Aspen in NYC: business and society annual forum

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Building on the success of last fall's public program on 'Capitalism and the Future,' The Aspen Institute and its media partner, Bloomberg Television, will explore the criteria used to measure progress--as individuals, as business people and as a society.

On October 26th and 27th, 2010, leaders from business, government, academia and the global community will participate in a series of discussions that explore the way we think about and measure success, looking at issues that range from the validity of GDP as an indicator of how well a country is doing to the purpose of the firm and its relation to its stakeholders and to societal challenges such as healthcare, the environment and building a sustainable future.

Last year, French President Nicholas Sarkozy established a commission--which included a number of well-known economists--to find a more accurate way of measuring the country's progress than GDP. Their report recommendations echoed a European Commission report that called for ways of improving measurements of progress, wealth and well-being. Both reports recognized the need for adequate indicators to address global challenges such as climate change, poverty, resource depletion and health.

If we are to build a sustainable future, the criteria we use to measure progress towards that goal will be determined by what we consider key indicators of success. Starting with a broad-reaching panel on the first evening and following up with a series of short, moderated discussions the next day, speakers will address questions such as:

  • Is wealth alone a sufficient indicator of success?
  • What constitutes a healthy society?
  • How do personal criteria for success influence the way we do our jobs, participate in our communities and view our legacy?
  • What is the purpose of the firm? Should its measures of success extend beyond shareholder value?

These and other provocative questions will be explored during conversations with thought leaders from a broad spectrum of society and Bloomberg TV anchors. The audience will have the opportunity to participate in these discussions through Q&A as well as through a series of facilitated 'table conversations' during the day. A full list of confirmed speakers is online at www.AspenInNYC.org.

Fewer than 50 tickets remain. Tickets are $595 for the full, 1.5 day program. Registration is electronic: www.regonline.com/2010AspenInNYC.

Who's attending?
If you've never been to the Ideas Festival, one noteworthy characteristic is that the audience is dynamic and well-accomplished. Registrants for our 2nd forum in NYC include business execs (with sustainability & corporate governance portfolios), investors, designers, and nonprofit dynamos from organizations as diverse as Ashoka, Goldman Sachs, IDEO and the Met.

Please contact Sarah Rienhoff for any questions, or if you're only able to attend the evening program on Tuesday, October 26.

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