Socrates Seminar

The Socrates Seminar provides a forum for emerging leaders from various professions to convene and explore contemporary issues through expert-moderated dialogue. The seminars are designed as values-based Socratic explorations to facilitate the exchange of ideas.

Socrates Approach

The Socrates Seminar is a collaborative endeavor for participants from different fields. Participants are asked to contribute their understanding of and reactions to carefully selected readings, with the guidance of moderators who are experts in their sector.

Participants develop an understanding of the reading materials and formulate responses to the issues that they cover at the roundtable meetings. The seminars provide stimulating dialogue, values-based introspection, and dynamic debate that serves to enhance participants’ leadership capabilities. Socrates creates a unique professional network and engages people with ideas to move into action.

By joining the Socrates Seminars developed by Aspen Institute Romania in partnership with the Aspen Institute – Socrates Program, participants join a diverse Socrates alumni network which has grown to over 7,000 emerging leaders from the entire world, from the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors.

The Socrates Seminars are organized at the intersection between the Leadership Programs and the Public Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute Romania, being financed under the afore-mentioned policy programs.

Under the guidance of the moderators, each seminar would challenge 20 – 25 participants, multiple stakeholders of the Public Policy Programs’ communities (including public decision-makers), to explore contemporary critical issues facing the world and to have an informal, constructive debate on topics of relevance to the respective programs.

First editions of the Socrates Seminars were organized in person in 2019.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aspen Institute Romania organized in 2020 and 2021 adapted online editions of the Socrates Seminars.

Pending the pandemic developments, the 4th editions of the Socrates Seminars will be organized offline in 2022.

Please find below details about the Socrates Seminars organized by the Aspen Institute Romania in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

SOCRATES SEMINARS ORGANIZED IN 2021:

TRANSATLANTIC SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2021 (3rd EDITION, online)

  • 3rd edition of the Seminar: June 2-4, 2021
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • Supported by the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US.
  • 17 participants to the seminar, who became part of the Aspen Alumni community; various backgrounds such as technology, communication, cybersecurity, defense policy, foreign affairs, diplomacy, political affairs, international relations, finance etc. and originated from Romania, as well as from the USA.
  • Moderators: Dr. Evelyn Farkas, expert with three decades of experience working on national security and foreign policy in the U.S. executive, legislative branch, private sector and for international organizations overseas and by Radu Puchiu, Co-Founder & CEO of H.appy Cities and Program Director of the Aspen Technology & Society Program.
  • Guest speakers: Mr. Hasit Thankey, Head, Enablement and Resilience, Defence Policy and Planning Division, NATO HQ International Staff and Dimitri Lorenzani, Member of cabinet, Cabinet of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Foresight, European Commission.

The seminar was organized under the framework of the Aspen Resilience, Governance & Society Program, the Aspen Technology & Society Program and the Aspen National Defense & Regional Security Program and explored how transatlantic cooperation and whole-of-society resilience can help fight disruptions in a democracy.

CUSTOM HEALTHCARE SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2021 (3rd EDITION, online)

  • 3rd edition of the Seminar: May 26-27, 2021
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • Organized under the framework of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program
  • Moderators: Jennifer Lee, Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University in Washington, DC and a Visiting Scholar at the National Academy of Medicine and Dr. Vlad Mixich, Aspen Alumnus, health policy expert, with the support of Univ. Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, Vicepresident of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies and President of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Advisory Board.

Having as its main theme The Future of Public Health: Building a More Resilient Post Pandemic System, the seminar explored the resilience of healthcare systems and key challenges in public medicine, in the context of the SARS – COV- 2 pandemic.

Dedicated to the Aspen Institute Romania’s Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Community, the seminar used the Aspen method of creating a group as diverse as possible in terms of professional sectors (private, public, non-profit), gender, political affiliation, gathering participants connected to or working in the healthcare system.

SOCRATES SEMINARS ORGANIZED IN 2020:

TRANSATLANTIC SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2020 (2nd EDITION, online)

  • 2nd edition of the Seminar: October 5-7, 2020
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 19 participants to the seminar, who became part of the Aspen Alumni community; participants’ countries of residence: Romania, USA, Germany, France, Ukraine, Mexico, France.
  • Supported by the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US.
  • Moderators: Cameron Abadi, deputy editor at Foreign Policy, and Mr. Radu Puchiu, Aspen Alumnus and Co-Founder and CEO of H.appyCities.
  • Guest speakers: Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General of NATO and Lieutenant General Daniel Petrescu, Chief of Defence Staff, Ministry of National Defence.

The Seminar was organized in the margins of the Bucharest Forum 2020, under the framework of the Aspen Technology & Society Program and the Aspen National Defense & Regional Security Program.

Having as its theme Friend or Foe?: How Tech Is Transforming Democracy, the seminar explored the ways in which technology is transforming democratic societies.

The 2nd edition of the seminar targeted in particular the communities of the two public policy programs: Aspen Technology & Society Program and the National Defense & Regional Security Program.

CUSTOM HEALTHCARE SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2020 (2nd EDITION, online)

  • 2nd edition of the Seminar: October 22-23, 2020
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 15 participants to the seminar, who became part of the Aspen Alumni community.
  • Moderators: Dr. Jennifer Lee, Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and Vlad Mixich, Executive Director of the Romanian Health Observatory, with the support of Univ. Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Director.
  • Guest speakers: Ms. Carmen Mihălcescu, Vice-President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, and Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Member of the European Parliament.

The seminar was organized under the framework of the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program and had as its main theme The Future of Public Health: Building a More Resilient Post Pandemic System.

The seminar debated the resilience of healthcare systems and key challenges in public medicine, in the context of the SARS – COV- 2 pandemic.

The participants to the seminar included multiple stakeholders from the Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program community.

SOCRATES SEMINARS ORGANIZED IN 2019:

TRANSATLANTIC SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2019 (1st EDITION, in person)

  • 1st edition of the Seminar: May 24-26, 2019, in Fundata, Brașov county (Romania)
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 23 participants to the seminar, who became part of the Aspen Alumni community; participants’ countries of residence: Romania, USA, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, The Netherlands, UK.
  • Supported by the Bucharest Office of the German Marshall Fund of the US.
  • Moderator: Mischa Thompson, Policy Advisor at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, also known as the Helsinki Commission).

The theme of the Seminar was Friend or Foe?: How Tech Is Transforming Democracy.

The participants to the seminar had various backgrounds such as diplomacy, political affairs, international relations, foreign affairs, defense policy, communication, technology, finance etc.

CUSTOM HEALTHCARE SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2019 (1st EDITION, in person)

  • 1st edition of the Seminar: October 11-13, 2019, in Pitaru, Dâmbovița county (Romania)
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 17 participants to the seminar, who became part of the Aspen Alumni community.
  • Co-moderators: Adrian Bot, M.D., Ph.D, Vice President, Translational Medicine; Kapil Parakh, Medical Lead, Google Fit; Simona Bot, Vice President, Community Outreach, Blue Heron Foundation and Prof. Alexandru Rafila, Aspen Institute Romania Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Director.

The Custom Healthcare Socrates Leadership Seminar 2019 was partially underwritten by the Simona and Adrian Bot family and organized under the auspices of Aspen Institute Romania Healthcare & Quality of Life Program.

Having as its main theme Technology, Breakthrough Medical Research and the Future of Healthcare, the seminar explored the ways in which public health policies expand and evolve in transforming democratic societies.

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