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Maeda Brings Creativity to World Stage


President Maeda is speaking to global thinkers at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival, a “summer university for the mind.”

The week of June 27 RISD President John Maeda will join more than 250 global leaders in the arts, sciences, business, government and education for the Aspen Ideas Festival, a gathering of influential thinkers who will consider key issues and challenges shaping the world today – from hunger to hip-hop, terrorism to transportation, failing schools to sustainability.

Among the luminaries slated to attend the “week-long summer university for the mind,” Maeda will join Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, architect Frank Gehry, Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, media mogul Arianna Huffington, musician Wynton Marsalis and Teach for America co-founder Wendy Kopp, as well as four sitting Cabinet members in the Obama administration.

Maeda will focus on the expansive role of creative thinking and art and design, in conjunction with one of the festival’s four themes, Ways of Seeing, Ways of Thinking: Arts and Design in American Culture. On Tuesday he will deliver a lecture based on Redesigning Leadership, his latest book with Becky Bermont, which presents a new model for leadership built on experimentation, honest critique and learning by doing. Later in the conference he will share the stage with panelists such as Gary Carter, COO of Freemantle, and Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at MoMA, for a discussion about Creating Cultures of Creativity.

Throughout the week speakers will share their ideas in sessions that will reach beyond the live audience of about 2,000 participants through Twitter, Facebook, dedicated blogs and online video updates. Now in its seventh year, the festival is sponsored by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic magazine, and will be broadcast live and on-demand through

Founded by Chicago industrialist and philanthropist Walter Paepcke in 1950, The Aspen Institute is widely regarded as one of the premier gathering places for world leaders across the ideological spectrum to explore global challenges, ideas and ideals. Currently, its board includes former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Queen Noor of Jordan and four-time U.S. presidential advisor David Gergen, and its ambitious agenda for innovation and values-based leadership has spawned dozens of worldwide initiatives to advance human rights, gender equality, global health, entrepreneurship and economic growth in the developing world. 

related links:
Aspen Ideas Festival
AIF on Facebook
The Aspen Institute
President Maeda on Twitter


tags: governmental, global, innovation, local/global, multimedia, public engagement, STEAM

At RISD there's nothing unusual about suddenly finding a doorknob on a tree trunk, shown here across from Carr House,
the charming home of Student Life offices and the student-run Carr Haus Café.