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 alumni network which has grown to over 6,000 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 members 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 the year 2019.

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

Online 3rd editions of the Socrates Seminars are scheduled for May and June 2021.

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

2020

TRANSATLANTIC SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2020 (online)

  • 2nd edition of the Seminar: October 5-7, 2020
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 19 participants 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

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 and was moderated by Mr. Cameron Abadi, deputy editor at Foreign Policy, and Mr. Radu Puchiu, Aspen Alumnus and Co-Founder and CEO of H.appyCities.

The Seminar was enriched by the interventions of two guest speakers, Mr. Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General of NATO and Lieutenant General Daniel Petrescu, Chief of Defence Staff, Ministry of National Defence.

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 (online)

  • 2nd edition of the Seminar: October 22-23, 2020
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 15 participants became part of the Aspen Alumni community

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 moderators of the seminar were Dr. Jennifer Lee, Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, and Dr. Vlad Mixich, Executive Director of the Romanian Health Observatory. The Seminar also benefited from the support of Univ. Prof. Dr. Alexandru Rafila, Aspen Healthcare & Quality of Life Program Director and the presence of two guest speakers, Ms. Carmen Mihălcescu, Vice-President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, and Mr. Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Member of the European Parliament.

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

2019

TRANSATLANTIC SOCRATES LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2019

  • 1st edition of the Seminar: May 24-26, 2019, in Fundata, Brașov county (Romania)
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 23 participants 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

Having as its theme Friend or Foe?: How Tech Is Transforming Democracy, the seminar was moderated by Dr. Mischa Thompson, Policy Advisor at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, also known as the Helsinki Commission).

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 of the Seminar: October 11-13, 2019, in Pitaru, Dâmbovița county (Romania)
  • Partner: Aspen Institute US – Socrates Program
  • 17 participants became part of the Aspen Alumni community

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.

The seminar was co-moderated by Adrian Bot, M.D., Ph.D, Vice President, Translational Medicine; Dr. 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.

More details regarding the seminar organized in October 2019 are available here.

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