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The upcoming Aspen Ideas@Lunch, the debate series on contemporary issues that we hold throughout the year, will take place on the 7th of April and will cover “Fighting the coronavirus in business”.  Santiago Barrenechea, President of the PwC Foundation Spain and board member of Aspen Institute España, and Román Escolano, professor at CUNEF, Senior advisor for Economic Economic Context at Llorente y Cuenca and the former Minister of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness in Spain will present the debate.

Aspen Institute España´s civic mission is more important now more than ever.  In trying times like these we need spaces where individuals can reflect and dialogue about the future of society and how we can come out of the current crisis from the perspective of a values-based leadership committed to democratic ideals.



Román Escolano (@roman_escolano), professor at CUNEF, former Minister of Economy, Industry, and Competetiveness in Spain (2018), Vice President of the European Investment Bank from 2014 to 2018, and president of the Instituto de Crédito Oficial from 2012 to 2014.




Santiago Barrenechea graduated in Law from the University of Deusto and has a degree in EEC studies from the same University as well as Master in Tax Advisory Management from the Instituto de Empresa, Madrid. In the field of teaching and publications Santiago has made contributions to the International Tax Review, is professor of the Spanish Business Institute and the Centro de Estudios Financieros in Spain teaching International Taxation seminars on real estate issues and Tax Strategy. Likewise, he is a regular lecturer at tax seminars and symposiums. Santiago began his career as Auditor of Price Waterhouse in 1985. He has been a partner of the Tax and Legal Division since January 1999. He was Managing Director of the northern Spanish region of PwC offices in 2001 and in 2005 was appointed managing director of the Madrid office as well as leader of the Spanish Real Estate tax practice. From 2009 through 2013 he was appointed Tax & Legal Country Service Leader for Spain and in 2013 was named head of the Latin American Center of Excellence (LACoE) which is based in Madrid, managing tax and legal services to clients holding interests in Latin America. Santiago is specialized in national and international investment funds, tax issues, institutional and private, Spanish and foreign investors. He has been Head of Human Capital for PwC Spain until 2018. Currently, Santiago is President of the PwC Foundation, as well as Head of Tax Reporting Strategy for Spain. 


Socrates Program – “Technology, Freedom, & Voice: On Being Human Today”

Real Maestranza de Ronda
24/04/2020 @ 8:00 am - 26/04/2020 @ 5:00 pm

Moderated by Leigh Hafrey, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

On the 24th to the 26th of April, 2020, Aspen Institute España inaugarates the  next annual edition of the Socrates Seminar. This Seminar is part of Tech & Society Program, organized in collaboration with Fundación Telefónica. Leigh Hafrey, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management will moderate the Seminar.

Following the method set forth by The Aspen Institute in the US, the Socrates España Seminars provide a forum for emerging leaders (between the ages of 28 and 45) from various professions to convene and reflect on contemporary issues through expert-moderated dialogues. These seminars enable participants to explore current and pressing leadership challenges. Discussions are built around contemporary texts, and led by expert moderators who engage and encourage participants to share their views. At the core of these Seminars is a remarkable group of emerging and recognized leaders including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, representatives from the public sector and journalists, among others.

In three modules, the seminar takes us from the ethical challenges inherent in our technologies to the existential freedoms that they offer and the ways in which we have begun at the same time to embrace a new, perhaps more fluid individual and species identity.  We start with robotics, genetics, nano-engineering and the behavioral targeting that has become a constant in our online existence; turn to mind-clones, migrant crises, and a rejection of the Singularity in favor of human creativity; and end on three cases of the human voice at its most expressive.  Even as we wrestle with our limitations, now as ever we create the beauty that transcends them. 

Since its first edition in 2017, the Program incorporates a Socrates Seminar as part of its activities. These are the seminars that have been held during the past editions:

  • 2017: “Change and opportunity: The future of work and learning”, moderated by Connie Yowell.
  • 2018: “Brave New World: Humanity, Technology and the Future of Work”, moderated by Leigh Hafrey.
  • 2019: “How Technology is Changing Us: How We Think, Relate, and Live”, moderated by Stephen Balkam.

Moderator’s Biography

Leigh Hafrey is a Senior Lecturer in the Behavioral and Policy Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Since 1992, Leigh Hafrey has worked in professional ethics, with a focus on ethics and management, teaching courses at Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan and consulting with professional practitioners in the United States and abroad. At MIT Sloan, he teaches regularly in the MBA, MIT-China, and Leaders for Global Operations. He also has taught in MIT’s Industrial Liaison, Management of Technology, Nanyang Fellows, Sloan Fellows in Innovation and Global Leadership, and System Design and Management programs. Together with his wife, Sandra Naddaff, Hafrey is a co-Master of Mather House, one of the 12 residential complexes in Harvard College. The Mather community brings together 400 undergraduates; 100 faculty, administrative, and alumni fellows; and dozens of advisory and other staff. Hafrey has worked as a journalist, teacher, and consultant in international development, communication, and professional ethics. Over the past 20 years, he has taught courses in communication at Harvard Business School, Arthur D. Little’s Management Education Institute, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. In the late 1990s, Hafrey served as a core committee member of the Brandeis Seminars in Humanities and the Professions, part of the Brandeis University International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life. In 1997, he was a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum (WEF), participating in panels on leadership and cultural diversity and moderating a seminar in ethics at the WEF Davos Annual Meeting. For more than a decade now, Hafrey has moderated the Aspen Institute’s Seminar in Leadership, Values, and the Good Society, as well as other seminars sponsored by the Institute. A former staff editor at The New York Times Book Review, Hafrey has published book translations from French and German. His reporting, essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared in The New York Times and other American and European periodicals. He writes an ethics column for IPA’s Business Today, a quarterly magazine for small to midsize businesses, and serves on the editorial advisory board of Philosophy of Management (U.K.) and the Journal of Business Ethics Education (U.S.). His book on how people use stories to articulate ethical norms—The Story of Success: Five Steps to Mastering Ethics in Business—was published in September 2005 by Other Press. Hafrey holds an AB in English from Harvard College and a PhD in comparative literature from Yale University.



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