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 75-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 professionalsaged 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.

In 2023, our youth leadership programs diversified and increased their impact, providing more opportunities for youth to explore contemporary ideas, values and challenges in a stimulating and inclusive environment.
Thus, Aspen Institute Romania organized two editions of the Aspen Junior Seminar in 2023 (Bucharest and Timișoara) and the first edition of the Junior Leaders Program Moldova, a program organized in partnership with the International Republican Institute Moldova.

Below you will find details regarding the programs organized in 2023.

  • Aspen Junior Seminar Timișoara:
    Aspen Junior Seminar was organized for the first time in Timișoara on August 23–25, 2023, in partnership with the West University of Timișoara (UVT), engaging 23 students and young professionals from 7 different counties in Romania in the Western part of Romania and also from other regions of the country.
  • Aspen Junior Seminar Bucharest
    The 13th edition of the Seminar was organized in Bucharest on November 2–5, 2023, engaging 23 students and young professionals from 5 different counties in Romania.
  • Junior Leaders Program Moldova:
    The first edition of the program dedicated to the future generation of leaders in the Republic of Moldova was organized on November 21–25, 2023, near Chișinău, in partnership with the International Republican Institute Moldova. The Program brought together 20 dynamic young individuals active in professional, academic, or volunteer environments, aged between 18 and 25, with demonstrated leadership potential and civic initiative.
    The program’s objective is to motivate, inspire, and contribute to the development of future leaders in the Republic of Moldova, fostering their skills to become advocates for positive change in society.
    The second edition of the Program will be organized on May 21–25, 2024.

The participation to the Aspen Junior Seminars offers the access into the community of alumni of the Aspen Junior Seminar, now counting around 265 individuals and to the various events dedicated to the alumni community.

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