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Categories: Blog

Thursday, December 12: Charting Destiny: The Power of Maps to Influence Historical Change in America 
In a time when heading west was journeying into the unknown, cartography was akin to memoir. In this program, Susan Schulten demonstrates why maps are uniquely qualified to capture what people knew, what they thought they knew, what they hoped for, and what they feared. As such, maps offer unrivaled windows onto the past. 

Monday, Dec. 16: SPECIAL ADDITION  – Will He Stay or Should He Go? Impeachment in America
Go beyond the soundbites and the spin. In the spirit of the free exchange of ideas, the Vail Symposium takes on the most contentious topic of our time — the impeachment of the U.S. President by the House of Representatives. This program will address the history of impeachment in the United States, as well as historical antecedents in other countries, including the pre-constitutional debate found in the Federalist Papers. The approach and format of this in-depth examination of impeachment will be deliberative. Following background information on impeachment in general, the current impeachment process will be addressed. Differing viewpoints will be presented. Our legal experts will initially be subjected to moderated questioning, followed by audience Q&A.

Sunday, December 29: Return to the Reich: A Hero’s Journey of Vengeance and Triumph 
Freddy Mayer and his family escaped from Germany to the United States in 1938. After Pearl Harbor, Mayer was eager to join the fight to defend his adopted country. He got his chance, but it meant returning to the land he fled. Journalist Eric Lichtblau follows up his New York Times bestseller, “The Nazis Next Door” with “Return to the Reich,” the incredible story of Freddy Mayer. 

Thursday, January 9: Dying of Whiteness: How Racial Resentment is Decimating America’s Heartland 
Physician Jonathan M. Metzl’s quest to understand the health implications of “backlash governance” leads him across America’s heartland. Through interviews with a range of Americans, Metzl examines how racial resentment has fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas–at the expense of people’s lives.  

Monday, January 13:  Iran in Turmoil? Prospects for Change
Diplomatic relations with Iran are rapidly changing, but what does the future hold? Abbas Milani was a professor at Tehran University and will address the history and current status of the Iranian people, government, theocracy, and foreign relations. 

Thursday, January 16: Uncommon Endurance: Two Elite Athletes in Two Tough Sports
On one night, one stage, the Vail Symposium brings together two of the world’s best athletes in their respective endeavors. Meet triathlete and World Xterra Champion Josiah Middaugh and record-breaking ultramarathoner, female champion of the 2019 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Courtney Dauwalter. These elite athletes will discuss how they found their sports, their paths to champion-level performance, overcoming setbacks and what the future holds for both athletes. 

Thursday, January 23 (morning program with Vail Valley Partnership): Beating Burnout: Using Inspiration and Empowerment to Foster Successful Organizations  
Dr. Kate Newburgh draws from a decade of research and practical experience to reveal the real origin of burnout. She will challenge the assumptions that undergird how we organize ourselves at work, and the leadership to stimulate re-engagement in work on a global scale.  

Monday, January 27: “Into the Canyon”: Film screening followed by Q&A with filmmaker Pete McBride 
In 2016, filmmaker/photographer Pete McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko set out on a 750-mile journey on foot through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. From the outset, the challenge was far more than they bargained for. Their quest was more than just an endurance test – it was also a way to draw attention to the unprecedented threats facing one of our most revered landscapes. Throughout their journey, McBride and Fedarko encountered an astonishingly diverse and powerful landscape, rich in history, that is now facing perhaps the gravest crisis in the 98-year history of the Grand Canyon National Park.  

Thursday, January 30: Recalibrating the Scales of Justice  
Clark Neily is vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute. His areas of interest include constitutional law, overcriminalization, civil forfeiture, police accountability, and gun rights. He has written extensively on the coercive use of plea bargains. He will be joined by Ashley Daly, a Denver-area prosecutor, and the two will address practical approaches to reform.  

Thursday, February 6: The Sun is a Compass: A Human-Powered Adventure Across Alaska
For six months, Caroline Van Hemert and her husband, Pat, crossed some of the most remote and rugged places left on earth. Her book, “The Sun is a Compass,” chronicles a 4,000-mile expedition from the Pacific rainforest to the Arctic coast traveling by rowboat, ski, foot, and canoe. 

Wednesday, February 12: Open to the Infinite: Exploring Human Consciousness 
Exploring extraordinary human functioning and how individuals and small groups can, and have, affected social change has been Stephan A. Schwartz’s life work. He has done this both as an experimentalist in parapsychology and as a participant in several major social transformations. Both the experiences and the research has convinced Schwartz that all life is interconnected and interdependent. Join Schwartz as he shares his consciousness research, in particular, his extensive research into Edgar Cayce and non-local consciousness.

