The Aspen Executive Leadership Program for Public Service

The program seeks to consolidate democracy through the identifying and uniting the most promising leaders, aged between 25 and 40 years old. The participants may be members of the legislative system, professionals from the local or central public administration (government, city halls and municipalities, local and county councils) or promising members of political parties. They must assume the role of decision-makers, whether they are already in office or are preparing for a public office, to be promoters of nonpartisan dialogue to the benefit of the citizen and of good governance and they must be able to engage in the reform of the areas that are essential for the development of Romania, disregarding their political and ideological affiliation.

Through the program, though studying and conversation, the participants will explore the values and principles which represent the foundation of democracy, the relation between the individual and community, but most of all, the responsibilities of public leadership. The program also seeks to promote a political system based on nonpartisan, meditative and constructive dialogue. The program aims to support the current and future leaders in public administration and the legal system to reach their maximum potential in public service. Its mission is to offer the participants an instrument for levelling-up and for becoming aware for their own capabilities to reform the administration. The program will create a combination of leadership and soft skills development and technical or professional training, to generate this change in the vision and abilities of the participants.

The program is structured in two modules. The first module follows the lines of the classic Aspen Seminar a Socratic debate based on 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. The second module would be designed in collaboration with a Romanian or foreign University and would focus on sharing knowledge on the best practices in the field and develop the participants’ technical and professional skills.

The Program will be scholarship-based for participants from the public sector.