Most Innovative Meetings 2014: #14 Aspen Ideas Festival

Expanding its weeklong festival with an additional three-day intensive on healthcare let attendees dig deep into pressing issues in medical policy, guided by the insights of likeminded experts.

By Martha C. White December 9, 2014, 7:30 AM EST

Speakers included Iva Fattorini, the chair of the Global Arts and Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Photo: Courtesy of Aspen Ideas Festival

For this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, held in late June and early July in Colorado, the Aspen Institute expanded the weeklong event by an extra three days in order to take a sweeping, multifaceted look at major issues in healthcare. Spotlight: Health encompassed programming aimed at everyone from interested laypeople to medical professionals and policy experts, thus opening up the private festival, which is attended by an elite group of politicians, scientists, educators, and celebrities.

“We built [the program] around a number of things like declining health, business, and policy, then built a schedule that allowed the audience to diversify the sessions depending on what they were interested in. It’s a little bit like going to class,” said Kitty Boone, the group’s vice president of public programs. Speakers like former secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and C.E.O. of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, drew big crowds, Boone said. “We wanted to capture the ideas and actions and big questions around health.”

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