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The Aspen Institute Italia Great Conversation

Exuberance or moderation? Creative leadership in an age of uncertainty
Rome, 05/03/2013, Aspen Seminar on Values and Society

This event, organized in conjunction with The Aspen Institute, was modeled on the US Institute’s Aspen Seminar program, its first initiative that continues to be its flagship today. Discussions at the Great Conversation centered on the type of leadership model that those in attendance found inspiring. In particular, two different styles were compared: the first based on the emotional energy that a leader is capable of imparting to others, and the second aimed at striking a balance that captures the essence of the various possible options. The effectiveness of emotive leadership was examined in the light of recent works by American psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison, and having regard to seminal leaders such as Theodore Roosevelt. In turn, “middle-ground” leadership was discussed on the basis of Horace’s Ode on the Golden Mean.

The discussion was prompted and guided by two moderators: Todd Breyfogle, Director of Seminars for The Aspen Institute, and Leigh Hafrey, Senior Lecturer in Behavioral and Policy Sciences at the MIT Sloan School of Management. The topic was also explored with reference to the current global economic crisis, with a specific focus on business leadership and recent political leadership changes in the United States, the Mediterranean region, and several European countries.