Thursday, February 20: While You Are Sleeping: Your Brain’s Nocturnal Pursuits 
If you ever thought sleep was just downtime between one task and the next, think again. Your brain is busy while you’re sleeping. Researcher Jessica Payne, an Associate Professor and Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair in Psychology at Notre Dame, shows that the non-waking hours are incredibly valuable for your day-to-day, especially for helping to commit information to memory and for problem-solving.  

Monday, February 24: Wind, Solar, Nuclear and Beyond: Powering the Future
Carbon neutral, clean energy and renewable energy are frequently cited goals of businesses and governments alike. But how do we get to a future of non-polluting power? This panel discussion will bring together over-looked and oft-maligned power options such as nuclear, discuss the drivers of climate change, examine the challenge of transitioning to renewables by local power providers, and the promise and limitations of battery technology. 

Thursday, March 5: Tax Cuts and Ballooning Deficits: When Will it Matter? 
Opinions of the 2017 tax law have been varied and its effect on the deficit highly controversial. An economist with federal fiscal policy expertise will focus on the budget items having the greatest projected impact on the deficit and the entire panel will address current political realities being discussed in the political arena–now and in the future. 

Thursday, March 12: Bad Blood: Ukraine, Russia and the United States
Since Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has become a key concern for US policymakers, sometimes in unexpected ways. Why does Ukraine keep coming back to the forefront of the US debate? What are Russian intentions toward Ukraine and why should the US be concerned? Join Alina Polyakova, the founding director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology and a fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, as she makes sense of the Ukraine and Russia imbroglio. 

Monday, March 16: Imagining Freedom: Timothy Standring Curates Norman Rockwell 
The Denver Art Museum presents “Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom,” the most comprehensive exhibition to date of creative interpretations of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms from May 3, 2020 to Aug. 23, 2020. Organized and curated by the Norman Rockwell Museum and curated locally by Timothy Standring, Rockwell’s depictions of community and domestic life invoked enduring ideals and helped bring the country together and rally for the common good. Standring will provide a curator’s perspective on the Rockwell exhibit, provide the audience with a sneak peek of what they can expect when they visit the museum and address the exhibit’s relevancy nearly 70 years on.   

Thursday, March 19: Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes: Values Matter and the Truth is Worth Telling
Scott Pelley, one of the most experienced and awarded correspondents in broadcast journalism, has been reporting stories for 60 Minutes since 2004. Pelley is a highly regarded and award-winning journalist, including a record 37 Emmys for fieldwork, nearly all of them for 60 Minutes stories. Pelley is the author of a new memoir, “Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times.” Hear his defense of free speech and a free press as well as some of the remarkable stories he has reported on.  

Thursday, March 26: Risk and Reality: Nuclear Weapons in the Age of Instability 
Though air raid drills are a thing of the past, the threat of nuclear weapons is still very much a reality. Robert Einhorn, who has participated in all the major nuclear treaty negotiations, will provide a brief history of nuclear weapons negotiations. He will also provide insights into the current status of Russia’s violations, the ramifications of the US withdrawal from the INF and updates on Chinese, North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs. 

Thursday, April 2: The Heat is On: The Fiery Future of the West 

This program will provide a condensed overview of the state of fire in the American West and what we can expect in the future. Forest management will also be addressed. The primary focus will be what Colorado and local communities can—and should—be doing to confront this challenge.


Monday, April 6: Out of this World: Everything You Think You Know About UFOs is Wrong 
Is it possible the government actively encourages misinformation regarding UFOs? Could the latest technology breakthroughs be the result of extraterrestrial intelligence? Based on a six-year immersive study of UFO believers, “American Cosmic” by Diana Pasulka details interviews with successful and influential scientists, professionals, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who believe in extraterrestrial intelligence. Her investigation took her from purported UFO crash sites in New Mexico to the archives of the Vatican. 

Thursday, April 9 (*morning program with Vail Valley Partnership): The Costs of Miscommunication and Strategies for Effective Communication 
Teams and individuals frequently misunderstand one another. Assumptions are made, behaviors and body language are misinterpreted, and teammates experience conflict as a result. This program will help attendees understand how thinking and behavioral tendencies affect work environments, including productivity, team effectiveness, innovation, and creativity. 

See full descriptions and purchase tickets here

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