From 25-28 April, 2019 the Institut Aspen hosted the first Socrates Program Seminar in Annecy, France.
The seminar was entitled « In a Polarized World, Binding Values and Society, » and was moderated by Leigh Hafrey, Senior Lecturer in Behavioral and Policy Sciences at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Participants hailed from France, the United States, Italy, Japan, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, and Serbia.
Centered around a selection of texts, participants explored the political, economic, and social forces that drive today’s contentious global discourse. In seminar discussions and over meals, discussions weighed definitions of humanity past, present, and still to come; reckoned with our dominant economic frameworks; and ended on practical means of reaching a shared and prosperous future. The seminar was an opportunity to explore how our most deeply held values express both poverty and power, a sense of place and a sense of rootlessness, isolation and community, and how only by knowing these oppositions can we move beyond them.
Philippe Manière (Member of the Executive Committee, Institut Aspen France) and Elliot Gerson (Executive Vice President, the Aspen Institute) in conversation with moderator Leigh Hafrey.
The Aspen Institute Socrates Program is a global education forum designed to provide emerging leaders with access to values and ethics-based learning on contemporary leadership topics through expert-moderated, text-based Socratic discussion with peers.
The Socrates Program was founded the summer of 1996, beginning with a session called “Dilemmas of the Digital Age” at a time when the Aspen Institute was seeking a pathway for emerging leaders. The first group of participants came from Silicon Valley when the internet was coming of age, and Socrates seminars continue to enable participants to explore current, pressing leadership challenges. Discussions are built around classic and contemporary texts, and are led by expert moderators who engage and encourage participants to share their views with a diverse group of peers. The seminars are designed as values-based Socratic explorations to facilitate the exchange of ideas. Since its inception, the Socrates Program has grown to include a diverse group of over 5,000 emerging leaders, including investors, policy experts, entrepreneurs, academics, journalists and artists from across the US and 45 countries.