Click edit button to change this code.


Click edit button to change this code.

Through text-based dialogue with expert moderators and accomplished peers, seminar participants expand their knowledge, refine their tools of intellectual analysis, test the wellsprings of their convictions, and enhance their capacities to think more creatively in solving the critical problems facing society.

This initiative was launched during the academic year 2012-2013, and is now in its fifth edition. The purpose of the Global Politics and Citizenship Program is to serve as a space for debate between young Spanish politicians and policy-oriented participants dedicated to public service who have a demonstrated leadership potential. It aims at providing a well-structured space for discussion, where knowledge and reflection over the issues addressed may find a common ground, and where personal ties may be established among participants. The Global Politics and Citizenship Program is co-directed by Juan Moscoso del Prado (former Member of Parlimanet, Socialist Party) and Guillermo Mariscal Anaya (Member of Parliament, Popular Party) and is structured around various sessions throughout the year, in the form of open discussions and brief presentations from leading experts on relevant issues in the context of politics and public service. Sessions focus on three main areas of discussion: geopolitics, leadership, ethics and international economics. Almost 40 speakers have participated in our sessions throughout the various editions of the Program, including Javier Solana, President of Aspen Institute España; Hugo Dixon, Chair of InFacts and Deputy Chair of People’s Vote; Robin Wright, Journalist, Author and Foreign Policy Analyst; Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary General of SEGIB; Pablo García-Berdoy, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Spain for the European Union; Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House; Óscar Fanjul, Vice-president of Omega Capital and member of the Board of Trustees of Aspen Institute España.

This program, co-organized with Fundación Telefónica, aims to establish a forum for reflection on the issues raised by advances in digital technology and its influence in areas as diverse as human relations, politics, education, the economy or medicine. Digital technology is radically changing almost everything we do, from the way we manage our business to how we educate the next generation or the way we coexist in a democratic society. What are the most important changes and technological trends and how can we prepare to face them? What are the specific ways in which technological change is improving our individual and collective lives? What is its impact on political participation? How does technological development affect the workforce, productivity or the perception of life and health? Since its first edition in 2017, the Program incorporates a Socrates Seminar as part of its activities. In the first edition, the seminar was moderated by Connie Yowell, CEO of Collective Shift, and discussed “Change and opportunity: The future of work and learning”. The second edition of the Program, in 2018, incorporated a Socrates Seminar moderated by Leigh Hafrey, Professor of Ethics and Communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and titled “Brave New World: Humanity, Technology and the Future of Work”.

The Justice and Civil Society Program is an initiative that brings into the Spanish context the “Citizens Lawyers Forum” seminar, organized by Aspen Institute España in collaboration with ESADE Law School in 2013 and 2014. The “Justice and Civil Society” seminars, in turn, is connected with the “Justice and Society” seminar at The Aspen Institute, USA, which for four decades has brought together a wide range of legal experts to discuss the value of justice and the relationship between policies public and fundamental rights. Along the same lines, but focusing on the Spanish reality, the program “Justice and Civil Society” operates as an open dialogue forum among representatives of the various legal professions existing in Spain including judges, lawyers, notaries, senior government officials, NGO representatives and academics.

The “Transatlantic Values at a Crossroads: Contemporary Leadership Challenges” seminar is moderated by Todd Breyfogle, Director of Seminars at The Aspen Institute (US) and organized in collaboration with The Aspen Institute (US). From the readings of classical texts on political philosophy and Western literature, which reflect the depth of human civilization, participants analyze and discuss the core values of an open society and the tensions inherent to the definition of what constitutes such a society. These seminars bring together a group of distinguished participants from different sectors of the civil society, providing a neutral forum for reflection and debate on the current and future state of democratic societies, analyzed from the perspective of timeless human values.

This seminar reproduces the format and idea of the Aspen Seminar to a younger audience. Starting from the classic debate model of The Aspen Institute (US), the participants debate texts by European and American authors with the aim of exploring the values and tensions that underline our open societies, as well as the leadership challenges to which we expose ourselves. The Aspen Seminar for young leaders, organized in collaboration with the Cañada Blanch Foundation, brings together a group of 25 participants aged 25 to 30 who have demonstrated qualities and leadership skills necessary for the discussion of these issues through contemporary and classical texts.

Following the lines 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 over contemporary issues through expert-moderated dialogues. These seminars enable participants to explore current and pressing leadership challenges. Discussions are built around contemporary texts, and are 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. Since 2012, these seminars have addressed issues such as the future of privacy online, freedom of expression, the impact of technology on the way companies are managed and understood or on human relations with education. Likewise, issues such as the future of capitalism, the new global middle class or the moral limits of markets have been addressed.

The Cervantes Program aims to reflect and discuss the challenges of leadership in the XXI century for the Spanish speaking world, stimulating the debate on relevant issues for the region through contemporary texts. This program, co-organized with CAF, Development Bank of Latin America, and in cooperation with the Aspen Institute of Mexico, brings together 30 leaders from Latin American countries, the United States and Spain.

This program promotes debates and initiatives for change among representatives of the various sectors of the educational community. With a focus on the current state and the future of education in our country, the Education Forum brings together groups of 50 experts twice a year for moderated debates on topics such as the role of teachers, technology and education or immigration. This seminar also aims to serve as a forum in which to share the best educational practices to enhance our education system and to respond to the training needs in today’s world.

The goal of this program is to facilitate conversations that reflect on and discuss current issues within the economic, political and social context of present-day Spain. Taking as the guiding thread the desire to turn Spain into a country of innovators, the purpose is to foster dialogue among members of the civil society on the consequences of the crisis, analyzing the precedents, factors and symptoms of it, as well as the possible future scenarios that our country faces.

The Aspen Ideas@Lunch and Aspen Espresso programs aim to provide a forum for debate on current issues for emerging leaders from different sectors of the society, around the nucleus that make up Aspen Spain Alumni. On the occasion of the publication of books or current events, we gather groups of around 25 experts for a breakfast or lunch-debate on geopolitics, new technologies, leadership, energy or international economy.

Events taking place in the countries along the southern shore of the Mediterranean and the Middle East marked the beginning of a process of change in the region, the results of which are yet to be defined. Aspen Institute España had an opportunity to join in on efforts to help turn this process of change into a peaceful and orderly transition, pursuant to the consolidation of an open, stable, democratic society. The contribution was three-fold:

  • Young Leaders Seminars
  • Global Networking
  • Regional Integration.

This was a joint initiative between Aspen US, Aspen Italia and Aspen Institute España which individually or jointly designed activities in these three areas, coordinating goals and taking advantage of the synergies generated.

The goal of this forum was to discuss the role of lawyers as social leaders and the challenges they face as agents of social change. This two-year-long program reflected on the role of citizen lawyers from a global perspective, not only as Law professionals but also as distinguished community members with the skills and privileged positions to contribute to the common good.