Claire’s Key Takeaways: Why Humans Might Be Next Endangered Species

On Thursday, Oct. 21, Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologists and Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, joined the Vail Symposium for a discussion about the precipitous decline in fertility over the past four […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Disaster Preparation

On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Vail Symposium gathered Eagle County experts to share insights as to how the county prepares for the worst. Each of the agencies represented–fire, paramedics, and law enforcement–acknowledged that they respond to emergencies on a daily basis such as river rescues and structure fires. They also train together in the event […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Freedom of Speech

On Thursday, July 7, author Ian Rosenberg and Denver University’s Rebecca Aviel joined to discuss the First Amendment and what Freedom of Speech really means. Professor Rebecca Aviel opened our program on the First Amendment guarantee of free speech by asking Ian Rosenberg why he wrote, “The Fight For Free Speech: Ten Cases that Define […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: CO vs Big Tech

On Tuesday, June 29, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joined Colorado Public Radio justice reporter Allison Sherry for a fast-paced conversation about the efforts by the AG’s office to protect Coloradans. AG Weiser made it clear that one of his highest priorities was antitrust enforcement. For the benefit of the audience, he explained that judicial […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Rare Earth Elements

Rare Earth Elements (REEs) have been in the news lately and on Thursday, June 3, the Vail Symposium sought to understand why. A panel of experts addressed the most important aspects of REEs: Professor Rod Eggert explained what they were and where they are found; Professor Willy Shih explained the supply chain issues related to […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: The Constitution

On Wednesday, May 19, the Vail Symposium kicked off the Summer 2021 Season with hosted a program on current issues in constitutional interpretation with scholars ostensibly from different points on the ideological spectrum–conservative Keith Whittington of Princeton University and liberal Stephan Vladeck of the University of Texas. Moderating the program was attorney and impressive legal […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Colorado’s Economic Outlook (plus Dr. Wobbekind’s presentation)

On Thursday, March 25, 2021, the Vail Symposium partnered with the Vail Valley Partnership on a program providing Colorado’s near-term economic prospects. Dr. Richard L. Wobbekind of the Leeds School of Business at CU presented first the national, then the state level outlook. It is no secret that the pandemic-induced recession was a staggering hit. […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Uncovering the Intelligence Challenges for the Biden Administration

On Thursday, March 18, 2021, Former CIA senior officer Dr. James Bruce offered his perspective on the intelligence issues facing the new Biden administration. He pointed out that historically, intelligence has not been a campaign issue. Critically important to understand is that while intelligence may inform policymaking, intelligence itself is information and analysis, and should […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Police Reform in the U.S.

On March 11, 2021, the Vail Symposium hosted experts from different disciplines on the topic of police reform: Rafael Mangual of the Manhattan Institute, Vikrant Reddy of the Charles Koch Institute, Chief Dwight Henninger of the Vail Police Department, and Allison Sherry the justice report for Colorado Public Radio. Sherry kicked off the program acknowledging […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Angela the Almost Great?

On March 4, 2021, two distinguished scholars joined the Vail Symposium to discuss the legacy of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s future. Dr.  Karen Donfried began by asking Dr. Constanze Stelzenmuller about her choice for the program title–“Angela the Almost-Great.”  Stelzenmuller acknowledged that Germany’s third post-reunification chancellor, Merkel was elected by a razor-thin margin in […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: The Lure of Authoritarianism

On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, author and historian of Soviet Communism Anne Applebaum joined Hoover Institute democracy expert Larry Diamond for a conversation on democracy and authoritarianism. Larry began by asking Anne about her latest book, “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism.” The book begins with a New Year’s Eve Party in Poland […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: “Russian Efforts to Undermine America”

On Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, Peter Pomerantsev joined in conversation with Dr. Svet Derderyan on Russian efforts to amplify disinformation and undermine democracy. Here are the Claire’s key takeaways from the program. The internet era has resulted in “information abundance” to borrow a phrase from Peter Pomerantsev’s latest book, “This is Not Propaganda.” However, illiberal, […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Trading Fear for Grace

Following the Jan. 14 program with Dr. Scott Taylor, “Into the Light: Trading Fear for Grace,” here are program manager Claire Noble’s key takeaways: Dr. Scott Taylor opened his program on near-death experiences sharing a story of how he eased his cousin’s anxiety over her impending transition (death) from terminal cancer. He did so in […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways – The Future of Higher Education

Dr. Kathryn Regjo opened the program with a brief overview of the state of the institution of higher learning in America citing more than 60 school closures since 2016, declining enrollment over the past decade, and rising costs for students and their families. Dr. Rick Levin also pointed out the steady decline in public money flowing […]

Claire’s Takeaways: Climate Change and National Security

Each season the Vail Symposium devotes at least two programs to the subject of environmental awareness. For the last several years those programs have been solutions-oriented. The Department of Defense is one of the more prominent organizations that has been planning climate change mitigation for more than a decade. We invited several policy experts to […]

