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International Programs

Aspen’s International Activities offer the institute’s members a long-term strategic approach to issues currently of the greatest interest on the global stage, allowing them to interact with political leaders and leading authorities from the worlds of economics, finance and academia in debates which, by virtue of being held behind closed doors, are both free and constructive.


The international scenario is in the grip of major change, making it essential to devise multiannual programs. Structured in different cycles, these programs provide an ongoing opportunity to meet and to discuss the issues at hand. Our choice of topics is based on the criteria of relevance to today’s world and of its likely persistence. This allows us to focus on an in-depth state-of-the-art exploration of complex, constantly changing issues. The following topic cycles are currently on the agenda:

International Activities offer further scope for multidisciplinary debate and analysis in our magazine on international affairs, Aspenia.

International partners

Aspen Institute Italia has built a series of partnerships over the years with other European and American institutes, based on cooperation in the development of programs. Naturally, the institute affords priority to working with the network of European Aspen Institutes and to synergizing with The Aspen Institute in the United States in organizing events on strategic issues at the global level. Yet important joint ventures are also conducted with such prestigious institutes as the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Harvard Kennedy School.



For today’s international leaders, understanding an increasingly complex, multifaceted and rapidly changing reality means to have at their fingertips both the tools needed to interpret that reality and innovative ways of debating it.

Aspen Institute Italia meets that requirement in full, organizing activities designed to help:

  • Invest in knowledge. Aspen offers associates a set of tools for analysis and debate, allowing them to gain a better understanding of change.
  • Expand networks. Aspen fosters direct, informal interaction with a broad range of public and private, regular and non-profit institutions and figures.
  • Cultivate leadership. Aspen hones leaders’ ability to interpret complexity and to contribute to the training of new leaders in order to encourage a constant turnover.
  • Discover new opportunities. Aspen sheds light on emerging opportunities in an interdisciplinary vein, creating forums for dialogue, comparing cultures and traditions and identifying the most important innovations of the moment.

 Aspen’s international events are organized according to different types and formats, some more agile in order to make the most of the Aspen method, others more structured on account of the sensitivity of the issues addressed and of the guests invited to discuss them. This approach spawns a range of initiatives designed to meet the criteria in which the institute’s philosophy is rooted: conferences, workshops, seminars, debates and forums for dialogue.

Dossiers, background papers and fact-and-figure sheets are prepared and handed out to provide additional information regarding the issues addressed at each individual meeting.

 Events are held behind closed doors to allow participants the utmost freedom and to encourage the greatest possible sincerity in expressing their views. Encounters with the media are, however, organized on the sidelines in order to ensure that the analyses and proposals formulated receive both national and international media coverage.


Programs – a history  

Aspen Institute Italia has a long tradition of programs devoted to the international scenario which, in light of the radical geopolitical and economic changes of recent years, have been remodelled, rekeyed and remoulded (though never abandoned) in its new activities.

The Institute has also hosted debates on specific geopolitical areas – Turkey, North Africa, the Gulf region, and Latin America – which it explores on a topical rather than on a systematic basis. Also, certain cross-disciplinary issues – such as the link between the globalization process and national interests, or the way diplomatic relations interact with economic flows – inevitably emerge and are tracked thereafter.