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  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report is a summary of the main discussions presented during the two editions of "Opportunities in Technology for the Base of the Pyramid" event- the first of which was held in Receife on November 12, 2013, the second of which was held in Sao Paulo on May 20, 2014. The event was hosted by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), Ebay Foundation, Instituto de Cidadania Empresarial (ICE,) with support from ARTEMISIA, Cria Global, and Porto Digital.
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Ellen F. Goodman
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Twenty-Ninth Annual Aspen Institute Conference on Communications Policy, titled "Developing Policies for the Internet of Things," took place August 13-16, 2014 in Aspen, CO. As the world becomes increasingly connected and more objects become embedded with sensors, the Internet of Things is poised to explode, with estimates of 25 billion connected devices by 2020. 35 knowledgeable participants gathered to examine how specifically should communications policies accommodate the new Internet of Everything? Written by rapporteur Ellen P. Goodman, the report explores the nascent promises and challenges of the IoT. In examining the interplay between the vast increase in data created on the Internet of Things (IoT), and the resultant strain on the networks that carry this information, and the group came to a realization. Data needs to be thought of as "“infrastructure."
  • Author: Elise Hu
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Strengthening a Free and Open Internet in a Changing and Complex World, the report of the 2014 Forum on Communications and Society, addresses critical issues related to openness on the Net. Highlights include details about the net neutrality debate, and a series of principles developed by participants that policy-makers can use when considering Internet regulatory decisions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Science and Technology, Communications, Governance, Regulation
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This commentary honors and celebrates the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, highlighting the growth, evolution, and remarkable accomplishments of two federal programs that together provide health insurance coverage to some 110 million Americans. It also recognizes President Lyndon B. Johnson, whose determination to bring these programs to life is legendary. This was prepared as part of a commemoration sponsored by the Health, Medicine and Society Program of the Aspen Institute, the LBJ Presidential Library, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Karyn Feiden researched and wrote the commentary, on behalf of the Aspen Institute. Special thanks to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation whose source material is extensively cited here.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Social Stratification, Governance, Health Care Policy
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report summarizes key findings from recent research on links between higher education and the workforce. Featuring eight brief papers from leading education and workforce experts from around the country, the report offers practical advice for institutional leaders, policymakers, students and their advisers about how to use the increasingly available information on the economic value of higher education. Specifically, the authors’ papers and the opening summary explore what various audiences can learn from emerging evidence about: variations in labor market outcomes by program and institution; the value of degrees to jobs both in and out of fields studied; returns to the completion of certain course clusters that don’t add up to a degree; and distortions that may result from examining returns to individual degrees rather than “stacked” degrees.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Labor Issues, Global Markets, Employment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Roger Ballentine, Andy Karsner
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: We are still in the early stages of a transformation of the U.S. electricity sector into a cleaner, more flexible, more resilient, and more dynamic system. The early history of investment in and adoption of clean energy technologies and practices has been mixed. The venture capital model has proven to be inadequate for scaling up clean energy, and anticipated policy developments have been slow to be realized. The sector-reshaping impact of unconventional gas, uneven capitalization of clean energy companies, and the mixed signals of government policymakers have slowed the march to a more distributed energy economy rooted in the greater use of renewables, the more efficient use of energy, and the optimization of information technologies in the energy sector.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy, Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Panthea Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: "Open government" is everywhere. Search the term and you'll find OpenGovernment.org, OpenTheGovernment.org, Open Government Initiative, Open Gov Hub and the Open Gov Foundation; you'll find open government initiatives for New York City, Boston, Kansas, Virginia, Tennessee and the list goes on; you'll find dedicated open government plans for the White House, State Department, USAID, Treasury, Justice Department, Commerce, Energy and just about every other major federal agency. Even the departments of Defense and Homeland Security are in on open government.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Politics, Political Theory, Governance
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Shanthi Kalathil
