Aspen Seminar for Leaders

The Aspen Leadership Programs aim to instil for public, private and civic leaders a better understanding of values-based leadership and to increase their ability to identify and manage challenges, taking a commitment to promote the values of “the Good Society” through the way they lead in the future.

For more than 65 years, the Aspen Seminar on leadership, values, and the good society has challenged leaders in every field to think more critically and deeply about the good society. Our proven method of text-based dialogue offers participants a neutral forum in which to reflect on timeless human values, pursue common ground, and cultivate a richer understanding of the human condition. Participants emerge from the Aspen Seminar personally renewed, professionally re-focused, and better prepared to lead as they confront the difficult choices of our ever-changing world.

Aspen Seminar participants find themselves at an inflection point in their lives and careers, ready to take even higher leadership roles in their communities at local, regional or global level. The fifteen to twenty participants gathered around the table range from top corporate executives to leading entrepreneurs with significant impact in the business environment of Romania and the region, high ranked public leaders, civil society actors and esteemed representatives of the academic environment. Considering diversity an essential ingredient for generating relevant conversation, the Institute always aims at building a mosaic of visions and perspectives, gender, backgrounds and nationalities when convening seminar groups.

Socratically debating a series of readings, from the greatest thinkers of past and present—authors from Plato and Aristotle to Martin Luther King and Vaclav Havel – and guided by skilled moderators, participants are challenged to reflect on how timeless values are shaping their decisions and our society at large. Discussing topics like liberty, equality, ethics and responsibility, faith and spirituality, freedom and dissent, participants are offered the time and space to test their beliefs and the beliefs of their peers, in both a personal and collective leadership journey. All Seminar sessions are taking place under the Chatham house rule, a strict not-for-attribution policy encouraging collegiality, an informal atmosphere and the free exploration of new ideas.

Over the years participants have included, among others: Florin Pogonaru, President of the Romanian Businessmen’s Association; Alexandrina Gatej, CEO, Maldon and Wat; Teddy Dumitrescu, CEO, Publicis Romania; Misu Negritoiu, President, ING Bank Romania; Sorana Baciu, Managing Partner, Acgenio; Henk Paardekooper, RBS Romania President; Ştefan Dărăbuş, National Director, HHC Romania; Dana Deac, Journalist, Anca Georgescu, HR Executive Director, Romtelecom; Alexandru Lupea, Partner, Ernst & Young; Mihaela Mitroi and Ionut Simion, Partners with PwC; Speranţa Munteanu,  Aura Giurcaneanu, Partners and Serban Toader, Senior Partner with KPMG Romania; Ștefania Popp, Executive Director, Junior Achievement; Septimiu Postelnicu, Executive Vice President, UnicreditTiriac Bank S.A.; Radu Soviani, Journalist; Cristian Lupşa, Editor, Decât o Revista; Daniele Moscato, Senior Vice President, UniCredit Group; Carl Rossey and Cristian Sporis, Raiffeisen Bank Vice Presidents as well as CRO Mircea Busuioceanu and CFO Bogdan Popa; Tincuta Apateanu, CEO & Founder, Edusfera; Ioana Avadani, Executive Director at Center For Independent Journalism; Leslie Hawke, Co-founder, Ovidiu Rom Association; Christian Mititelu, Member, National Audiovisual Council of Romania; Gabriel Petrescu, Executive Director, Open Society Foundation; Bogdan Staicu, Executive Director, Retail Concept & Design/BIO SAVE Romania.

For more information on the Aspen Seminar for Leaders, please contact using [Aspen Seminar for Leaders] in the subject line.

Alexandra Gatej – CEO, Maldon&Wat; Founding Member of Aspen Institute Romania
The Aspen Seminar opened my eyes to Aristotle and I started thinking about what a <<good society>> should and can really mean. It is the kind of personal development that lifts and enriches the life of a person.

Florin Pogonaru – Vice President and Founding Member of Aspen Institute Romania; President of the Romanian Businessmen’s Association
My ideas about the good society were challenged, refined and strengthened all through passionate debate. I finished the seminar more confident about the philosophical framework that underpins my decisions.

Cristian Lupșa – Editor, DoR
The Aspen Seminar was a rare opportunity to wrestle with the way in which I see the world, the way it works, and the way it could be made better. It was a safe space to question my beliefs, to understand the beliefs of others, to practice listening, to engage in empathy, and, ultimately, to share a profoundly human experience.

Ionut Simion – Country Managing Partner, PWC Romania; Member of Aspen Institute Romania
The Seminar opened a door to a different perspective in life. It really gave me time to think about me, my beliefs vis-à-vis the <<good society>>, values and principles and what I need to work on in order to become a better individual.

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