It was interesting to attend the Aspen Ideas Festival in the beautiful Rocky Mountain State! There were so many incredible events and leaders gathered from around the world to discuss societal issues, advances, and how to best engage in change. The theme of the festival is Heat, Money, Trust, Connection, Power, and Beauty, and it explores global concepts that impact everyone.


Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPhone and a variety of other technological innovations, gave great insight into his entrepreneurship, career, and how he strives to make excellent products excellent – but not in a flashy or overdone way. He also wrote the New York Times Bestseller “Build: An unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making,” which is definitely worth a read.

The former Secretary of State and First Lady, Hillary Clinton, spoke about the significance of safeguarding our democracy and protecting women’s rights in the recent overturn of Roe vs Wade. Clinton also paid great tribute to Secretary Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State and a trailblazer who left her mark on the U.S. and the world for her humanity and compassion. My favorite quote from MA was: “I’m an optimist—that worries a lot”.

The host of NPR’s “1A” led a discussion about the polarization of society and how difficult it is to find common ground in an increasingly divisive world. There are many issues that transcend the literal and virtual landscape, and it’s important to recognize how we can have non-threatening and dynamic conversations that lead to change and understanding.

One of the most fascinating events I attended, especially working in the construction industry, was a discussion about how we can transform the techniques and materials we use now to build a more sustainable future. Manufacturing and construction account for a very high percentage of global emissions, but if the materials we used actually reduced those emissions – or could trap carbon – it could make an unprecedented positive impact on our planet. The incredible entrepreneurs and inventors who have developed these futuristic designs shared information about their processes and the market-ready materials ready to scale.

It was inspiring to be amongst such transformative people and ideas. I look forward to seeing them (and hopefully implementing some) in the not-so-distant future!