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The revolution will not only be televised, it will be instantly transmitted. When dictators fall, the world watches in real time; when complex negotiations take place, global public opinion has a seat at the table; and in crisis situations, immediately is not soon enough. Widespread access to information and communication technology (ICT) has permanently changed the face of international relations. In particular, it has transformed the conceptualization and practice of diplomacy. As non-state actors become increasingly empowered, diplomacy has come to encompass not only state-state relations, but various forms of state- citizen and citizen-citizen relations as well, all enacted in full view of the public. Diplomatic actors, institutions and processes are in the process of adapting-some faster than others-to these new realities.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Colby Farber
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The 2014 Financial Security Summit examined how policymakers, the financial services industry, advocates, and academics can advance new policies and products to make it easier for households to build financial security and to reinvigorate the American Dream.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White, Leonard Coburn
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The evolution from energy scarcity to abundance in the United States creates dislocations. Technology, infrastructure, laws, regulations, trade flows, and environmental and security policies developed during American energy deficits must be adapted to cope with its new energy prosperity. Significant improvements in oil and gas technology are leading to production increases outpacing projections. A need for infrastructure development follows energy production, necessitating adaptations. Laws passed in the 1970s during times of energy disruptions require reconsideration in a period of relative plenty. The shift of the United States and Canada from an oil and gas importing region to an exporting region has enormous global implications. Policies need to be readjusted in light of new realities, and the effects of the oil and gas boom in North America will require new thinking by governments, industry and consumers.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Alexander N. Pan
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, a growing segment of social entrepreneurs and small and growing businesses(SGBs) has emerged that seeks to utilize the power of invention to create products and companies that improve the lives of people living in poverty around the world. We call this class of entrepreneur-looking to develop and disseminate tangible products that will be manufactured and sold at high volumes via market mechanisms-an invention-based entrepreneur.1 ANDE believes that invention-based entrepreneurs are supported or impeded by a number of environmental factors, or the entrepreneurial ecosystem in which they work. While ANDE and our members have made significant progress toward strengthening these entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging markets, invention-based entrepreneurs have a unique set of needs that differentiates them from typical SGBs. Consequently, we believe we can improve the ecosystem to support the growth of this industry, and thereby unleash the full potential impact of these invention-based entrepreneurs.
  • Topic: Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, South Africa
  • Author: Dave Grossman (Rapporteur), Sue Tierney, Chair
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: New federal regulations, changes in fuel prices and trends, the expansion of distributed energy resources, declines in U.S. electricity consumption, and advances in technology are all spurring utilities and regulators to respond and adapt. Discussions of the challenges and opportunities these forces present for the U.S. electricity sector – as well as how the industry and its regulators are adapting – formed the heart of the 2014 Aspen Institute Energy Policy Forum. This report summarizes and organizes some of the key insights from those discussions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Resources, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alan Weil, Shayla Regmi, Carrie Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, represents the largest transformation of American health policy in more than a generation. The law redefines how health insurance functions, significantly expands health insurance coverage, and accelerates changes already underway in how health care services are organized and delivered to patients. This transformation creates new opportunities for improving the health and well-being of vulnerable children and their parents. Ascend at the Aspen Institute promotes a two-generation approach to creating opportunity for vulnerable families. In Ascend's two-generation framework, health is an element of family and child well-being in its own right and a supportive factor in achieving the educational, economic, and social assets families need to thrive. This paper describes the changes in health care effected by the ACA and explores the unfinished business of developing a health care system that supports two-generation approaches.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare, Privatization, Governance
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: During the past 10 years of impact investing in Brazil, we have observed a significant development in the impact investing space. Five years ago, only a few players identified themselves as impact investors, very few organizations in the social sector were investor-ready, and there were almost no co-investment opportunities. A steep increase in the number of investors and amount of capital, greater coordination among players, and a more professional workforce active in the industry today have facilitated the development of impact investing. This market study of the impact investing sector in Brazil reveals significant market growth. Nineteen of Brazil's largest impact investors, including fund managers, banks, foundations, family offices and others surveyed expect to commit 40% to 50% more capital to impact investments in 2014 compared to 2013.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In 1987, back at the dawn of the Internet age, two studies were published that provided perceptive looks at the evolution of electronic networks and the impact that they would likely have on the way business is conducted in the U.S. and globally. Both studies concluded that rapidly evolving information technologies were helping to break down old hierarchical business structures in favor of new, more decentralized models of economic activity.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Americans have fallen out of the saving habit. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the household saving rate, which fell to low single digits in the run-up to the 2007–08 financial crisis, is just 3.8% today, and over 75% of Americans do not have enough saved to cover six months' expenses, whether the need arises because of job loss or an unexpected life event. Projecting the current rate forward, and adjusting only for the aging of the population, we found that the saving rate will fall to an extremely low 3% in the 2030s.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Monsma
