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Aspen Seminars for Leaders

Given today's complex and globalized world, our leaders need a "wider knowledge base". Faced with a quantitative and qualitative growth in knowledge, the Aspen Seminars for Leaders - the European version of the Aspen Executive Seminar program in America - represents a unique tool for increasing skills and knowledge and offers the breadth of perspectives needed to face the strategic challenges posed by a hypercompetitive world.

The seminars represent an opportunity to expand the horizons of the participants' cultural and professional backgrounds and are conducted in a highly participatory and interactive manner. In addition to facilitating an exchange of views on strategic issues, they aim to boost interaction between the various work and personal profiles of the leaders taking part. They offer no ready-made solutions but rather a kind of open forum for debate which is fundamental for a business world that - on a daily basis - finds itself having to deal with conflicting interests, values and cultures.

The Ingredients of a Winning Formula
The Aspen Seminars for Leaders have distinct features that make them unique both nationally and internationally.

They can be summarized as follows:

  • several seminars are held at the same time, on different topics, and a high level of professional content is maintained throughout;
  • concurrent communal activities and further opportunities for analysis and debate;
  • the number of participants in each seminar (around 28 highly-qualified national and international participants);
  • an informal atmosphere and the participants' uninterrupted attendance are conducive to frank and lively debate;
  • working sessions take place behind closed doors to guarantee confidentiality, and any members of the press participate on a strictly personal basis;
  • participants receive a small number of select readings prior to the sessions that provide a common conceptual background.


The Aspen Seminars for Leaders are open to non-members and are generally held each year in places renowned for their pleasant climate and natural beauty. Participation is by invitation only and a fee is due.

Methodology
The Socratic methodology utilized in the Aspen Seminars involves a discussion led by one or more moderators, whose responsibility it is to maximize the effectiveness of the debate and the exchange of experiences. Pre-prepared speeches by initial commentators offer participants diverse and innovative points of view with the aim of contributing to sparking a varied, frank and open exchange of views.

The readings - a selection of carefully chosen texts that encourage discussion and instill a desire for in-depth analysis and debate - represent an important element of the seminar methodology. Far from being outside the day-to-day experience of today's managers, these texts and the discussion that they give rise to contribute to enhancing a leader's ability to analyze and deal with increasingly complex and global situations.

Further information on Aspen Seminars for Leaders may be obtained by emailing a request to asl@aspeninstitute.it or by contacting our Milan office.