Claire’s Takeaways: “Battlegrounds” with Gen. H.R.McMaster

Lt. General H.R. McMaster joined Jaime Metzl in conversation to discuss his latest book, “Battlegrounds.” Metzl’s first question was to inquiry about the motivation for writing the book. McMaster said that he wanted to contribute to a better understanding by Americans of national security and to further his own education at the same time. Given […]

Claire’s Takeaways: “Kiss the Ground”

At first glance, “Kiss the Ground” was a documentary about soil. Upon closer reflection, it was about hope. It seems we have taken soil for granted–misused it and turned helpful soil into depleted dirt. But it appears that soil is forgiving if we start taking care of it. And, if we take care of it, […]

Vail Symposium Winter 20-21: Our Season to Date

All of our programming will be virtual this winter due to COVID-19. Though we’re disappointed that we can’t gather together, this format means that we can move quickly when a hot topic emerges; we can invite speakers that are able to appear virtually but can’t make it in person and we can add programs when […]

Claire’s Key Takaways: Custer, Crazy Horse and the so-called “Indian Wars”

On Thursday, Sept. 28, Dr. Franklin delved into the so-called “Indian Wars.” Here are Claire’s key takeaways from this fascinating talk on Custer, Crazy Horse and other legendary characters from this time in American history. Texas Tech University Professor Dr. Catharine Franklin is on a mission to set the record straight–the historical record concerning Native […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: McFaul Addresses “The New Cold War”

On Thursday, Sept. 17, Vail Symposium dug into the complicated relationship between the U.S. and Russia. Ambassador Michael McFaul began his program with the acknowledgment that the United States finds itself in a great power competition with two rivals: China and Russia. For this program, he focused on Russia. The term “New Cold War” is […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: On Ancestry, Placelings and Earthlings

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Dr. John Hausdoerffer gave the Vail Symposium audience a preview of the key concepts in his forthcoming book, “What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want To Be?” Before doing so, he posed that question to the audience. The question is significant because it forces respondents to think larger and longer scale. He […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: The Situation on ‘Shrooms

On Thursday, Aug. 27, Vail Symposium welcomed Kevin Matthews and Dr. Matthew Johnson to talk about psilocybin as therapy. Here are the key takeaways from Programs Manager, Claire Noble. Kevin Matthews, executive director of SPORE (Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform, and Education), began the program by discussing his personal struggle with depression that was alleviated […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Professor Zhao parses and prognosticates on U.S.- Sino relations

On Thursday, Aug. 13 Professor Suisheng “Sam” Zhao, Sam Zhao, Director of the Center for China-US Cooperation at University of Denver, joined the Vail Symposium to provide a current picture of China. Here are the key takeaways, compiled by Program Manager, Claire Noble. Professor Zhao began his discussion on the future of U.S. – Sino […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Ambassador Christopher Goes Nuclear with Vail Symposium

Program Manager Claire Nobel shares her top takeaways from the Aug. 6 program. “Going Nuclear: Proliferation in North Korea and Iran” with Ambassador Christopher Hill. Ambassador Hill began his prepared remarks acknowledging that his program on North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons programs fell on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Noting too that […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Cultivating Risk Perception

David Ropeik is an expert in risk communication. Two of the most impactful aspects of his program on Thursday, July 9 included building awareness of how individuals perceive risk and the discussion around tribes and cultural cognition which have the capacity to create greater empathy and understanding for how others perceive risk. One of David’s […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Clay Jenkinson Talks Jefferson

Clay opened the program by addressing the current issue impacting the historical view of Thomas Jefferson—how to view Jefferson during the current national reckoning on race because he was a slaveowner. Clay admitted that he was not sure Jefferson would survive, that his slave-owning past was catching up to him and might eclipse his legacy. […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Globalization with Dr. Richard Haass and Jamie Metzl

In this new recap style, Claire Noble provides key takeaways from programs. The status of the liberal world order created and maintained in large part by the United States following WWII was the starting point for the discussion between Jaime Metzl and Dr. Richard Haass. Jaime asked Dr. Haass if historians would look back on […]

Claire’s Key Takeaways: Brian Kelly and Rafe Sagalyn discuss how ideas happen

Two longtime friends gathered online to share their thoughts on how ideas are translated into something actionable or shareable. Both represent industries upended by the digital revolution. Brian Kelly, the chief editor at U.S. News and World Report for the past 12 years, oversaw the venerable news weekly’s transition from print to digital in 2009. […]

Mindfulness for Meetings (and more!)