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In 2013, the Aspen Institute published The Ocean Community Report, a study based on a 2012 roundtable discussion with oceans leaders at Fort Baker, California on the state of ocean conservation, as well as two research papers on marine protection advocacy, policy and management.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Maritime Commerce, Water
  • Political Geography: California
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report is based on the themes and messages discussed during the Business Opportunities in Housing for the Base of the Pyramid event held in São Paulo, Brazil on 2 September 2013. The event brought together between key actors developing housing solutions for low-income communities in Brazil. More than 70 members from the United Nations Development Programme in Brazil, city government, civil society, real estate developers, private-sector companies and investors attended this invite-only event, a collaborative effort between Business Call to Action (BCtA) and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) Brazil Chapter which enabled participating stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Human Welfare, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The structure and character of commerce has changed dramatically since the arrival of the World Wide Web and various digital technologies, particularly mobile phones and large, interconnected databases. Consumers now have much greater market power and choice. Markets can more easily scale, often globally. Co-production and fluid producer/consumer interactions are routine. Transactions themselves have become far cheaper and more easily consummated.
  • Topic: Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Alexander N. Pan, Randall Kempner
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: From our perspective at ANDE, we have seen impact investing become an increasingly important tool used to support small and growing businesses in the developing world that are capable of creating jobs, stimulating long-term economic growth, and generating social impact. However, impact investing is still very much an emerging tool. If it is to scale and become a viable solution to social issues in the United States. There are several key lessons from the international context that the industry should consider.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Dave Grossman (Rapporteur), Roger Ballentine, Andy Karsner
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. electricity sector is nearing an historic inflection point. A confluence of mutually-reinforcing factors is putting unprecedented pressure on the century-old model of monopolistic supply of electrons at approved rates of return, flowing from central generation stations to end-users. Cleaner energy generation technologies continue to improve, are getting less expensive, and are being deployed at an accelerating rate. Innovations in the financial markets and in business models are spurring cleaner energy deployment and increasing competition for providing customers with energy services. A new generation of customers accustomed to transparency, control, and choice in all aspects of their consumption of goods and services is increasingly expecting the same from energy providers. Information technologies that have enabled rapid change in communications and entertainment are now starting to be applied to energy. And public policies are beginning to enable, if not encourage, fundamental changes in how electricity is generated and provided. The current utility model is colliding with this confluence of factors, leading to a system in conflict, with the old system trying to accommodate more irregular dispatch, customer or third-party owned distributed generation, a range of social equity issues, and societal desires for a stable, clean, interactive, and hardened system. While part of the answer to these challenges may lie in a reformulation of the regulated utility business model, others believe that a more fundamental re-ordering of how energy is produced, delivered, managed, and owned is in the offing. This vision of a re-ordered, more diverse, more competitive, and more integrated electricity system could be thought of as “Clean tech 3.0”. This vision involves better systems (not just better devices), smart and connected devices of all sorts, a dynamic and flexible two way grid, more active and involved consumers, and business models that do not rely on subsidies. It also envisions clean energy not just as a commodity but as a way to provide value to customers (e.g., comfort, mobility, health). Achieving Clean tech 3.0 will require society to grapple with some tough equity and policy challenges, including whether to keep and/or adapt the traditional regulatory compact, how to treat low-income consumers and consumers not generating their own power, and which policies and institutions should be created, reformed, or eliminated to create the proper enabling environment for change. The electricity sector is already starting to witness the rise of a class of customers empowered by technological advances to start to re-think their relationship to energy. These empowered customers have social needs and practical preferences for which they are willing to pay, including price