I’m just leaving from a few days with the Aspen Institute Business and Society program and reflecting that there is something completely pleasurable about the pace and ethic that the Aspen Institute has set for the way it gathers.
My first visit was to the Idea’s Fest where as a surprise session Bill Clinton spoke to about 100 people under the tent. It was one of the most inspiring and surprising moments I’ve ever had at a “convening.” The quality and caliber of people found at any moment at the institute is remarkable.
More inspiring and surprising, however, of Aspen gatherings is the pace. Poor cel reception and gorgeous landscape mean that people meet your eyes along the paths. And the sessions themselves are the home of long dialogue, a place where pauses in conversation are welcome and where its unlikely that you’ll hear anyone’s big idea in 16 minutes. It’s un-modern in all the best ways.