Our community began Thursday, June 11, 2020 in a soothing way–a workshop on building self-awareness and empathy. Speaker Amy Quinn provided the context for these important skills and also provided actionable steps attendees can begin using immediately to enhance mindfulness in their own lives. One suggestion I particularly liked was taking a minute to settle […]

Gold, mercury and leeches: Dr. Kang discusses quackery

Dr. Lydia Kang’s discussion of the research that went into her book “Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything” was perhaps not for those with delicate constitutions. Dr. Kang took the audience on a historical journey through a few of the terrible ways humans have tried to cure what ailed them. […]

A discussion on CO Prop CC

Reeves Brown of Building a Better Colorado squeezed a semester’s worth of information about Gallagher and Tabor into a brisk 25-minute, condensed version of how these laws came into being and how they impact state revenues and spending. While Mill Levies brought some relief to school districts and municipalities, the drastic declines in state contributions […]

The Unexpected Gifts from Near-Death Experiences

In a beautiful and moving program, two friends bound together by a tragic but profound experience shared what they have learned about life, the divine and the power of love. In a back-and-forth dialogue, Jeff Olson’s and Dr. Jeffrey O’Driscoll’s stories intertwined and diverged. However, their views on why we are here were complementary. According […]

Ranching in Eagle County – a visual and aural history

The history of Eagle County stretches far before 1962, that famous year when the Vail ski area got its start. Virtually simultaneously, mining and ranching brought settlers to Colorado in the mid to late 19th century–spurred on by the arrival of the railroads. Ranching in Colorado was not without tragedy and hardship. In order to make ranching […]

Stop feeling stressed – flip it and enjoy desserts

In an engaging and entertaining style, Brian Luke Seaward addressed the topic of stress. Seaward is a recognized expert, author and former professor in the field of stress management. Through a generous dose of humor and stories, Seaward offered various tools audience members could add to their toolkits to manage and combat the effects of […]

Talking to robots may not be science fiction

The message can be either ominous or optimistic: David Ewing Duncan predicts that one day we will remember the moment robots truly arrived. Duncan introduced the Vail Symposium audience to several of the robots we are likely to encounter in the future such as the warrior bot and the intimacy bot. With each robot, a […]

Experts address the Alzheimer’s Enigma

Alzheimer’s currently afflicts nearly 6 million Americans. If a cure or delay is not found by 2050, it is estimated that those afflicted globally will rise to 150 million. All of the drugs developed to treat Alzheimer’s thus far have had little or no effect on the progress of the disease. All of this sounds […]

Smartphones are transforming India – here’s how

Smartphones are more than just the first mobile phones for the vast majority of Indians–they are the first phone, period. For most Indians, smartphones are also their first camera, television, map, translator, dating app and window to the world. Ravi Agrawal, the author of “India Connected: How the Smartphone is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy,” and managing […]

Is the future of food lab grown meat?

The future looks…tasty. Here in 2019, the impending climate challenges look overwhelming. However, on the same day the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report calling on people to waste less food and consume less meat, the Vail Symposium hosted experts with suggestions on how to do just that. Representatives from Finless Foods […]

A conversation with CO Attorney General Phil Weiser

The Attorney General is often referred to as the people’s lawyer. It is a moniker that Attorney General Phil Weiser takes to heart. His stated purpose is to protect the rights of all Coloradans. In a wide-ranging discussion, Attorney General Weiser displayed an impressive breadth of knowledge frequently citing case law to support his legal […]

Vail Symposium delivers timely Brexit discussion before UK elections

Our timing could not have been better. When we scheduled our Brexit program six months ago, we had no idea where Britain would be in the process. As it turned out, still in the scrum. Even better timing, on the day following our program, the Conservative Party was set to elect a new leader who […]

Larry Diamond details the decline of democracy, both globally and in the U.S.

The trend lines are clear: Whether it is Freedom House or the Economist, democracy trackers agree that liberal democracy has been on the decline since 2006–around the world and within our own country. The disquieting information presented by Hoover senior fellow Larry Diamond included the “autocrats’ 12 step program.” These steps, which include demonizing political opposition, […]

Dirty money: How corrosive currency is undermining democracy

It often comes down to money and on June 27, Svet Derderyan and Andrew Wilson sat down with the Vail Symposium to talk about dirty money – how corrosive capital is undermining democracy around the world. The end of the Cold War ushered in a brief democracy honeymoon, particularly in the former Soviet Bloc states […]

Vail Symposium dives deep into “Tosca”

“Puccini’s Tosca: An Immersive Introduction” addressed opera in general, the composer Giacomo Puccini in particular, and provided insight into one of history’s most beloved Toscas: Maria Callas. This collaboration between Bravo! Vail and the Vail Symposium invited recognized opera expert Robert Marx to Vail. Addressing a near-capacity crowd, Marx peppered his rich discussion with anecdotes […]

Bringing history alive for the 150th anniversary of John Wesley Powell expedition

History came alive at SaddleRidge in Beaver Creek on June 17. One hundred fifty years after he explored the Colorado and Green Rivers, John Wesley Powell, as interpreted by historian Clay Jenkinson, regaled a sold-out Vail Symposium audience with anecdotes of grit, close-calls, exploration and survival. With primitive equipment by today’s standards and very little […]

Vail Symposium addresses health care in the Vail Valley

What are the causes of our sky-high healthcare costs in Eagle County? Big Pharma? Avaricious insurers? Something else? Our prestigious panel comprised of lawmakers and healthcare CEOs addressed the multiple variables that drive high costs in the high country. Some of those variables are common to other states, others more pronounced in rural and mountain […]

How are we creating the future?

