The e-book series Aspen Italia Views – published with the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana (founded by Giovanni Treccani) – presents analyses and studies conducted by preeminent authors on the major challenges facing contemporary societies. The series provides a modern and lively intellectual forum on topics ranging from culture and technology to politics and national and international security. The publications are characterized by a business community emphasis, with an approach that is scientific and that focuses on the dynamics and scenarios of strategic interest to entrepreneurial activity. The series can be downloaded from the internet and read on desktop computers, laptops, or tablets with any e-book reader app. The following e-books are available in the Aspen Italia Views series:
Aspen Institute Italia’s work takes place behind closed doors and any media representatives attending do so in a strictly personal capacity. For certain specific conferences the Institute organizes meetings with the press to acquaint the national and international media with the analyses and proposals that have emerged in the course of the event. On other occasions the Institute grants exclusive coverage to national TV networks and press sources. The magazine’s main themes are also debated and analyzed in the course of meetings held by invitation and open to the media, known as the “Aspenia Talks”.
Aspen Institute Italia è una comunità composta in primo luogo da Soci Sostenitori, Soci Ordinari, Amici di Aspen, Aspen Junior Fellows, Aspen University Fellows e Aspen Junior Fellows Alumni, ma aperta anche a quanti in Italia e dall’estero vogliano offrire un contributo di idee e proposte coerenti con l’attività dell’Istituto. Organi di Aspen Institute Italia sono il Comitato Esecutivo, il Consiglio Generale, il Presidente e i vice Presidenti, il Segretario Generale e il Collegio Sindacale. Il Consiglio Generale è composto in maniera paritetica dai Soci Sostenitori e dai rappresentanti dei Soci Ordinari, e si riunisce in funzione deliberante almeno una volta l’anno. Tra le sue funzioni quella di eleggere il Presidente e i Vice Presidenti nonché il Comitato Esecutivo. Il Comitato Esecutivo, composto in maniera paritetica dai rappresentanti dei Soci Sostenitori e dei Soci Ordinari, ha tra le sue prerogative quella di sottoporre al Consiglio Generale l’approvazione del bilancio consuntivo e del programma annuale di attività – sovrintendendo poi alla sua realizzazione.
The European Union and its member states have been ramping up efforts over the past two years to combat climate change and decarbonize as many sectors as possible, from standpoints of both policy and the economy. The European Commission published its Green Deal in December 2019 and subsequent Fit-For-55 legislative package in July 2021, which set some very ambitious decarbonization goals. These included a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (as compared with 1990 values) by the end of 2030 and complete carbon neutrality within the year 2050.
The economic, social and geopolitical impact of Covid-19 presents challenges that, as they are confronted, will have significant, long-term consequences for the country’s future. In Italy, one of the nations most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, preexisting economic structural weaknesses make an effective response to the emergency not only strategic but especially difficult.
The resources now available to science and technology have become immeasurable. The human brain has been creating increasingly smaller and powerful technologies that, in many cases, surpass human strength and capacities. Machines are digitalizing and perfecting nearly every sector, some of which are undergoing a revolution of unprecedented proportions.
Kicking off this event was the observation that at the end of 2016, “post-truth” – as conveyed by so-called fake news – was declared word of the year by the Oxford Dictionary. This was held up as an example of the challenges posed both by the rapid evolution of technological and business paradigms, that are shifting the focus of communications, and by the speed of access to digital platforms, where members of the public have become both readers and authors. Users also have the ability to determine how successfully a piece of news is spread, by sharing it en masse or to a narrow audience.
The participants at this roundtable noted that the current state of political, economic, and anthropological flux demonstrates that democratic and civilization models are proving less and less effective guarantees of liberal democratic values, whilst the conflict between the growing difficulty of achieving a new world order and the emergence of new touchstones built around the notion of the nation-state would seem to be getting stronger.
Italy’s network of museums has undergone major changes over the last three years, following reforms that have made the idea of museums as national institutions a strategic linchpin. It was noted by participants at this cross-generation roundtable that, within this framework, there are four objectives that characterize a museum’s mission: conservation, training, exploratory research, and marketing.
During the debate, the following unresolved issues associated with these common objectives emerged as both crucial and controversial:
Aspen Institute Italia’s aim in organizing this roundtable was to spark debate on the current economic conditions and future development prospects of southern Italy, in the belief that it is essential for the issue of the country’s neglected South to be once again tackled as a key concern of national policy.
Underpinning discussions at this Aspen Junior Fellows roundtable were lawfulness and merit as dual pillars of intergenerational solidarity. It was observed that illegality curbs growth and social mobility, rewards the undeserving by distorting competition, and widens social gaps. Its victims are the young and honest businesses. Figures were cited showing that, between 2006-2012, Italy’s resultant “reputational deficit” led to an estimated 16 billion euro loss in foreign investment.
This second edition of the Cross-generational Roundtable, aimed at bringing together associates of Aspen Institute Italia spanning several generations to discuss various topics of shared interest, focused on gender equality of opportunity. In particular, the participants examined analyses and proposals to improve women’s access in Italy to managerial and leadership positions in companies and public administrations.
This roundtable saw the inception of a debate between various generations on issues of common interest to each of them. The event took its inspiration from Aspen Institute founder Walter Paepcke’s guiding notion that “only in such a fusion of talents, abilities, and philosophies can there be even a modest hope for the future, a partial alleviation of the chaos and misunderstandings of today”.
“Today, people are much more crucial to competitiveness than in the past; and when you talk about people, you’re talking about values”. This observation by Ennio Presutti, entrepreneur and manager who was one of the co-founders of Aspen Institute Italia, provided the starting point for a debate focusing on new models for effective and ethical leadership in a globalized world.
Sixty years on from the establishment of the Council of Europe, which marked the start of the journey towards European integration, it is worthwhile reflecting on European identity as a necessary resource in facing today’s challenges. This roundtable discussion examined several fundamental questions related to the issue of Europe’s identity, including: What are the new frontiers that define Europe today? Are they mapped out by cultural diversity or economic geography?
Affirming values in an abstract way is a facile exercise; practicing and respecting values demands commitment and clear terms of reference. Such guidelines can only exist within a context of confrontation between secular values and religious ethics, the meeting point of the two representing a universal value system.
Aspen Institute Italia, with a seminar entitled “The leadership in Italy: an analysis in the international context”, launched a new project on leadership. Many Aspen Junior Fellows participated in the event, together with authoritative figures from Italy and abroad. The results of a survey undertaken by the Carlo Cattaneo University of Castellanza and the Bocconi University in Milan of 103 Italian business leaders and an equal number of executives from the public sector were presented on this occasion.
Participants at this meeting discussed a series of papers on specific issues (from competitiveness to energy) aimed at identifying Italy’s priorities. Groups of Aspen Junior Fellows worked together to draft these papers, which were then evaluated in the context of a broad discussion on the current characteristics and demands of Italy’s leaders. The meeting also served to launch a project – now ongoing – to survey and analyze leadership in Italy.