President Christina Paxson was in Colorado for a few days before the Fourth of July, participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival.

President Christina Paxson joined University of California–Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Davidson College President Carol Quillen for a conversation moderated by New York Times columnist David Brooks titled “Will the Humanities be Extinct by 2024?” The discussion was part of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival.

President Paxson also took part in a session titled “Our Future: The Best Thinking: the Transformative Power of Women and Girls.” Other participants include Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation; Arianna Huffington, chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and 2011 honorary degree recipient at Brown; Pamela Reeves, a U.S. District Court judge and 1988 Brown graduate; Jane Harman, former U.S. representative from California; Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of Management; Lori Gottlieb, author of the controversial self-help book, Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc.; and Joanna Lipper, filmmaker, photographer, and author of the book Growing Up Fast.

President Paxson posited that ensuring access to secondary education for young women and girls around the world would improve the lives of individuals, families and communities. Shiza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of the Malala Fund, echoed the transformational value of this approach.

The Aspen Ideas Festival described that session this way: “From human rights to economic opportunity, bold and rigorous thinking about gender equality can lead us to a safer, more prosperous, and more just world. As we think about the next 10 years, how will the lives of women improve and prosper? What are the big ideas from women, and about women, that will help transform the next decade into one of real opportunity at home and abroad? Remarkable leaders across a variety of sectors will present their thoughts about ways to advance the cause of women and girls, and in so doing, advance the entire world.”