Dan Thoma’s enthusiasm for technological advances in manufacturing and his optimism about the future were infectious during his June 10 presentation at Colorado Mountain College. Dan demonstrated how manufacturing advances have resulted in smaller, more efficient items such as pace-makers. He showed how kinetic energy can be captured by people walking and turned into usable […]

Vail Symposium addresses “Dying Well and End of Life Visions” on June 6 – links to presentations included

Dr. Monica Williams wants you to have a good life, and a good death. She is on a mission to chip away at the taboo that surrounds the subject of death and dying in America. Most people will live long lives and see death coming long before it arrives, which provides everyone the opportunity to […]

Special Fundraising Event: West of the Imagination: Time Travel To 1869 with Explorer John Wesley Powell

Join the Vail Symposium for a special fundraising program with Clay portraying, in character and costume, the war hero, explorer, scientist and visionary John Wesley Powell. Monday, June 17, 2019 5 p.m.: Exploration of SaddleRidge Western Art and Artifacts Collection. Beer, wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, coffee and dessert will be provided 6 p.m. Program begins […]

The 2019 Vail Symposium summer season is now on sale!

We’re pleased to announce that the 2019 Vail Symposium summer season is now on sale. Click here to purchase tickets to this season’s diverse line-up of thought-provoking and educational programming. Note: On June 17, the Vail Symposium will host a special fundraising program “West of the Imagination: Time Travel To 1869 with Explorer John Wesley […]

Vail Symposium Summer 2019 Season Sneak Peek

We’re thrilled to share our upcoming summer programming schedule – we wanted you to be the first to know so that you can mark your calendars! Tickets are not currently available for these programs, but we will let you know when they go live. We are still finalizing several more exciting programs to be added to […]

Stay Younger, Longer…

The Vail Symposium seeks to provide our community with educated perspectives from recognized experts. In so doing, we hope to inform and spark conversations. This past winter season, some of our programs also provided information with the potential to enhance lives. In March, Professor David Creswell of Carnegie Mellon University provided compelling research showing the […]

Vail Symposium celebrates 15 years of the Vail Veterans Program

Honoring the Best Among Us What you see first are the old injuries—missing limbs and angry scars. What you hear when they start to speak are details of a journey no one should have to make—a journey to combat and home again, physically altered. What you remember long after they stop speaking is the tremendous […]

Vail Symposium explores the benefits of mindfulness meditation

News reports extolling the benefits of mindfulness meditation are cropping up with increasing regularity. Is there truth beyond the hype? On Thursday, Feb. 22 at Vail Interfaith Chapel, Dr. J. David Creswell examined the research his lab at Carnegie Mellon University has conducted on the effects of mindfulness meditation with careful controlling for the placebo […]

Can you tell truth from fiction?

A sold-out crowd gathered to hear moderator Greg Dobbs question founder David Mikkelson and Sam Gill of the Knight Foundation about the rise of fake news and what can be done about it. Certainly vigilance is the first step, which also means awareness of our own confirmation bias. That is an intractable problem. Sam […]

Kemal Kirişci talks Turkey (and its relationship with the West)

Governor Hickenlooper joins Vail Symposium for special fundraising event

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, the Vail Symposium hosted a very special fundraiser with Governor John Hickenlooper as guest of honor and speaker. Guests arrived at the stunning Beaver Creek home of Pam and Richard Bard where they were treated to the elegant sounds of Tony Gulizia on piano and Bob Rebholz on sax. The duo […]

Jon Waterman shares a life of adventure

Living a life of adventure is a common childhood dream. Our adventure series speaker Jon Waterman made a life out of it. He began climbing as a teen and made his first trip to Denali at 19. After several seasons as a National Park Service Ranger and Guide at Denali, Jon turned to writing. He […]

Expert panel speaks on palliative care and medical aid in dying

On Thursday, Dec. 6 at Edwards Interfaith Chapel, the Vail Symposium kicked off the winter season with a panel of experts who gathered at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel on a snowy night to address two difficult, but important, topics: palliative care and medical aid-in-dying (MAID). Regina Fink, the co-director of the Master of Science in Palliative […]

Vail Symposium announces 2018-19 Winter Season

The Vail Symposium’s 2018-19 Winter Season kicks off this week on Thursday, Dec. 6 with a special panel program on palliative care and medical aid in dying. The season is chock-full of diverse, educational and entertaining programming. Check out the season at a glance below, then visit our Events page to learn more. We look forward […]

Consciousness Double Header Talks Interdimensional Portals and Orbs

From spirit portals to orbs of intense energy, the Vail Symposium explored theories and beliefs often eschewed in mainstream discourse during two evening programs on October 10 and 11, 2018 at Hotel Talisa. Andrea Perron had the unique experience or misfortune, depending on your perspective, to be raised in a house commonly described as haunted, […]