certainty, reliability, resilience, and cleanness. The industry is thus entering a new era that focuses less on selling electrons than on offering consumers valuable services. The path, however, is not without obstacles. The role for traditional utilities in this customer-focused market is unclear; such a focus has not historically been part of their business and is not one of their strengths, and the utilities have been operating in a sector unaccustomed to significant change. Clean energy companies, too, can find it challenging to develop new profitable business models. Even the energy efficiency industry, which offers the fastest and lowest cost pathway to a cleaner energy future, may struggle to sell and scale energy efficiency unless market structures and enabling policies can align with improving technologies to realize the full value proposition of smarter energy delivery and consumption. Regulators have been struggling to figure out how to address the suite of changes facing the electricity sector as well. Current physical and policy infrastructures do not seem to be up to the task. There appear to be three interdependent tectonic plates in motion – long term utility generation planning, mid-term smart grid design, and very near-term device and software design and deployment – that are not aligned, are moving at dangerously different speeds, and are not properly engaging with each other on a regular basis. Regulatory models must be devised that are more flexible, adaptive, and open to rapid advances in technology. There are some places now, such as Hawaii and New York, where regulatory innovation is occurring to try to get ahead of some of these issues. While the challenge of rethinking utility regulatory models falls largely in the hands of state policy makers, the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, issued under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, might have profound implications for how state policies and markets will impact energy efficiency and clean energy. The draft rule would set 2030 emissions goals for states and then give states flexibility on how to meet those goals. The draft 111(d) rule is complex, and a variety of concerns have been raised about it. It is not known how the final rule will be modified to address concerns and comments, nor how the almost certain litigation will be resolved. At the very least, the draft rule is already spurring conversations in every state that have not been had to this point at the level and scale necessary, forcing states to think about how emissions reductions will be achieved, what their energy mix will be, what role clean energy will play, and how state policies and market structures need to change in the years ahead. Those conversations can help contribute to broader discussions about creating a clear and compelling vision of the near-future state of U.S. clean energy. Those discussions need to include a range of actors, including the many regulators and utility executives who think the U.S. is still in Clean tech 1.0 and does not need to go anywhere else. There is a need to figure out how to bring those people along and help them start to understand the speed and nature of the changes that are occurring.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Monitor Deloitte
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the next decade some 600 million new jobs will be needed to reverse the effects of the global financial crisis and avoid a further increase in unemployment. Small and growing businesses (SGBs) are a critical growth engine capable of creating many of these jobs Not only do SGBs create a large number of jobs—200 on average—but those jobs tend to be higher paying. One study showed that companies with 10–50 employees offer wage premiums of 10-30% over micro-enterprises with less than 10 employees, while the premium increases to 20-50% if the business has more than 50 employees. In short, creating new jobs is a critical component to improving livelihoods in the developing world, and SGBs are an important tool for driving this job creation, as well as producing other positive social and environmental returns for their communities by producing goods and services (health, education, sanitation, etc.) for the world's poorest.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In many respects, the U.S. health care system is breathtakingly innovative. It produces new technology, medical procedures, and scientific knowledge at a dazzling speed, enabling patients to recover from diseases and injuries once thought incurable or untreatable. As a consequence, the U.S. has one of the highest survival rates for cancers, excels at acute and trauma care, and has produced half of the world's Nobel laureates.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, Social Stratification, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Congressional leaders are best able to judge what committee should have jurisdiction over this department and its duties. But we believe that Congress does have the obligation to choose one in the House and one in the Senate, and that this committee should be a permanent standing committee with a nonpartisan staff.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Biosecurity, Governance, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White(Chair), Leonard Coburn(Rapporteur)
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Improved technology has led to enhanced oil and gas productivity at lower cost and significant production increases in the United States and Canada, dramatically changing energy perspectives. The shift from energy scarcity toward abundance is requiring new energy policies. The potential for the United States to become a net exporter of oil and gas changes American views of energy dependency. Shifts in global energy demand growth from developed to less developed countries, and especially to the Asia-Pacific region, require understanding of changing global energy trade. American energy will flow to markets where scarcity is the largest. Canada and the United States are reaping the benefits of this new world of oil and gas. Mexico will lag behind unless it addresses its chronic problems. Without reform, Mexico could become a net importer of all its hydrocarbons, a fundamental change from its current status. Responding to these changes will require knowledge, foresight, and strategies that are bold and comprehensive.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Canada, Mexico
