“The Aspen Institute was founded by Walter Paepcke, a leading American industrialist who was unquestionably also an idealist, but at the same time a very pragmatic person. He wanted us to be both dreamers and men of action, capable not only of recognizing values but also of implementing them, building a world inspired by those values.”
Walter Isaacson, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute 2003 – 2017
The Aspen Institute was founded in Colorado in 1950 to impart a fresh thrust to dialogue, knowledge and human values in an international society that had just emerged from the devastation of World War II. A well-known American industrialist named Walter Paepcke invited a group of thinkers and businessmen to Aspen, Colorado, in 1949 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Johann Wolfgang Goethe. That was how The Aspen Institute first became an idea, and then a method and a network, applying the strength of culture and professional expertise to understand, to anticipate and to steer major trends.
“I have always identified the key factor in Aspen’s contribution as being its Seminars for Leaders in the ‘Aspen’ mold, and that is what I was eager to bring to Italy: the possibility of allowing business management to take a break from having to constantly focus on their specific concrete problems in order to seize the major opportunities offered by the world of which their business is a part.”
Giuliano Amato, Honorary Chairman of Aspen Institute Italia
Aspen Institute Italia was founded in 1984 by a group of leading Italian political and economic players whose number included Francesco Cossiga, Gianni De Michelis, Sergio Berlinguer, Giorgio La Malfa, Marisa Bellisario, Franco Reviglio, Umberto Colombo and Arrigo Levi. Its activities from the outset have had a strong focus on transatlantic relations and they have maintained that focus up to the present day. This documentary (Italian version) tells the story of Aspen Institute Italia in the words of its chairmen from its foundation to the present day: Francesco Cossiga, Gianni De Michelis, Giuliano Amato, Carlo Scognamiglio and Giulio Tremonti.