The Law of the Colorado River: Conflict and Collaboration

The Vail Symposium, in conjunction with the Eagle River Watershed Council, brought together a powerful panel of speakers all with expertise in various aspects of the Colorado River and the treaties and agreements that govern it. Challenges managing the river and its multitude of users will continue and even intensify in the future. Somewhat reassuring […]

Vail Symposium presents an update on what’s next with North Korea

“The Kim family has a high tolerance for other people’s pain,” was arguably one of the most memorable comments during Jung Pak’s wide-ranging program on North Korea on September 27 at The Antlers at Vail. It was a program that was at times alarming, such as learning that North Korea has large amounts of uranium, to […]

Climate change is not just an environmental issue–it’s a medical issue, too

Climate change has become a politicized issue. Dr. Jay Lemery and Kim Knowlton, PhD. made the case at the Vail Symposium’s event at The Antlers at Vail on Sept. 20 “Enviromedics: Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health” that it is a medical issue. Dr. Lemery established the empirical link between rising temperatures and increased mortality. In vulnerable populations, […]

Experts discuss Russian attacks on democracy in the U.S. and what’s next  

 “Bigger, better, faster” was the consensus on future Russian efforts to influence American politics and society. Both David Salvo and Rand Waltzman agreed that Russia will not ease up on their efforts to sow discord and further divide Americans with the ultimate goal of weakening our country. Thus far doing so has been relatively inexpensive, reaped huge benefits to Russia, and incurred […]

Vail Symposium discussed all things cyber with James Lewis on Sept. 6

Lion Square Lodge was the venue for a high-level discussion on the primary categories of cybersecurity: cyberwarfare, cyberespionage and cybercrime. James Andrew Lewis, an internationally recognized expert in this field, kept the conversation accessible with generous doses of humor sprinkled throughout his fascinating and at times alarming presentation. Lewis made it clear that the threat […]

The 2018 Vail Symposium Raffle is Over!

We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets to support the Vail Symposium this summer. We reached our goal and are proud to continue bringing quality, thought-provoking programs to the Vail Valley community.  The winner has been randomly drawn and has been notified. As soon as we hear back […]

Connecting the worlds of art and neuroscience

The Vail Symposium connected the worlds of art and neuroscience at their Art, A Matter of Mind event on August 15 at Colorado Mountain College. This program was a collaboration that brought together a collector, JoAnn Gonzales Hickey; a curator, Mardee Goff; and a neuroscience researcher from CU Boulder, Flux.  The Vail Symposium program launched […]

The Vail Symposium Raffle is LIVE!

Photo courtesy of VLMD and Jack Affleck For the third summer, the Vail Symposium is holding its annual raffle fundraiser. If you love Vail and want the chance to win a truly spectacular vacation to Vail while supporting a community-based non-profit, then here’s your chance! The Vail Symposium “Vacation in Vail” raffle is now live. Until the drawing on Sept. 9, […]

Vail Symposium presents a multi-sensory journey to Africa

The Hotel Talisa set the stage for a memorable evening about Africa in their modern alpine facilities. Audience members were transported on a taste adventure to Africa prior to the program thanks to the culinary skills of executive chef Jay Spickelmier. Ogbono Nigerian soup, toasted pepitas, nontraditional fufu, and chermoula-marinated redfish fortified the Vail Symposium […]

Mark Anthony discusses eternal life and the afterlife

The psychic lawyer, Mark Anthony, spent two nights in Vail sharing his talents with the Vail community. In his first event, Mark presented an expansive defense of the concept of reincarnation. In a presentation that drew upon religious texts, the historical record and quantum physics, Mark laid out his case for eternal life. The following […]

Ambassador Dennis Ross addresses capacity crowd on the mess in the Middle East

Ambassador Dennis Ross, along with veteran foreign correspondent Greg Dobbs, addressed a sold-out crowd at The Sebastian-Vail on Thursday, July 30. With assistance and the occasional joke from Dobbs, Ambassador Ross discussed a wide range of intertwined issues that form the complex web of challenges that beset the Middle East. Fielding questions from both Dobbs and […]

Listening is more than mannerly: It can change the world

Did you know that most people only listen to 25 percent of what others are saying? For Eric Maddox, listening more led to one of the biggest moments in his career as an Army interrogator.  Army interrogator Eric Maddox regaled the audience at Wednesday’s Vail Symposium event with the inside story of how U.S. forces […]

Discussing the Health of America

It was a night of healthcare policy all-stars as faculty from the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan provided insight into various aspects of U.S. healthcare policy. The first half of the program broadly addressed healthcare policy. Dr. Ayanian outlined the necessity and impact of Medicaid expansion in Michigan. Christopher Friese, Ph.D., provided an […]

Soon-to-be Library of Congress Chair in U.S. – China Relations enlightens packed crowd on U.S.-China competition