  • Author: Bill Dickenson (Co-Chair), Phil Sharp (Co-Chair), Dave Grossman (Rapporteur)
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The future of the U.S. electricity sector is hard to foresee – and it is never wise to overpay one's fortune tellers – but there appear to be some key trends and technologies that may reshape future electricity markets and determine the innovativeness, resilience, security, and global competitiveness of the sector. Discussions of the sector's past, present, and future formed the heart of the 2013 Aspen Institute Energy Policy Forum. This report summarizes and organizes some of the key insights from those discussions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: There is no question within the ocean conservation community that the world's oceans are in peril and that the threat has been caused primarily by human activities. Skillful conservation leaders have stepped forward in the last three decades to respond to this great threat to the integrity of our oceans and the livelihoods of those who depend upon them.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Environment, Food
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Internet is the most robust medium of information exchange in history. Two billion people are now connected, and at current growth rates everyone with Internet access will join the Internet community within a decade. Barring technological and political disruptions, the world's populace will then be on a single common digital platform. The global medium can provide unparalleled personal well-being, economic growth and beneficial social change.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Globalization, Political Economy, Science and Technology, Communications, Regime Change
  • Author: Jeffrey Abramson
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In any robust understanding of democracy, citizenship is a crucial component of self-government. In turn, the free flow of information, the accuracy of that information, opportunities to participate in the affairs of government and a sense of civic engagement with others are crucial components of citizenship. In evaluating these components, participants in the 2011 Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS) explored how best to take citizenship digital. Participants gathered to take stock of innovative ways that citizens can use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to better practice the core—but often unrealized—ideals of citizen participation and empowerment.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Globalization, Science and Technology, Communications, Governance
  • Author: Jeremy A. Leonard
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: As the United States struggles to find a politically acceptable and economically sensible solution to its severe fiscal crisis, hidden in plain sight just North of the 49th parallel is an example that ought to be considered more carefully. Quietly, but steadily, under governments of all political stripes, Canada has profoundly re-structured its economy, gotten its fiscal house in order, created a competitive business tax environment, and come into its own as a strong economic player in North America and beyond.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Internet is rapidly becoming the main thoroughfare over which the vital functions of society—communications, commerce, news, finance, civic and government affairs—are carried. The Net has already had enormous impact on a range of industry sectors, ranging from retailing and financial services to publishing and entertainment, and it has begun to reshape critical institutions, ranging from education to health care. Virtually every enterprise, no matter what business it is in, has been touched in multiple ways by the digital revolution: functions such as advertising, business intelligence, research, sales, orders, payments, logistics and even the management of daily activities have moved online. Internet-driven connectivity has made the world increasingly "flat" by creating a global marketplace. Government agencies at all levels are in the midst of putting their functions online in order to increase efficiency of operations and enhance transparency. Social media have emerged as a new way for people-especially young people-to connect with one other and express their individuality. These online tools have also demonstrated the capacity to organize political action and to galvanize resistance to repressive regimes, even as they strive to exercise control over these grassroots networks. Wireless media have extended the reach of the Net to the entire world. A series of reports from the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program have documented these tectonic shifts (see table) and explored some of the issues that they are raising.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Communications, Intellectual Property/Copyright
  • Author: Basit Chaudhry deBronkart, Carole Roan Gresenz, Joseph Hutter, Anjali Jain, Brent C. James, Shawn Martin, Lewis Mattison, Daniel L. Newton, Anthony Nguyen, Brent Parton, Kavita Patel, Steven Weinberger
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In many respects, the U.S. health care system is breathtakingly innovative. It produces new technology, medical procedures, and scientific knowledge at a dazzling speed, enabling patient store cover from diseases and injuries once thought incurable or untreatable. As a consequence, the U.S. has one of the highest survival rates for cancers, excels at acute and trauma care, and has produced half of the world's Nobel laureates.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Today America finds a new market force emerging: companies that achieve an intimate connection between profit and purpose. And these businesses are supported by a developing system of investors and other financial actors that seek to place capital in firms that are achieving social impact. A new trail is being blazed for our country – open, far-reaching, transformative, offering an opportunity for renewal and growth. This is the Impact Economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Phil Sharp
