The Aspen Junior Fellows are an international network of young people with immense potential. The group was set up in 2002 to consolidate and impart continuity to an experiment launched in 1999 in the context of the “Aspen for a New Leadership” project. The Aspen Junior Fellows President is Lucio Stanca.
Aspen Junior Fellows contribute with their own ideas and initiatives to promoting informed and responsible European leadership through direct involvement in the Institute’s programs and by taking part in activities devised specifically for them. They adopt a pragmatic approach to contemporary society’s basic values and issues with a view to promoting an open discussion among positions that are potentially different in terms of backgrounds and skills, in an effort to enrich each Fellow’s individual position.
The program currently comprises some 80 young people working in Italy and abroad in such different walks of life as business, academia, research, the civil service, politics, communications, the arts, and culture.
Aspen Institute Italia Board Members nominate Aspen Junior Fellows, and only after the Institute has vetted the application can a candidate join the group. Candidates must be aged between 25 and 33 and satisfy a certain number of requirements. Membership in the group lasts for a maximum of five years and ceases when the member reaches the age of 35.
Membership is strictly personal and allows members both to take part in a specific program of events and to attend a certain number of the Institute’s events. These include:
• The Aspen Junior Fellows Annual Conference
• International and national conferences and roundtables;
• Aspen Seminars on Values and Society, inspired by the traditional and much-acclaimed central program of The Aspen Institute in the United States. The seminars are open to participation by Italian and foreign leaders from different backgrounds and age groups;
• The Intergenerational Conference, which promotes discussion among different generations of Aspen Institute Italia members;
• Aspen Junior Fellows roundtables, which host encounters and debates with leading figures.
The AJF program is characterized by:
• A strong tendency toward internationalization through the construction of a network among young talents operating in different contexts and countries. Today, challenges tend to be on a global scale and thus demand a response on that scale in terms of skills, goals, resources, strategies and methods. A crucial factor in achieving this goal is the international scope of Aspen Institute Italia and of the network of Aspen organizations in the world, each with its own initiatives for emerging leaders.
• The continuity of its initiatives in the longer term: the Aspen Junior Fellows program is one of the most consolidated new leadership programs in Italy.
Aspen Junior Fellows contribute to Aspenia, the Institute’s quarterly, can become members of task forces and join specific projects for preparing Aspen Institute Italia meetings and publications.
An Aspen Junior Fellows Alumni group was set up in 2010 to lend substance to the community of those past members of the program who have interpreted its spirit in a positive manner.