The Coolest Things I've Seen At The Aspen Ideas Festival (So Far)

"A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and re-write all the rules."

This quote, from legendary model-dater Leo DiCaprio (in Inception), adequately encapsulates the ideological bedrock the Aspen Ideas Festival has built itself upon. The result of a dual-partnership between The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the festival has positioned itself as a watering hole for some of the world's greatest thinkers, to gather and discuss "Smart Solutions to the World's Toughest Challenges."

Can the festival fulfill its bold proposition? Here's some of what I've seen so far.

The festival is punctuated by a series of TED-style lectures and open discussions, from experts across myriad fields. With some of the greatest minds in medicine, government, art, and education consolidated into one lush campus just outside of Aspen, Colorado, the daily agenda ranges from professional Yoga sessions at sunrise, to heated Second Amendment debates with NY Times journalists and NYU Law Professors, less than an hour later.

Such is the life at an Ideas Festival.

The campus is decked in modern art sculptures and neo-futuristic furniture fit for a Kubrick film, with minute surprises—like a dome structure inspired by Buckminster Fuller—hiding in the surrounding forests. 

If discussions entitled "Learning Revolution: How Neuroscience Can Change a Nation’s Mathematical Future," don't suit your fancy, sponsors like Toyota have splayed out some of their more innovative designs, like the not-quite-a-bike-not-quite-a-car i-Road, and their fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, available for quick test jaunts. 

Note the Mirai, in all its environmentally-friendly glory. 

...and just in case you missed it the first time.

In Aspen, the hills have eyes (quite literally). 

All this pond needs is copious amounts of dog-play.

Check back soon for more of the latest and greatest innovations heating up the Aspen Ideas Festival.