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The question is never whether the United States has an energy policy. It has dozens. They come with various decision-makers at overlapping levels of authority, ample numbers of stakeholders, and generally lots of confusing and often contradictory signals.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bill White
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: A shift in relative energy consumption among regions and the development of new, unconventional supplies will be the most significant changes over the next twenty years. The dominant fuels in the world energy market until 2030 will continue to be hydrocarbons — oil, coal, and natural gas. Major shifts will occur, however, among the three fuels, among regions and in their supply. Globally, oil will continue to be the most widely used fuel as it supplies more than 90 percent of the energy for transportation. Coal, now the dominant fuel used for electric power generation, will lose ground to natural gas, a less carbon-intensive hydrocarbon. Natural gas will become the second largest overall supplier and well positioned to replace coal as the leading supplier for electric power. Developing countries will lead the way in overall energy growth, with Chinese and Indian energy demand growing fastest. Energy demand in developed countries will remain flat. For the United States, growth in gas shale and oil shale are likely to be “game changers,” altering the supply picture dramatically.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Markets, Political Economy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India
  • Author: Michael R. Fancher
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The financial plight of news media companies was alarmingly clear when the Knight Commission released its report in October 2009. Newspapers were closing or filing for bankruptcy. Print and broadcast news staffs were being cut and coverage reduced. There was growing concern that the loss of traditional media at the local level would lessen citizens' ability to have the information they need for their personal lives and for civic engagement, as well as their ability to hold government accountable.
  • Topic: Democratization, Globalization, Government, Mass Media
  • Author: Mark MacCarthy
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: In November 2010, the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program held the latest in its continuing series of roundtable discussions on spectrum policy, “The Search for 500 MHz: Spectrum for the Next Generation of Wireless.” The Roundtable brought together technical experts, industry representatives, congressional staff, officials from the Executive Office of the President and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, industry analysts, officials from foundations and public interest groups, and academics.
  • Topic: Globalization, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Author: Richard P. Adler
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Even as the magnitude of the digital revolution becomes more evident, its implications remain a matter of intense debate. Stewards of traditional media worry about the values that are being lost or threatened in the transition, while new media enthusiasts prefer to focus on the potential of digital technology not merely to inform citizens about their communities but to empower them to become directly involved in democratic processes. Policymakers often find themselves in the middle, attempting to negotiate between the impulse to let the marketplace freely determine winners and losers and the desire to protect the public interest by mitigating market failures and encouraging socially beneficial trends. All of these forces were represented at the 2010 Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS) in Aspen.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Science and Technology, Communications, Mass Media
  • Author: Keith O. Lawrence (ed)
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: More than 2.3 million people in america are in jail or prison.sixty percent are african american and Latino.Of all the statistics portraying racial inequity in our country, this is the most alarming: it indicates the failure of so many of our society's institutions; it predicts dire consequences for millions of children and families of color who are already at socioeconomic disadvantage; and it challenges the very definition of our democracy.
  • Topic: Crime, Race, Social Stratification
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: David Bollier
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the course of the past generation, but especially since the World Wide Web emerged in 1994, digital technologies have been transforming the nature of work, the architectures of markets and the inner dynamics of organizations. They have also been altering the global economy and national cultures, which in turn is forcing governments to change how they build infrastructure, meet social needs and provide services.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Globalization, Government, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Author: Jon Gant, Nicol Turner-Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Over the last several decades, local, state and federal government entities in the United States have steadily moved toward more openness and transparency.By definition, openness and transparency allow stakeholders to gather information that may be critical to their interests and offer channels of communication between stakeholders and elected officials. Aided by legislative mandates and public policy decisions, most government entities are now required to make a minimum amount of information available to citizens, operate in the “sunlight” and not behind closed doors, and actively engage citizens in the policy-making process.
