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Southern Company Breaks Down the Tools for Success at Aspen Ideas Festival

The Aspen Ideas Festival is an annual gathering of thought leaders and decision makers from across the globe to discuss the most pressing issues facing our world.

As a festival underwriter for the last eight years, Southern Company is committed to supporting and furthering the festival’s mission and goals. This year, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan joined Southern Company Executive Vice President Chris Womack about the values needed to succeed on and off the field.

“I’m a huge believer in being efficient at what you’re doing,” Ryan, the former NFL MVP, told Womack. “Take a real look at what you’re doing, surround yourself with people that are honest with you, and be open to changing things. Sometimes the best stuff that you can accomplish is right on the other side of breaking through … and your productivity can go through the roof.”

CEO Tom Fanning joined other CEOs from different industries to discuss leadership it takes to lead any company into the evolving future. “What we have to do in this time of change is reach people where they are and define our success by their success,” Fanning said.

Other speakers at the seven-day event included former speaker of the house Paul Ryan, musician Common, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, author and Tulane University professor Walter Isaacson, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and journalist Masha Gessen to name a few. Topics ranged from the breakdown of the international political status quo, climate change, growing social and economic divides in the U.S., and timeless questions around art, science and philosophy.

For more information on the Aspen Ideas Festival, visit