Socrates Seminars

The world requires more values-based changemakers who reflect on enduring values for the purpose of building a better society. Away from the demands of your daily routine, the Aspen Institute seminars convene executive and accomplished leaders in these text-based retreat seminars to discover new perspectives in dialogue and critical discussion on contemporary issues. The Socrates Seminars excel at encouraging values-based leadership through consideration and discussion of big current issues and ideas through expert-moderated dialogue.

👉 Focus on the essence of leadership, not case studies or skill building format
👉 High-level expert moderators
👉 Respectful setting and retreat away from daily routine


Find out more

Aspen Seminars are for those who realize that one cannot lead others without leading oneself first. It is an opportunity to understand tensions between ideas and goods competing in a globalized world and discover how our choices and decisions are shaped. We believe that the best leaders are those who reject easy answers in favor of asking difficult questions, evaluating different positions, and making decisions from a place of humility, surety and self-awareness

“The Seminar helped me to better understand my own government decisions and actions.” Madeleine K. Albright Former U.S. Secretary of State

The Seminar is a collaborative endeavor for participants from different fields to learn from one another. They are asked to contribute their understanding of and reactions to carefully selected readings, with the guidance of moderators who are experts in their respective sectors. Participants develop an understanding of the reading material and formulate responses to the contemporary issue that is selected as a topic of the specific seminar. The Program provides stimulating dialogue, values-based introspection, and dynamic debate that serves to enhance participants’ leadership capabilities.

What makes the Socrates Seminar unique?

💡 The Seminar attracts leaders interested in critical problems facing the world.
💡 It demonstrates and champions the Aspen method of moderated learning and bringing diverse views to the table.
💡 The length is designed for optimal balance between serious content and interdisciplinary thought for busy professionals.
💡 It creates a unique professional network and engages people with ideas to move into action.
💡 By attending, you become a part of a diverse alumni network which has grown to over 7,000 emerging leaders from the US and abroad only in the Socrates Program, and even more within the other Aspen Seminars

What are the objectives of the Seminar?

Meaningful conversations challenging you with in-depth debating experience that brings you to think out of the box
✍ Feeling of empowerment to take action as a more effective leader
✍ A sense of personal renewal that challenges your existing views and belief systems
✍ Knowledge and moral fortitude to make sound decisions for the good of your organizations and society
✍ A broader professional network with leaders from other disciplines and countries, chance to join our diverse and international alumni network


By invitation only. For more information, please contact

Participants of the Socrates Seminar 2022

Participants of the Socrates Seminar 2024

Share this on social media

Support Aspen Institute

The support of our corporate partners, individual members and donors is critical to sustaining our work. We encourage you to join us at our roundtable discussions, forums, symposia, and special event dinners.

These web pages use cookies to provide their services. You get more information about the cookies after clicking on the button “Detailed setting”. You can set the cookies which we will be able to use, or you can give us your consent to use all the cookies by clicking on the button “Allow all”. You can change the setting of cookies at any time in the footer of our web pages.
Cookies are small files saved in your terminal equipment, into which certain settings and data are saved, which you exchange with our pages by means of your browser. The contents of these files are shared between your browser and our servers or the servers of our partners. We need some of the cookies so that our web page could function properly, we need others for analytical and marketing purposes.