  • Topic: Corruption, Education, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Kapp, Iradat Dhillon, Margaret Clark
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: There is limited international structure to manage the ever important phenomenon of human migration and its associated challenges. This is particularly true with respect to the international migration of health workers, where bilateral agreements between sending and receiving nations have been repeatedly and urgently called for in the context of a global health workforce crisis. There remains, however, significant lack of clarity on the precise role, form, and content bilateral agreements should take to serve a health-related purpose. This Guidebook, including presentation of two model bilateral agreements, aims to provide guidance to further international cooperation around the critical and highly sensitive area of health worker migration.
  • Topic: Globalization, Health, Migration, World Health Organization
  • Author: Michael Fancher
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The idea of convening a forum to seriously examine the need to save American journalism would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But in August 2009, the conversation seemed timely and urgent.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: James E. Rogers
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: July 1, 2010. Anyone following the path of an electron today could be excused for thinking he or she was in the wrong millennium. “Dinosaurs” still rule the world. Large, central power stations produce the vast majority of electricity. Coal, natural gas, some oil, or uranium enters on one end. Electrons and various other byproducts—some innocuous, most not—leave on the other, pushed over long distances across aging transmission lines. Many get lost along the way.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization, Oil, Law
  • Author: John M. Deutch
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The development of natural gas from shale is providing new possibilities for gas use in the United States and throughout the world. The largest conventional natural gas deposits are concentrated in the Middle East and Russia, but unconventional natural gas, including shale, is spread throughout the world, potentially permitting development in many different countries.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Nadim Shehadi
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: LEBANON'S RELATIONS WITH Palestinian refugees, one of the most sensitive issues in the country, was put at the forefront of parliamentary and public debates on June 15, 2010, when a series of legislative proposals were presented to re-examine the refugees' legal status and to resolve the issues surrounding their civil rights. It was the culmination of a national discussion that began in 2005, in which a new atmosphere advocating the examination of the refugee issues started to emerge.
  • Topic: War, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Lebanon
  • Author: Linda Stuntz, Susan Tomasky
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: For many years, electricity transmission has been designed to provide enough interconnection to provide affordable, reliable supplies of electricity. Recent developments in market mechanisms, technologies and policy goals have begun to pose different requirements on the existing grid system. To meet the needs of all beneficiaries of transmission enhancements, new planning, siting and cost allocation strategies must be implemented.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Author: Estera Barbarasa
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This report depicts the landscape of development organizations that fund and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries: multilateral development banks, bilateral government donor agencies, and development finance institutions (DFIs). The report is a new contribution to both the development community, as well as the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). Advocacy and policy work is a strategic priority for ANDE, and the report's findings will enable the Network to understand the international development community and to be more strategic in its approach as it seeks to influence and shape the international development SME agenda.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Third World, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Robert Kapp, Ibadat S. Dhillon, Margaret E. Clark
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: There is limited international structure to manage the ever important phenomenon of human migration and its associated challenges. This is particularly true with respect to the international migration of health workers, where bilateral agreements between sending and receiving nations have been repeatedly and urgently called for in the context of a global health workforce crisis. There remains, however, significant lack of clarity on the precise role, form, and content bilateral agreements should take to serve a health-related purpose. This Guidebook, including presentation of two model bilateral agreements, aims to provide guidance to further international cooperation around the critical and highly sensitive area of health worker migration.
  • Topic: Health, International Cooperation, Health Care Policy
  • Author: Clark Kent Ervin
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This is the third in a series of reports about various cities' preparedness for terrorism and/or natural disasters. It is the outgrowth of a series of discussions in 2007-2008 in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, and Chicago among key federal, state, and local government officials in each such city, as well as private sector stakeholders, and think tank/academic experts on homeland security and counterterrorism. The series was underwritten by a generous lead grant from the Ford Foundation, supplemented by additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the McCormick Foundation, and the Houston Endowment. The goal in each city was to identify best practices that can be replicated around the country; to identify any gaps in preparedness; and to recommend to policymakers ways and means of closing any such gaps.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Chicago