7. 4. 2017

Dear readers,

You are holding in your hands the latest issue of the quarterly Aspen Review Central Europe, with the main theme concerning the renationalisation of the European Union. The content of the current issue is commented on the following page by its editor, Alek Kaczorowski. Following is a summary of what the past quarter has brought for the Aspen Institute Prague.

The four-day long Aspen Institute Young Leaders Program is the project upon which we focused our greatest efforts in recent weeks. At the turn of February and March 2013, twenty-five carefully selected leaders in various professional fields from Central Europe attended lectures and workshops on image management, professional burnout, and workaholism. They acquainted themselves with recipes for successful careers and opportunities to contribute to a sustainable development of companies and society. During informal discussions, they got to know current and former top politicians, experienced corporate leaders, and heads of state institutions; including European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič as well as hockey legend and MEP Peter Šťastný. Young Leaders Program is one of the most important activities of Aspen Prague. According to the comments of the first graduates and the willingness of our partners to financially support the forthcoming years, I believe that we have managed to bring to life an attractive model that has a future. For that our many thanks to the participants as well as to the speakers.

Early in February, we organized the first public debate of the cycle Aspen DNES that we jointly prepared with the daily MF DNES and the portal iDnes.cz. The discussion on “Why am I Talking in Politics?” hosted familiar faces that engage in politics: businessman Stanislav Bernard, actor Jiří Mádl and MP Jiří Šlégr. Their motives and the consequences of their participation in public life was commented on by political analyst Pavel Šaradín. Debate took place in Nová síň Gallery in Prague, Voršilská Street, and was led by Robert Čásenský, the editor of MF DNES and myself. The viewership from the live broadcast and readership of a related article on iDnes.cz by far exceeded our most optimistic expectations. This can be certainly contributed to good timing associated with our fresh experience regarding the recent presidential elections. A recording of Aspen DNES can be seen on our YouTube channel. We have already began to prepare a second debate that should be held sometime this spring.

Also in February 2013, we organized the second event as part of our policy program, this time in collaboration with Google Czech Republic. The policy brunch on Internet economy has proved that not all the players in the sphere of Internet business (from both the state and private sector) knew themselves personally or had the opportunity to meet regularly. Retrospectively, they agreed that a closed event for experts within a narrowly focused topic needs to be done more frequently as it provides a wonderful communication tool for people with common interests.

Recently we accepted new members into the Friends of Aspen Institute Prague. We are pleased that the interest in closer involvement into our work has attracted a growing number of university students along with entrepreneurs and scientists working abroad. With their help, we are eager not only to spread awareness of our activities, but to also involve young leaders in their preparation.

Within the upcoming period, we are anticipating a working breakfast on creative cities with guests from Slovakia and Poland. Our first event abroad lies ahead of us as well. In the U.S., we want to discuss a very current topic of financing culture in Central Europe. For updates on these events as well as further news, please follow our website and newsletter.

I look forward to meeting you at one of our upcoming events and wish you an interesting reading.

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