Download a .pdf version of the Vail Symposium Winter 2021-22 Preview

This winter, we’re continuing to celebrate our 50th anniversary season. After a brief pause, we’re resuming our programming on Tuesday, Dec. 7 for our winter season.

However, due to the constantly changing state of the world, we’re still finalizing a few programs. As such, here is a sneak peek at our Winter 2021-22 season. This program will be updated as we confirm programs.

Hard Times: Lebanon’s Economic, Political, and Diplomatic Struggles
December 7, 2021 – Webinar
Middle East experts Mona Yacoubian of the United States Institute for Peace and Dr. Eric Bordenkircher of the UCLA Center for Middle East Development will address the situation in Lebanon, what is happening, and why.

Bad Blood: Will the U.S. and Iran Ever Get Along?
Dec. 22, 2021 – Webinar
After four years of the “maximum pressure” campaign from the previous administration, does new leadership in Washington and Tehran signal an opportunity for a thawing of relations between the two countries? Benham Ben Taleblu from the Foundation for Defense of Democracy, Michael Singh managing director at The Washington Institute, and veteran journalist Greg Dobbs examine the fraught U.S. – Iran relationship.

Founders of Vail: Rod Slifer in conversation with Terry Minger
Speaking Locally
Dec. 30, 2021- Vail Interfaith Chapel
Rod Slifer, the first-ever realtor in Vail, has become a major force in Vail’s evolution from ski area to mega-resort. He served as a member of the Vail Town Council for 16 years and the mayor of Vail for 11 years. Slifer was also an early member of Eagle County and Vail Planning Commissions and Recreation District and in this special program, he’s joining in conversation with former City Manager of Vail, Terry Minger.

Mountainfilm Tour
Unlimited Adventure
Jan. 4, 2022 – Battle Mountain High School
Mountainfilm on Tour hits the road, sharing the year’s most inspiring short films with communities around the world. Mountainfilm on Tour shows are hosted by a wide array of organizations, including outdoor retailers, schools and universities, corporations, environmental groups, theaters, local governments and individuals, all using it as an opportunity to create awareness and engage with their communities. Mountainfilm has been on tour since 1999 — extending the festival’s reach and delivering inspiring content to global audiences. More details coming soon!

Tight or Loose: Cultural Variation and Crisis Response
Hot Topics
Jan. 13, 2022 – Edwards Interfaith Chapel
Tight cultures tend to have strong cultural norms and a pronounced lack of tolerance for deviant behavior. Conversely, loose cultures have weak cultural norms and more tolerance for deviant behavior. This program will not set out to prove one culture is better than the other, but rather, behavioral scientist Michele Gelfand will explain how they differ and how their differences manifest in public policy and political reaction.

Malthus Was Wrong: Declining Global Population and its Consequences
Environmental Awareness
Jan. 18, 2022 – Zoom Webinar
For half a century, statisticians, pundits, and politicians have warned that a burgeoning population will soon overwhelm the earth’s resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different alarm. Rather than continuing to increase exponentially, Darrell Bricker argues that the global population is headed for a steep decline.

Shared Crossing: A Gift of Peace, Meaning and Joy in Death
Jan. 27, 2022 – Zoom Webinar
Long whispered about in the hospice and medical communities, shared crossing experiences are the focus of therapist Wiliam J. Peters’ research. For more than two decades Peters has gathered and categorized these stories to identify key patterns and features of what is now known as the “shared crossing” experience.

Reading the Invisible Library: Virtual Unwrapping and the Scroll from En-Gedi
Hot Topics
Feb. 9, 2022 – Edwards Interfaith Chapel
Brent Seales explains the development of non-invasive methods, showing results from restoration projects on Homeric manuscripts, Herculaneum material, and Dead Sea scrolls. The presentation culminates in a new approach that may indeed be the pathway for rescuing still-readable text.

Sympathy for the Inner Caveman: Navigating Modernity with an Ancient Brain
Hot Topics
Feb. 15, 2022 – Vail Interfaith Chapel
The modern world is out of sync with our ancient brains and bodies. In this presentation, evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein cut through the politically fraught discourse surrounding issues like sex, gender, and more to outline a science-based worldview that will empower you to live a better, wiser life.

Cold Comfort: Investigating a Mysterious Disappearance on Everest
Unlimited Adventure
Feb. 23, 2022 – Vail Interfaith Chapel
Marco Siffredi mysteriously disappeared on Everest while attempting to snowboard the Hornbein Couloir, an unrelentingly steep, difficult-to-access route with a high failure rate. Jeremy Evans attempts to solve Everest’s greatest mystery in nearly a century while exploring Marco’s pursuit of a dream, his love of freedom and adventure, and how his French family was forever altered by his loss. Evans will be joined in conversation by legendary local mountaineer Ellen Miller, the first American woman to complete the Everest trilogy.

*These are just the events that are confirmed for the Winter 2021-22 season so far. We’ll be adding more events in the coming weeks!