The Aspen Seminars on Values and Society, inspired by the traditional and much-acclaimed program of The Aspen Institute in the United States that has been a cornerstone of its activities since the early 1950s, were first held in Italy in memory of Ennio Presutti in 2007.
The Institute has expanded its progam in recent years and currently organizes three different Aspen Institute Italia Seminars:
- The Aspen Institute Italia Seminar on Values and Society;
- The Aspen Institute Italia Seminar on Leadership, Globalization and the Quest for Common Values;
- The Aspen Institute Italia Seminar “The Enlightenment and the Transatlantic Link: Common Roots and Today’s Challenges”.
In addition to the above, the Aspen Initiative for Europe, Aspen Institute Italia and Aspen Institute España also organized an Aspen Initiative for Europe Seminar entitled “Europe: the Next Generation, Shared Values” in 2017, dedicating it to younger Europeans.
Each of these events comprises approximately 25 highly qualified individuals from Italy and other parts of the world, who debate the great universal values and their relevance to today’s current affairs by analyzing and discussing a series of works by both classical and contemporary authors.
Discussions are significantly enriched by the diverse geographic, personal and professional backgrounds of participants. This helps foster the internationalization of leadership and sparks a constructive debate between different cultures, in an attempt to identify and to build on shared ideas, knowledge and interests.
The Socratic method which is adopted for these Seminars involves one or more moderators tasked with maximizing the effectiveness of discussions involving different analyses and experiences.
“The Aspen Institute Italia Great Conversation” is also organized along the lines of these seminars, although it is restricted to a single session.