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The Aspen Institute Italia Seminar on Values and Society

Castelvecchio Pascoli (LU), 14/03/2019 - 17/03/2019, The Aspen Italia Seminar

The 17th edition of the Aspen Institute Italia Seminar on Values and Society is held in collaboration with The Aspen Institute.

The three-day seminar is dedicated to the memory of Aspen Institute Italia co-founder Ennio Presutti, who passed away in 2008.

The Aspen Institute Seminar on Values and Society has been the distinguished core program of The Aspen Institute in the United States since 1951. Discussions focus on universal values as a resource in the exercise of a modern and informed leadership. The seminar invites Italian and foreign thinkers to examine and discuss classic and contemporary authors, with a view to exchanging views on major concerns regarding economic and social progress and on how those are related to the most pressing current challenges.

The seminar, conducted in English, was divided into six sessions in which participants confronted a variety of themes – human nature and social relations, the differences between and within societies, social conflict, the limitations of rules, leadership models – and was moderated by Todd Breyfogle, Director of Seminars for The Aspen Institute.

Discussion of the readings of classic works by Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, Machiavelli, Bacon and Rousseau prompted examination of the sources of an innovative methodological and conceptual approach. Analysis of texts by contemporary writers such as Martin Luther King, Vaclav Havel, Friedrich Hayek, Paul Rusesabagina led to exchanges regarding current challenges, and highlighted aspects of their increasing interdependence. Participants’ reading of Sophocles’ Antigone offered an opportunity to summarize and reflect on the ever-topical struggle between natural law and state law.

A total of 432 persons from 37 countries have taken part in the 17 editions of the Seminar, which was launched in 2007.