Paepcke Auditorium.
Charles M. Firestone
Charles M. Firestone is executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. Since his appointment in December 1989, this Program has focused on the implications of communications and information technologies for leadership, the impact of new technologies on democratic and social institutions, and the development of new communications policy models and options for the public interest. He was also the Institute's executive vice president for policy programs and international activities from 1997-2000.
Prior to his positions with the Aspen Institute, Mr. Firestone was director of the Communications Law Program at the University of California at Los Angeles and an adjunct professor of law at the UCLA Law School. He was also the first president of the Los Angeles Board of Telecommunications Commissioners, which advises the Mayor and City Council on all regulatory matters relating to the cable and telecommunications fields.
Mr. Firestone's career includes positions as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission, as director of litigation for a Washington DC public interest law firm, and as a communications and entertainment attorney in Los Angeles. He has argued several landmark communications cases before the United States Supreme Court and other federal appellate courts. Mr. Firestone is the editor or co-author of seven books, including Digital Broadcasting and the Public Interest (The Aspen Institute, 1998) and Television and Elections (The Aspen Institute, 1992), and has written numerous articles on communications law and policy. He holds degrees from Amherst College and Duke University Law School and resides with his wife, sculptor Pattie Porter Firestone, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Emily Jacobi is the Executive Director & Founder of Digital Democracy. She has worked on media, youth development and research projects in Latin America, West Africa, Southeast Asia and the U.S. Emily began her career as a youth journalist working to highlight young people's voices in professional media. At the age of 13, she reported from Havana, Cuba on the lives of young Cubans during the Troubled Period. She previously worked for Internews Network, AllAfrica.com and as Assistant Bureau Director for Y-Press. Since January 2007 her work has focused on researching and supporting the capacity of local organizations in closed and transitioning societies.
At Digital Democracy Emily manages staff, oversees strategic planning and development and works directly with grassroots partners on program design for human rights and community engagement.
William Powers is a journalist and the author of the New York Times best-seller Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. In 2006-2007, Powers was a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center and the Japan Society of New York. He is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, where his widely read column, The Magazine Reader, launched his career as a leading thinker and writer on life in the age of information. He has written for many publications including The Atlantic and The New York Times. He is a two-time winner of the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for best American media commentary. Early in his career, he worked as a US Senate staff member.
Vivian Schiller is the chief digital officer of NBC News and former president and CEO of NPR. Under her leadership, NPR received the highest honors in excellence in journalism and garnered critical acclaim in the mobile and digital arena. Prior to joining NPR, Schiller served at The New York Times Company as senior vice president and general manager of NYTimes.com, leading day-to-day operations of the largest newspaper website on the Internet. Previously, Schiller spent four years as head of Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture between The New York Times and Discovery Communications. She also served as senior vice president of CNN Productions where she led its award-winning long-form programming unit. Schiller began her career as a simultaneous interpreter in the former Soviet Union.
Bob Schukai is global head of mobile technology at Thomson Reuters, where he is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of mobile growth strategy across the organization. Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Schukai was vice president of wireless/broadband technologies for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. from 2005 to 2010. During that time, he was responsible for global research and development activities in the areas of mobile/wireless, broadband, Internet protocol television, and games. Schukai also spent more than 18 years working for Motorola in the US and United Kingdom. In his last role at Motorola, he served as director of global 3G strategy and business development. He is a 24-year member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a technical and professional association of more than 365,000 individual members in approximately 150 countries.
Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze professor of the social studies of science and technology and the director of the Initiative on Technology and Self Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is a clinical psychologist who has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of people's relationships with technology. Her many books include a trilogy on digital technology and human relationships: The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit; Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet; and most recently, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other. Turkle's investigations span from the early days of personal computers to our current world of robotics, artificial intelligence, social networking, and mobile connectivity.
With social media invading every facet of our lives, MIT Professor Sherry Turkle uses the metaphor of human vulnerability instead of addiction to explain the effects of the new technology. "You're beginning to lose the capacity for solitude that replenishes and restores."