Vail Symposium Winter 20-21: Our Season to Date

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 we find the can’t-miss opportunities.

Here are a few of the programs that we’re working on. We look forward to seeing you (virtually) this winter!

Dec. 7, 2020: An Evening with Lt. General H.R. McMaster
Special Event

Lt. General H.R. McMaster, U.S. Army, ret., is a former National Security Advisor and author of the bestselling classic “Dereliction of Duty.” His latest book, “Battlegrounds,” is a groundbreaking reassessment of America’s place in the world, drawing from McMaster’s long engagement with these issues, including 34 years of service in the U.S. Army with multiple tours of duty in battlegrounds overseas.

*This is a paid program – attendees will receive a copy of “Battlegrounds.”

Dec. 15, 2020: Tensions Rising: Climate Change and National Security 
Environmental Awareness and Geopolitical

As the planet warms, seas rise, droughts spread and storms intensify–conflict and violence will increase, fragile states will collapse, and waves of migration will ensue. Join military policymakers for a discussion on how the military is planning and preparing for a warmer and potentially less stable world.

Jan. 7, 2021: Value Proposition: The Future of Higher Education
Hot Topics

Long heralded as the path to the American Dream, soaring tuition and crushing debt have tarnished higher education’s appeal. Enter a pandemic necessitating online learning and some parents and students are questioning if the benefits outweigh the costs. Join former Yale president Rick Levin, current Penn State president Eric Barron and moderator Kathryn Regjo of Colorado Mountain College as they examine the future of higher education.

Jan. 14, 2021: Into the Light: What We Can Learn From Near-Death Experiences

Near-death experience (NDE) expert Dr. Scott Taylor found himself in an unusual situation. He was called to visit a distant relative in hospice to help her overcome her fear of death. Not trained in hospice work, he nevertheless used his knowledge of NDEs to help his cousin learn what to expect during her transition and embrace the next phase of her life. This is that story.

Jan. 21, 2021: Film Screening: “They Say It Can’t Be Done”
Hot Topics

America has a well-deserved reputation as an incubator for innovators and innovation. However, innovation does come with risks. Our regulatory system is designed to protect the public. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned regulations can inadvertently hamper beneficial progress. This documentary examines how innovators are working on solutions to some of our most difficult problems, but their work is being stifled by our regulatory environment. Join us for a live stream of this documentary followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Jan. 28, 2021: Active Measures: The Russian Effort to Undermine America
Hot Topics

Peter Pomerantsev is one of the world’s leading experts into how the Russian government manipulates the truth, wages war against reality and undermines their adversaries. Explore how Russia has used information as a weapon against America, what we can expect in the future, and how we can prepare ourselves to combat it.

Feb. 4, 2021: Clap On: Navigating the Energy Transition
Hot Topics

Changing patterns of global energy use may have unexpected and nonintuitive winners and losers. How might world energy usage evolve in the coming decades and what will be the impacts? Is it possible to eliminate fossil fuels entirely, or we will continue to use some fossil fuels well into the future? When will be the tipping point when renewables exceed fossil fuels in U.S. energy generation? What is hastening or slowing this transition? And who will be winners and losers? Join energy experts Morgan Bazilian of the Colorado School of Mines and Alice Jackson, CEO of Xcel Energy Colorado as they peer into our energy future and provide an idea of what to expect.

Feb 11, 2021: The Twilight of Democracy

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In her recent book, “The Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism,” Anne Applebaum, an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about anti-democratic trends in the West, explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy.

Feb. 18, 2021: The Story Behind the Story
Hot Topics

Join Emily Taguchi, producer at ABC Nightline and director/producer of “After Parkland,” a feature-length documentary about the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting for an exploration of what stories get told and how they are presented to audiences.



Feb. 24, 2021: Hands on Healing: The Curative Potential of Energy

In many in-vivo and in-vitro experiments over the course of 40 years, Dr. Bill Bengston has reliable data supporting the idea that “healing” is more powerful than we realize. During his presentation, Dr. Bengston will provide background on previous healing studies, as well as experiments indicating healing intention can be “stored” in organic and inorganic material. He will explain experiments indicating healing intention can be “recorded” using a variety of recording media. Lastly, he will offer methods to enhance healing, such as a clinical study with water and share his thoughts on going forward.

March 4, 2021: Angela the Almost-Great? An Examination of German Chancellor Merkel’s Legacy

After 15 years Chancellor Angela Merkel steps down in 2021. What will be her legacy? And what might the future hold for the most influential European country? Dr. Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, will join the Vail Symposium to discuss where Germany is, and where it is heading.

April 1, 2021: Dr. James Baker 
Hot Topics or Health and Wellness

Dr. Baker’s research is in the area of immunology and host defense, evolving into nanomaterials and their applications in therapeutics. He has invented new forms of synthetic lipid and polymeric nanostructures, which have resulted in the development new approaches to vaccines.

Apr. 8, 2021: The Reason Why: Examining the Protests for Racial Justice in America
Hot Topics

The trajectory of Wes Moore’s life has been extraordinary. Raised in a single-parent household in Baltimore, Moore became a Rhodes scholar. In 2005, he walked away from a successful banking career to join the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan. Today he is the CEO of Robin Hood, one of the largest anti-poverty forces in the nation. He is a bestselling author, a combat veteran and a social entrepreneur. His latest book, “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City” describes the protests following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. Moore will be joined in conversation by Colorado Public Radio host Jo Ann Allen.

And… (Date TBD)

To Serve and Protect: Policing in America 
Hot Topics

Inextricably linked to the issues of race and justice in America, are questions swirling around how laws are enforced and how law enforcement interacts with the public, in particular people of color. What is meant by “defund the police,” have departments become overly militarized, are the police held accountable or does the justice system defer to law enforcement at the expense of citizens?

Leave a Reply