Aspen Junior Seminar

The Aspen Junior Seminar is a 4-day fellowship-based leadership program, modelled on the Aspen Institute Seminar on leadership, values, and the good society and based on the 70-year-old Aspen method of text-based dialogue.

The Aspen Junior Seminar aims to promote and advance leadership within the society among young people who are active in academia, volunteering and with a proven leadership potential, according to the ethical values on which the Aspen Institute is based.

The Aspen Junior Seminar gathers each year approximately 20 students and young professionals, aged 20 to 24. The candidates are selected based on an updated CV, a letter of recommendation and a short essay. The selected participants receive a scholarship covering the costs of accommodation at the location of the seminar, meals and seminar materials.

The discussions at the Seminar are guided by skilled moderators and the working language for the readings and discussions is Romanian. The text-based discussion between participants is an Aspen tradition and in order for the debate to be balanced, everyone is expected to contribute.

During the seminar sessions, the participants Socratically debate a series of readings, from the greatest thinkers of past and present, such as: Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Fareed Zakaria, Nelson Mandela, George Orwell, Aristotle, Andrei Pleșu, Vaclav Havel or Plato. Thus, by discussing and exploring a high variety of topics, the Seminar offers participants a non-partisan space of dialogue and interaction that gives them the opportunity to debate and question their values. By the end of the Seminar, the participants will have a better understanding of values-based leadership, of themselves and their values.

The most recent 5 editions of the Aspen Junior Seminar (2017 – 2021) were moderated by Conf. univ. dr. Roxana Voicu-Dorobanțu, Aspen Fellow 2008, Associate Professor at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies.

The Call for applications is usually launched in the autumn of each year.

The participation to the Seminar offers the access into the community of alumni of the Aspen Junior Seminar, now counting close to 200 individuals and to the various events dedicated to the alumni community.

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