A large audience turned out to hear noted China expert Minxin Pei discuss U.S. – China Strategic Competition on Thursday, June 28. Pei began by discussing the initial opening of a U.S. – Chinese dialogue when Nixon and Kissinger went to China. He traced the trajectory of the relationship through the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations up to the […]

Expert Panel Gives Insight on Lobbying and How the Sausage of Government Gets Made

On Wednesday, June 13, a panel comprised of career Washington lobbyists shared their insights of an often misunderstood and maligned profession. Veteran journalist Ron Elving moderated the Vail Symposium event, “An Insider’s Look at Lobbying,” held at the stunning Four Seasons Hotel in Vail. Ron kicked off the evening providing the Constitutional basis for the […]

Fred Frailey informs, entertains with the impact of railroads in Colorado

A capacity crowd turned out to the Edwards Interfaith Chapel on Wednesday, June 13, to hear Fred Frailey explain the critical role the railroads played in the development of Colorado. Fred’s informative and at times humorous account included the colorful personalities that rushed to claim the fastest routes and most forgiving mountain passes. Boom and bust were constant companions and […]

Vail Symposium summer season starts strong with special program in partnership with Vail Health

The Vail Symposium kicked off the 2018 summer season with a healthy dose of inspiration and advice on Sunday, June 3. Partnering with the talented team from the Shaw Cancer Center to commemorate Cancer Survivor Day, the program “Life After Cancer: How to not only Manage but Thrive” provided nearly 200 attendees with information on actionable steps to […]

It’s here! The 2018 summer program brochure is now available

Have you checked your mail lately? We recently shipped our 2018 summer program brochure to our mailing list and it is beautiful (if we do say so ourselves). Featuring descriptions of our upcoming season as well as helpful information and fun stories, the Vail Symposium program brochure is a great way to get the scoop […]

Notice: Mental Health = Essential Health Canceled

If you’re a subscriber to our newsletter then you already received notice that unfortunately, due to an unforeseen conflict, Patrick Kennedy will not be able to join us for our program “Mental Health = Essential Health.” He regrets not being able to fulfill his commitment to speak at the Vail Symposium on March 29, but […]

Feeling like you missed something? We have you covered.

Athough we’d love to see you at each thought-provoking panel and discussion, we’re know that sometimes you can’t attend every single Vail Symposium program that you’d like to. To help alleviate your disappointment, we try to video as many of our programs that we can.  Have you checked out our videos page lately? There you’ll […]

A sneak peek of next week’s programs: Two nights, four speakers, one incredible experience

It is always a moving target to understand even the most obvious geopolitical alliances and influences. But in the world of emerging China, the reemergence of Russia, the Internet-connected world and other rapidly advancing technology and with many new non-traditional leaders in the world, geopolitics is moving so fast as to create a sonic boom. […]

Pack Packs the House

Thank you to everyone who attended Jason Pack’s presentation “From Qadhafi to Chaos: Libya’s Centrality in Western Geostrategy and the Fight Against Jihadism” at the Grand View on Jan. 4. We had a packed house and the feedback from attendees has been stellar.  As Jason has explained, the problems in Libya are bigger than just […]

If you missed “Bitcoin and the Rise of Digital Currency…”

Thank you to everyone who attended the Vail Symposium program “Bitcoin and the Rise of Digital Currency” last week at Donovan Pavilion. We had a full house and, while we’re sorry that we couldn’t fit everyone in, I would like to encourage everyone to purchase their ticket in advance (hint, hint). You can find this […]

What Doesn’t Kill Us with Scott Carney

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Scott Carney’s presentation on Dec. 14, 2017. Scott discussed what he learned in his new book, “What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength.” Part of our Unlimited Adventure series, Scott’s presentation not only entertained, but also made […]

Bitcoin and the Rise of Digital Currency is SOLD OUT!

Our 2017-18 Winter Season is off to a gangbuster start, with large crowds at our recent programs. As an illustration: Our program this evening, Thursday, Dec. 28, entitled Bitcoin and the Rise of Digital Currency is sold out!  If you weren’t able to purchase your tickets in time, we’d like to encourage you to register early […]

Update: We have a winner!

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets for the Vail Symposium’s raffle for the dream vacation in Vail. Shelly Gruner, from right here in the Vail Valley, is our winner! We truly appreciate your support of Vail Symposium’s mission of providing educational programs for the Vail Valley community that are thought-provoking, diverse and affordable. We […]

Vital Voices: The Power of women leading change around the world

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 6, the Vail Symposium presented an inspirational program at the Four Seasons Resort Vail. Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices, brought stories of women making a difference in their community, around the world. For more than 20 years, Vital Voices has been supporting women who are affecting change, tackling […]

Dealing with Partisanship in Politics

Last week, on June 29, Vail Symposium’s program with Mark Gerzon attracted 90 attendees to focus on the issues we as a country face with strong partisanship in our political dialogue. Interestingly, the audience was very evenly divided philosophically with 1/3 of the audience being Republican, 1/3 Democrat and 1/3 being Independent/other. The inspiration for […]

