The Aspen Institute, with headquarters in Washington DC and offices in Aspen (Colorado) and Wye River (Maryland), was established in 1950. Since then, it has promoted and fostered the development of an enlightened leadership, open to dialogue and debate and capable of facing the challenges of a global society.
Its activities, including seminars, policy programs, conferences and leadership development initiatives on strategic international and national economic and political issues, provide opportunities for the Aspen community to come together and openly and freely debate in a spirit of nonpartisanship and open-minded dialogue.
Leading figures from the national and international political, economic, scientific and media arenas take part in events organized by the Institute. The volume of publications produced by the Institute is further testament to its commitment to creating – both in the US and throughout the world – an enlightened and informed leadership with an appreciation of universal human values.
“We help people become more enlightened in their work and enriched in their lives. Together we can learn one of the keys to being successful in business, leadership and life: balancing conflicting values in order to find common ground with our fellow citizens while remaining true to basic ideals” (Walter Isaacson, President & CEO of the Aspen Institute).
Aspen Institute Germany, founded in 1974 for the study and advancement of ideas related to major contemporary issues, is the oldest international Aspen center. The Institute seeks to address the challenges of the 21st century in areas such as global economic change, technological advancement, international security, and emerging leaders. Located in the heart of Berlin, the Aspen Institute Germany convenes a diverse network of representatives from all sectors for discussion in leadership conferences, policy programs, and offers the Aspen seminar and other leadership programs.
Institut Aspen France was founded in 1983 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, international center for discussion and dialogue. Based in Paris and has two goals: to help leaders identify the challenges they face and seek solutions to contemporary problems and to facilitate informal meetings of leaders from different geographical, cultural, and professional worlds. Aspen France organizes policy programs and leadership seminars to address the major economic, social, and political issues of the day. Aspen France hosts two discussion clubs in Paris and Lyon in which approximately 20 young leaders meet with leading experts and discuss a variety of contemporary issues.
Aspen Institute Italia is a leader in promoting enlightened dialogue in Europe and across the Atlantic, organizing a number of conferences, seminars, and roundtables each year on economics, business, politics, and security. Its quarterly journal, Aspenia, is read in Italy and abroad, and has been judged one of the best foreign affairs journals in the world. Aspen Italia conferences gather prominent figures in every field thanks to its more than 300 international board members. Aspen Italia focuses on the most important problems and challenges facing society in settings that encourage frank and open debate. The aim is not to reach unanimous agreement or to crank out reassuring conclusions, but to bring to light the complexity of our world. Aspen Italia is composed of a community of Sustaining Members, Ordinary Members, Friends of Aspen, and Aspen Junior Fellows.
Aspen Institute Japan is a nonprofit organization committed to enhancing values-based leadership in contemporary society. Evolved from the Tokyo liaison office of the Aspen Institute and Aspen Institute Japan Council, AIJ was formally established in 1998. Its flagship program has been the Nippon Aspen Executive Seminars. The Institute offers three seminars annually, providing the leaders and future leaders of Japan with reflective experiences through moderator-led dialogue based on extensive readings of texts from both classic and contemporary authors and from the Western and non-Western world. In addition to the seminars, the Institute offers other executive seminars tailored to the needs of national and local government officials and young business executives. It also organizes periodic lecture programs for the alumni of the seminars.
Aspen Institute India promotes values-based leadership, open dialogue, and cross-sector outreach by engaging business, governments, nonprofits, and other stakeholders on issues related to India’s development. Focusing on India’s challenges, Aspen Institute India invites industrial, economic, financial, political, social, and cultural leaders to discuss these issues in settings that encourage frank and open dialogue. The Aspen Institute India organizes five types of programs: (1) Outreach Seminars to promote a deeper understanding of India’s complexities; (2) Policy Programs that seek to improve public- and private-sector policymaking; (3) Leadership Seminars that bring together small groups to explore fundamental truths through the Socratic method; (4) Ideas India in New Delhi, which brings together diverse sections of society to discuss issues of crucial importance to India; and (5) Strategic Dialogues to help bring India closer to other parts of the world.
Aspen Romania launched in Bucharest in 2006 is dedicated to promoting values-based leadership in Romania and to encouraging open-minded and informed debate among leaders about the challenges facing Romania today; and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. We do that through a series of objectives:
Leadership: To harness individual potential and leadership in the context of new Euro Atlantic realities;
Dialogue: To set a new standard of informed and informal policy debate in Romania through selective membership and values-oriented contributions;
Entrepreneurship: To increase the efficiency of the Romanian business sector and its ability to succeed in global markets;
Regional Stability: To use Romania’s geopolitical position to promote Aspen values in the region and to develop a regional network of highly successful individuals.
Aspen Institute España, headquartered in Madrid, was incorporated as a Foundation in December 2010. The Institute aims to promote social responsibility and contribute to the strengthening of civil society, providing a neutral forum for public dialogue and reflection through conferences, seminars, and roundtable discussions. In this pursuit, the Institute takes on the values, features, and goals of the Aspen model, adjusting them to the realities of the Spanish context; a context that incorporates Spain’s close ties with other regions in Europe, Latin America, and the Mediterranean.
The Aspen Institute announced in December 2013 the launch of operations of the Aspen Institute Mexico as its first partner in Latin America and part of a network of nine international partners in Europe and Asia.
Through seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives, the Aspen Institute Mexico will provide the opportunity for leaders from industry, economic and political sectors, civil society, and the cultural world to work on critical current challenges facing society and businesses.
Aspen Institute Kyiv was launched in November 2015. It is dedicated to promoting values-based leadership in Ukraine and neighboring countries. The institute aims to nurture the culture of high quality open dialogue among Ukrainian leaders facilitating exchange of ideas that contribute to a good society, to support and promote value based leadership in local, regional and global context and to contribute to the integration of Ukrainian leaders into national, regional and global dialogue. Among other activities, it has well-establish leadership program and developing a number of policy programs.
Established in June 2012, the Aspen Institute Prague is a regional platform for policy innovation and non-partisan dialogue with an operational focus in Central Europe. The activities of Aspen Prague are divided into leadership, policy, and public programs, with annual conferences, seminars, panel discussions and publications targeting diverse audiences. Aspen Prague will produce a quarterly journal on international affairs, the Aspen Review, to be published in English Polish and Czech. Aspen Prague’s aim is to support program participants in contributing to the economic, social and cultural growth of the region in line with the Aspen Institute ethos of values-based leadership.
In 2018, The Aspen Institute New Zealand was formed as an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit organisation established for all New Zealanders.
The original home and inspiration of the Institute was Colorado. As the first partner in the southern hemisphere, we’ve come back to the organisation’s roots by basing ourselves in Queenstown, Aspen’s sister city. What better place to meet up than here since Whakatipu-wai-māori is the mauri/spiritual leader that represents ‘the essence that binds the physical and spiritual elements of all things together’.