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National Programs

National conferences
Italy, its difficulties and aspirations, and its points of excellence and reforms to be accomplished are some of the pressing issues that Aspen Institute Italia addresses in its national conferences. Held as a half-day debate in closed-door session, the conferences provide a forum for leaders from the worlds of politics, business, academia and the media to discuss issues strategic to the country’s economy as a whole and to Italian industry, society and culture.

One of the key aims of the conference programs is to develop proposals and mechanisms that will enable an economy called on to compete in a global market to become more cohesive and dynamic.

The events provide a vehicle to bring innovative analytical perspectives and ideas for resolving Italy’s most complex economic and political issues to the attention of the Aspen Community, thus also making a valuable contribution towards revitalizing the country’s image abroad.

Some of the more important issues impacting on the competitiveness of the country which are periodically examined include:

  • research and technological innovation;
  • the labor market and competitiveness;
  • social integration, security, and immigration;
  • institutional reforms for the modernization of the country;
  • ensuring sustainability, quality and accountability through welfare governance;
  • public sector reform and regulatory simplification;
  • the banking and industrial system; and
  • the internationalization of Italian firms.

Articles and papers written specifically for presentation at the conferences help to add depth to the debate between varying viewpoints and enrich the scientific and cultural backdrop of the discussion. A brief report sent only to conference participants summarizes the analysis and proposals that have emerged from the debate. This documentation is also made available to the wider Aspen Community via the Members’ Section of the Institute’s website.

The events may be rounded off with a press conference to raise awareness in the national and international media of the topical nature and relevance of the issues discussed, the analyses conducted, and any consequent proposals presented.

Roundtable discussions
Generally held as lunchtime – or at any rate brief – sessions, roundtable discussions offer the Aspen Community an opportunity for in-depth and cross-cutting analysis of a single topic of strategic national and international interest. Over the years, this successful format has become an increasingly important in the Institute’s program of events. Topics of great interest carefully chosen by Aspen and the short format of the meetings have ensured that these events continue to attract representatives from the business, institutional and academic spheres.

The roundtables are held as closed-door sessions to allow a frank and lively exchange of ideas as well as of different and often contrasting viewpoints, with the number of participants kept intentionally small. Media representatives in attendance are bound by strict confidentiality and take part solely in a personal capacity. Details of the proceedings of roundtable sessions are not made available to the wider public.

Some of the key topics addressed include:

  • the Digital Agenda;
  • ethics and business;
  • art and the market;
  • tourism and cultural heritage;
  • the new media;
  • energy security and alternative energy sources; and
  • universities and industry.

A brief report sent only to roundtable participants summarizes the analysis and proposals that have emerged from the discussions. This documentation is also made available to the broader Aspen Community via the Members’ Section of the Institute’s website.

Topics of particular interest, which are the subject of conferences and roundtables held by the Institute, are often explored further in dedicated research studies, preview copies of which may be provided to well-regarded newspapers in order to generate public interest.

Brief summaries of events held may be found in the Program Archive section of the Institute’s website.