Imagine selective evolution

Imagine selective evolution By Noah Seeman, Vail Symposium Intern Register for the event with Jamie Metzl In 2003 the scientific community completed perhaps the most important scientific project ever embarked upon. That was the human genome project. Researchers successfully sequenced 3 billion base pairs in our 23 chromosomes, discovering roughly 20,000 genes. Those 20,000 genes […]

What the expert Jamie Metzl is saying about the Genomics Revolution

Q&A with Jamie Metzl  Progressing at breakneck speed, genetic engineering has seen significant advance since the first time Jamie Metzl addressed the topic at the Vail Symposium in 2015 to a sold out audience. Metzl will return on Thursday, February 9, offering the latest update on the science and implications of this world-changing technology. Metzl, […]

Slides from “The eye, inspiration and passion for collecting”

The eye, inspiration and passion for collecting: C.M. Russell and the Old American West from John O’Neill

‘Tom Petrie is a very different type of collector’

‘Tom Petrie is a very different type of collector’ By Noah Seeman, Vail Symposium intern In a series of gray warehouses in the center of Geneva, behind climate controlled rooms, locked doors and barbed wire fences lies an art collection impressive enough to rival that of the Louvre. Locked up in the Geneva free ports […]

Let a student dissect local, state and national progress with education

Let a student dissect local, state and national progress with education By Noah Seeman, Battle Mountain High School junior Yes, the presidential election was important. Yes, it will have an impact on all of our lives for years to come. It certainly got all the press coverage. But for students in Eagle County schools, myself […]

Amory Lovins is the right guy to listen to

Amory Lovins is the right guy to listen to by Noah Seeman One PhD seems like a lot of work. But twelve? That’s too much. Well, they’re honorary. Physicist Amory Lovins’ list of accomplishments goes on; he’s taught at 10 different universities, written 31 books and over 600 papers, been awarded numerous honors, including Germany’s highest […]

Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and the Millennial Generation

Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and the Millennial Generation By Noah Seeman, Vail Symposium Intern With the 2008 financial crisis occurring during some of the formative years of their lives, millennials approach money and investing in very different ways from previous generations. This, coupled with student loans, has caused millennials to become wary of the stock market and […]

Why you can blame indoor plumbing for dementia: Notes from Dr. Rapp’s program on 12.1.2016

In case you forgot… Dr. Keith Rapp’s presentation on dementia, presented by the Vail Symposium and sponsored by the Vail Valley Medical Center, included many alarming and informative points. What follows is a short compilation of major points made by Dr. Rapp. In 1900 the life expectancy was 46 years old. This was largely due […]

Tracey Flower: Looking Back on 45 Years of the Vail Symposium

TRACEY FLOWER – Executive Director 2013-2015 What years did you spend with the Vail Symposium and in what capacity? 2010-2015. I started at the end of 2010, in November of that year, as a Communications Intern. They needed extra help in the office in preparation for the 40th anniversary celebration in 2011 and I was […]

Liana Moore: Looking Back on 45 Years of the Vail Symposium

LIANA MOORE – Executive Director 2010 – 2013 I joined the board of the Vail Symposium in 2007 and became a member of executive committee in 2009. In 2010 we had our executive director unexpectedly leave. At the time I was running a marketing company producing the Bravo collateral and had just sent the program […]

Doris Dewton: Looking Back on 45 Years of the Vail Symposium

DORIS DEWTON – Current Program Committee I have been involved with the Vail Symposium since we moved here full-time in early 1994. I was invited to be a board member just when Ebby Pinson was trying to revitalize the Symposium after the Town of Vail stopped providing generous funding support.  Ever since that time, I […]

Rob LeVine: Looking Back on 45 Years of the Vail Symposium

ROB LEVINE – Current Board Member and Treasurer What years did you spend with the Vail Symposium and in what capacity? As background, I believe the Antlers has supported the Symposium every single year since at least 1978, when I started here. It was 2003 when Ebby Pinson called me looking for another room for a […]

Ebby Pinson: Looking Back on 45 Years of the Vail Symposium

EBBY PINSON – Honorary Board If I remember correctly, I was the Executive Director of the VS from 1999- 2006.  When I started, we redesigned all of the programs to a format that is similar to what you are doing today. We introduced Hot Topics, the Unlimited Adventure Series with the Library, Backyard Adventures, a […]

Karen Morter: Looking Back on 45 Years of the Vail Symposium

KAREN MORTER – Chair Emeritus I hope my thoughts will help you, as I search my “Memory Bank” of the 35 years I was involved with the Vail Symposium. I became a volunteer for the Symposium when we first moved to Vail in 1972 (year #2 for the VS).  My job was to help with […]

7 Great Sir Ken Robinson Quotes

On Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, Sir Ken Robinson delivered a keynote speech for Vail Symposium’s EDUCATE! event. Here are seven great quotes from the internationally renowned educator whose “Do Schools Kill Creativity” TED Talk has garnered almost 68 million views. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” “The […]

