Vail Symposium announces winter season |

Vail Symposium announces winter season

Daily staff report

Schedule of programs

Visit or call 970.476.0954 to reserve your tickets

Dec. 1

Fears and facts: A multidisciplinary approach to dementia

Hot Topics

Dec. 8

Then, now & then some: Toasting to 45 years


Dec. 15

Beyond 7/2: Breaking the explorers grand slam world record

Unlimited Adventure

Dec. 29

The maestro of Gen Y money: Making investments matter

Financial Speaker Series

Jan. 6


Special Event

Jan. 18

2016 key election ballot outcomes: What’s next?

Speaking Locally

Jan. 19

From Qadhafi to chaos: The origins of the Islamic State in Libya

Hot Topics

Jan. 25

The eye, inspiration and passion for collecting: C.M. Russell & the old American West

Arts & Culture

Feb. 9

Hacking immortality: The science and science fiction of extreme human life extension

Author Series

Feb. 16

Bold impressions: Innovating the entertainment experience

Hot Topics

Feb. 23

The economics of beer

Financial Speaker Series

March 9

7 billion reasons to reconcile climate change, politics and human behavior

Hot Topics

March 16

Physicians’ perspectives of near-death experiences


March 17

Workshop! Synthesizing science and spirit through near-death experiences

Consciousness Workshop

March 30

Connecting the dots: Economic impacts of a new administration

Hot Topics

April 13

Military witness accounts, nuclear missile shutdowns and evidence of ET visitation


April 14

Workshop! Abductees and contactees: Are they making it up?

Consciousness Workshop

April 17

Living amidst nuclear nightmare: A chill in the air

Hot Topics

April 20

Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind


April 21

Workshop! The nature of consciousness: can we reconcile scientific and experiential perspectives

Consciousness Workshop

VAIL — The first Vail Symposium program of the winter season takes place on Thursday at Castle Peak Senior Care in Eagle and features Dr. Keith Rapp discussion the fears and facts of dementia. That program opens a season of more than 20 events with more than 24 speakers that will last until the end of April.

“I don’t suppose that what we do as an organization has ever been as important as it will be this season,” Dale Mosier, Chairman of the Vail Symposium Board of Directors, said. “Being informed now is so crucial, and we have a season of programs that will enrich conversations ranging from American foreign policy and economic forecasting with the new administration to emerging technologies that either threaten or entertain us. Of course we’ve included topics of adventure, consciousness, health and wellness and some very interesting evenings devoted to science fiction and the arts.”

Hot Topics

The Hot Topics programs include discussions on geopolitical issues, current events or otherwise important circumstances within the modern political climate. The series represents the flagship programming of the organization and has, since its inception in 1971, allowed the community to convene locally and think globally. This winter, the Symposium will host at least six hot topics programs.

The most anticipated program within the series will be a four-person panel on March 9 to discuss climate change and the need to reconcile human behavior and politics with the need to preserve the planet. The panel includes Nobel-prize winning climate researcher Kevin Trenberth and Peter Ogden, who has served as a senior director for energy and climate change on the White House Domestic Policy Council. The conversation will be localized with an address from Kim Langmaid of Walking Mountains Science Center who will discuss what impacts climate change will have on our local environment.

“Our program on climate change is an incredible opportunity to hear not just what is happening to our planet from a distinguished scientist, but what is being done about it by someone very close to the policy side of it,” Mosier said. “We’re also very lucky to have Walking Mountains and Kim Langmaid participating to explain why this matters locally.”

Hot topics programs also include an address on the crisis in Libya from Jason Pack who is a Cambridge University researcher and policy advisor to both the US Department of Defense and the British Ministry of Defense on Jan. 19; an economic forecast for the new administration by Bank of the West’s Chief Economist Scott Anderson on March 30; and an update on the vulnerability of nuclear deterrence theory with Joe Cirincione, president of the global security foundation Ploughshares Fund and member of Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Financial Speaker Series

With thanks to recommendations of Beaver Creek resident Richard Bard, the Vail Symposium is able to welcome two distinguished businessmen with keen financial acumen to address emerging business trends and topics.

The first, on Dec. 29, features Finn Kelly. Kelly was recently named an “Undercover Angel” by National Geographic for his work in Bulgaria applying his “for purpose” business tactics to solving problems within the Roma community. He was also named by several financial publications as one of the top businessmen under 30 years old and has amassed a fortune by investing with millennial ideals.

The second, on February 23, will feature a fireside-style chat with Stewart Glendinning and Richard Bard on the economics of beer. Glendinning is the CEO of Molson Coors International. Bard is the Chairman and CEO of Bard Capital Group, LLC. Together the two will look underneath the sociability of beer and into how beverage companies win consumers and deliver to their shareholders.

“These are high caliber individuals sharing some of their secrets to success,” Mosier said. “For a young person wanting to understand business, these events are a tremendous opportunity to learn.”


The Vail Symposium will continue to address alternative approaches to health and wellness, and investigate surreal experiences with the consciousness series curated by Vail Symposium Board Member Gary Gilman. The series will feature three programs and each program will be accompanied by a workshop the following day.

Programs include a panel discussion between three physicians — Dr. Eben Alexander, Dr. Raymond Moody and Dr. Mary Neil — about near death experiences and related phenomena, an investigation on UFO sightings that includes an evaluation of possible human contact with extraterrestrials, and an event with Marjorie Woollacott who is a neuroscience professor and meditator working to bridge the gap between science and spirituality.

Other programs

Other programs scheduled challenge the confines of categorizations.

The first, on Dec. 8, is a celebration of 45 years of the Vail Symposium in the Valley. With music from Vail’s own Rewind band, the Vail Symposium would like to invite the community out for a night of food, drink, dancing and celebrating the score of individuals who have come together under the banner of the Symposium in the last 45 years.

Dec. 15 opens the Unlimited Adventure series with astounding stories from mountaineer Colin O’Brady. O’Brady, who was once told by a doctor he would never walk again after suffering severe burns to 25 percent of his body, broke the Explorers Grand Slam world record in January of 2016. This feat entails climbing the highest peak on all seven continents and trekking to the last degree of latitude on the North and South Poles. Not only did he break the record, but managed to raise $1 million to defeat childhood obesity in the process.

TEDxVail returns in 2017 on Jan. 6 and will again be held at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The event features more than 20 speakers with four sessions, each of which focuses on the theme of the evening: our revolution.

The Symposium will again collaborate with the Vail Valley Partnership and their Business Forum Series on Jan. 18 to look at key election ballot outcomes and what they mean going forward. Speakers include Jason Glass, Jill Klosterman and Loren Furman.

With thanks to Bill Rey at the Claggett/Rey Gallery, prominent C.M. Russell collector Tom Petrie will give an address on Russell and also explain how to build a collection of art that is meaningful to its collector on January 25.

Annual Vail Symposium speaker and fan-favorite Jamie Metzl returns on Feb. 9 with his new novel “Eternal Sonata” and to address how the science behind his science fiction thriller is not so far-fetched. He will not only talk about his book but continue a discussion started last year on genetic engineering in humans.

By design, the programs announced here are not all that is to be expected from the Vail Symposium this winter. Select dates have been deliberately kept open in order to schedule high profile speakers that suddenly come available or events that unfold without warning.

“We have some incredible partnerships for programs and partnerships to support our programs,” Mosier said. “With that we have put together a season we hope people will get a lot out of.”

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