The Aspen Ideas Festival is totally digital — and free — this year.

By Cailey Rizzo
June 26, 2020
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Courtesy of Aspen Ideas Festival

As restaurants, shops, and even certain countries reopen after months of coronavirus lockdown, it may feel like a sense of normalcy is returning to some parts of the globe. But for those who don’t feel like heading outside just yet, there are still plenty of reasons to stay indoors.

This year, the Aspen Ideas Festival has moved completely online. The annual festival — presented by the Aspen Institute, a think tank — is a gathering of leaders from the worlds of technology, science, art, health, education, conservation, economics, and just general innovation. And this year’s line-up of 56 speakers is so impressive, you can stay glued to your computer screen for days on end without feeling the least bit guilty.

Thought leaders like Stacey Abrams, Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, David Byrne, and Madeleine Albright will appear at the festival to talk about contemporary topics like COVID-19, race in America, freedom of the press, children’s mental health, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and voter rights. And what’s even more impressive is that viewers don’t have to pay a single cent to participate.

The festival will run from June 28 through July 2, with free episodes streaming every day from 7 p.m. ET. Anyone who wants to participate can register in advance on the Aspen Ideas Festival website. Ahead of the festival, they’ll receive email reminders with links to log into talks as they happen. In addition to the discussions, viewers will also be able to watch performances from musicians Jon Batiste and Yefim Bronfman during the five-day festival. And if you’re eager to start in on some new ideas ahead of the festival’s opening day, you can explore the website for more than 1,000 ideas and videos archived from past festivals.