On the Quest for a Life of Meaning, a Q&A with Ralph White

Ralph White is co-founder of the New York Open Center, the leading urban center of holistic learning in America, and author of the highly regarded new memoir, The Jeweled Highway: On the Quest for a Life of Meaning. A pioneer of the consciousness movement, he has directed a twenty one year conference series known as […]

Diet Terminology: A Patient’s View

The following is a submission from Vail Symposium audience member Hank Mader regarding his experience with a plant-based diet. He submitted the following message following the “Putting Total Health Back Into Healthcare” with Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis.  I enjoyed reading Rod Connolly’s (“Health Insights” article) entitled “Positive change in Nutrition can help you lose that weight” […]

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know”

Maybe it was Aristotle who said “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I say maybe because the verbiage sounds a bit basic when compared to the typical wisdom handed down by the father of modern formal logic. Maybe was lying in their attribution of this fun saying. However, if […]

My Favorite Ways to Learn

(preface: John O’Neill is the Marketing Manager of the Vail Symposium. He wrote this blog) I was sitting in the back of Jamie Metzl’s program on genetic engineering in humans this summer thinking to myself, “wow.” I was fascinated by the subject, and from an expert like Jamie Metzl, I was learning so much. Two […]

Speaker Slides From Nutrition for Peak Performance

Many reached out following the Nutrition for Peak Performance slides. It is our pleasure to hear you all enjoyed the program so much and to present the slides. Enjoy! Ben Stone   Dr. Inigo San Millan   Dr. Dennis Lipton

Say yes to the great adventure of life

by Anne Archer Butcher…. Best-selling author Anne Archer Butcher finds that, by going along with an inner nudge to serve, she is given an unexpected and beautiful experience of an elephant’s love  – and an expanded consciousness.  *The article below has been extracted with permission from Inner Guidance: Our Divine Birthright by Anne Archer Butcher.  _______________________________________________________________________ We were standing in […]

Nightmare in Nepal

At noon on April 25 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded at Mount Everest Basecamp.  The violent shaking of the ground created large avalanches off the nearby slopes of Pumori Peak, which killed 19 people and injured nearly 100 at the Everest Basecamp. Off the mountain, Nepal would suffer more than 10,000 lost lives and […]

So Fresh. So Clean. So New!

You might notice that what you’re looking at is a little different than in previous seasons. You might think it looks better – we certainly do. This spring the Symposium overhauled our entire website with the help of Ascher Robbins. Taking the suggestions of our donors, audience members, board, staff (who often battled in the […]

What I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Poor Self Image

From a very early age, through my teenage years and into my early twenties, I was obsessed with my appearance. It started when I was quite young; my dad likes to tell a story about the time my 5-year-old self stood in front of a wardrobe full of clothes, threw my arms up, sighed audibly […]

Where Dance and Art Meet

Getting to know Perfect Pairings guest artist, Heather Hansen.   What comes to mind when you hear the word “artist”?  Most people think of a painter, musician, or performer. Heather Hansen is unique then, in that she combines a background in dancing with her love of drawing in a performance art that uses yoga and […]

3 Reasons to Make a Donation on Colorado Gives Day 2014

This year, Colorado Gives Day is on December 9th, 2014 — less than two months away! The Vail Symposium staff, board and volunteers are excited to participate in this epic day of giving for our third year. Colorado Gives day is 24 hours – from midnight to midnight on Tuesday, December 9th – of online […]

Let Love Lead: A Q&A With Erika Randall Beahm

As one sister gets pregnant and the other comes out of the closet and chooses a dance partner of the same sex, the family must hustle to maintain their status quo in ballroom competition. It is a story fit for Hollywood, but one that hadn’t been told before producers Erika and Daniel Beahm brought it […]

Weeks Like These

The Symposium just finished with a week of meetings. Meeting with our Board of Directors, meeting with our Program Committee. Phone meetings with future speakers, catching up with former speakers. Meetings with donors. Meeting with audience members who wanted to share what they liked and did not like at the Vail Symposium, and what they […]

10 Years from Today – Well-Wishing All Graduates

Leading up to graduation, the Vail Daily has profiled various seniors. In the office, we don’t know many of the seniors, other than our stellar Winter 2014 Intern Ethan Cotton, of course. Yet, we still shuffle through the paper and find ourselves stopping on the senior section, and one question in particular. The Daily asks, […]

When the Askers Give

In non-profits, we “ask” for a lot. We even have mailings and positions dedicated to asking. Luckily, our organization is able to serve the community through the generosity of the community itself. When we ask, the community often delivers. For that, we are so thankful. Every once in a while the Symposium staff gets asked […]

Top 10 Moments from Winter 2014

The Winter 2014 season has wrapped up.  The mountains are closed and the Vail Valley waits for the walls of snow that remain to melt, the grass to green, the trees to leaf, the rivers to swell and, of course, the Vail Symposium Summer 2014 programs! But before we announce our summer schedule, we thought […]