Young Leaders Program

The flagship program of the Aspen Institute Romania, the Young Leaders Program (YLP) is designed for young people who have the potential, interest and determination to exercise leadership to the highest standards of civic and corporate responsibility, and according to the ethical values on which the Aspen Institute is based. The Young Leaders Program gathers each year 20 to 25 high profile regional young leaders, aged 25 to 35. We welcome candidates from: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The first module follows the lines of the classic Aspen Seminar, offered by The Aspen Institute US to senior executives and young leaders since 1951. Discussions will be aided by experienced moderators who know the texts well, and can help participants understand the concepts expressed and how they are relevant to today’s world. The text-based discussion between participants is an Aspen tradition and in order for the debate to be balanced, everyone is expected to contribute.

The second module aims at facilitating the understanding of diverse leadership styles and group synergies, but at the same time providing tools for focus, execution and productivity. The module encompasses assessments of leadership skills, practical trainings in communication techniques and teambuilding activities. All the above, interlinked with a series of Socratic debates on topics of high relevance for today’s state of the world. It is during the second module when participants will start discussing their ideas for the community service projects and initiate the planning process.

The third module aims at offering participants a broader understanding of their role as leaders in contemporary society and a higher awareness of societal problems and possible ways to create change through various tools. It does that through a series of debates on specific topics, moderated by participants themselves and through a hands-on exercise in a disadvantaged community in Romania. During this module, participants will attend sessions designed to help them bring their community service projects one step closer to the implementation stage.

By the end of the Program participants are expected to initiate or endorse an original community service project that they will further develop, individually or in groups. This type of involvement will illustrate their creativity and their talent for teamwork, planning, persuasion, delivery and overall leadership. During the fourth module participants are expected to present their community service projects to Aspen Members, Aspen Fellows and other close collaborators of the Aspen Institute.

The Young Leaders Program is scholarship-based.

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