The Forum engages in five key activities—scholarship, Aspen symposia, the Higher Education Working Group with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Economic Forum with the Brookings Institution, and publications.
The Forum sponsors research and creates knowledge intended to inform campus policy and decision-making. Its research agenda focuses on new thinking and ideas likely to affect the future of higher education. Each year, 15–20 new Forum Scholars are designated
Recent Forum Scholars include:
- Alan Blinder, Princeton University
- David Boren, University of Oklahoma
- Barry Bosworth, The Brookings Institution
- William Bowen, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Princeton University, emeritus
- John Seely Brown, Xerox PARC (ret.)
- Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School
- General Wesley Clark, U.S. Army (ret.)
- Jim Collins, author Good to Great and Built to Last
- Mihaly Czikszentmihaly, Claremont Graduate University
- Martin Feldstein, Harvard University
- Niall Ferguson, Harvard and Oxford Universities
- Woody Flowers, MIT
- Robert Frank, Cornell University and The New York Times
- Richard Freeman, Harvard University
- Benjamin Friedman, Harvard University
- Howard Gardner, Harvard University
- Leslie Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations and The New York Times, emeritus
- Neil Gershenfeld, MIT Media Lab
- Richard Haass, Council on Foreign Relations
- Rep. Lee Hamilton, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
- Henry Hansmann, Yale University
- Linda Hill, Harvard Business School
- Caroline Hoxby, Stanford University
- Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School
- Senator Bob Kerrey, New School University
- Richard Light, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
- Alan Lightman, MIT
- Burton Malkiel, Princeton University
- Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post and the Council on Foreign Relations
- General Montgomery Meigs, U.S. Army (ret.)
- Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
- Joseph Nye, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
- Steven Pinker, Harvard University
- Michael Porter, Harvard Business School
- Samantha Power, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Time Magazine
- V. S. Ramachandran, University of California, San Diego
- Mitchell Resnick, MIT Media Lab
- Jeffrey Sachs, The Earth Institute and Columbia University
- Robert Shiller, Yale University
- Debora Spar, Barnard College
- Lester Thurow, MIT's Sloan School
- Uri Treisman, University of Texas, Austin
- Paul Volcker, U.S. Federal Reserve System (ret.)
- Diana Chapman Walsh, Wellesley College, emeritus
- Carl Wieman, University of British Columbia and University of Colorado, Boulder
- Daniel Yankelovich, Daniel Yankelovich Group
The Forum convenes an annual Aspen Symposium at The Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado. Forum Scholars present research and papers at Aspen symposia, which are discussed and debated by the Forum community. Time is also set aside for informal discussion and reflection.
Master Class. The Aspen Symposium is preceded by a Master Class during which current management and financial issues—endowment spending policy and capital structure, for example—are examined.
Council on Foreign Relations
The Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations established the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues in 2007. The Working Group convenes twice annually to explore the role of colleges and universities in a rapidly changing world and how institutions can most effectively meet the challenges of globalization.
The Forum and the Brookings Institution launched the Brookings Economic Forum in 2009 to examine the challenges to colleges and universities posed by the changing U.S. and global economies. The Brookings Economic Forum convenes annually.
Brookings Economic Forum: Agendas, Summaries, and Edited Transcripts
Forum scholarship is published in several print and electronic media and broadly disseminated throughout higher education. Forum publications include:
- Forum Futures. Summaries of Forum research, published annually, and designed for use by trustees, presidents, and senior academic and administrative officers in board and planning retreats.
- Aspen Symposium. Full-text of papers presented at annual Aspen Symposium (formerly, Forum on the Internet and the University).
- Ford Policy Forum. Studies on the economics of higher education and related policy issues from the Ford Policy Forum.
- Higher Education Finance Forum. Papers on higher education finance and financial management presented at the Forum on Higher Education Finance.
- Podcasts. Audio versions of selected presentations by Forum Scholars.