Aspen Young Leaders Program

We support emerging young leaders!

Values-based leadership is a crucial focal point for the Aspen Institute worldwide. This involves reflecting on personal core values as we decide our professional paths, navigate our teams, and lead with self-knowledge, authenticity, and integrity. Are you a successful young professional, aged 22-35, coming from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, or Slovakia? Are you trying to make a positive change in your environment?

The Call for Applications is closed at the moment.

The Aspen Young Leaders Program will take place on August 22-25, 2024 in the Czech Republic.

Participation criteria | Application | Nomination


About the Aspen Young Leaders Program

At Aspen Institute Central Europe, we organize a unique program called the Aspen Young Leaders Program (AYLP). AYLP offers emerging young leaders the opportunity to improve their personal and professional skills, expand their private network in the region, and reflect on what it means to be a good leader in today’s world. 

Once or twice a year, we put together an interdisciplinary group of approx. 30 young people from Central Europe who, over four days, debate the role of leaders, their core values, the challenges we are facing in today’s society, and the role we play in solving them.

The Program takes place in remote places in Central Europe and is consistent with the basic Aspen idea of stepping away from the daily routine and reflecting on underlying societal values.

It offers various formal and informal activities to create an environment conducive to sharing ideas, learning, and networking. The agenda includes lectures, workshops, case studies as well as leisure activities.

The Program also includes workshops that develop participants’ soft skills and provide an opportunity for them to share their individual work with one another. It provides participants the opportunity to network and discuss together in a unique, inspirational gathering.


The uniqueness of the Program lies in:

👉 Its objectives, which allow people to open up, come out of their comfort zones, move beyond their limits, and share their personal experiences and stories. The participants have the opportunity to share their views on what it means to be a leader in such a complicated global world.

👉 Its intensity and density. There is not a lot of free time, the participants need to focus and work together almost non-stop.

👉 Its inspiring speakers from various sectors in Central Europe.

👉 Its participants, who are a diversified and interdisciplinary group of inspiring young leaders from Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, or long-term residents living and acting in central Europe.

👉 Its focus on dialogue. The program triggers further cooperation and open conversations among participants, connecting them with the rest of the Alumni group.

👉 Its environment, which provides the possibility to network and discuss together in a safe, unique, and inspirational gathering.

👉 Its sessions that develop participants’ soft skills.

👉 Its purpose: not to teach participants hard skills and textbook knowledge BUT to invite them to listen, reflect, and feel challenged, inspired, and motivated in their next professional steps. 

👉 Its alumni. Graduates become part of a loose network of Alumni that support and inspire each other, providing an understanding bubble of friends, and building professional and personal ties.    


More than 400 young leaders have joined AYLP since 2013!

“When I was invited to join the Aspen network, it was one of the turning points in my life. I got to know different people with similar struggles, and I imagined better what I wanted to achieve in my life.” – Yemi A.D.



The uniqueness of the Program is defined by the strong emphasis on the quality and diversity of speakers and the broad array of topics they cover and the open conversations they facilitate. We invite outstanding and inspiring professionals from Central Europe, who debate the role of leaders and issues critical for the region’s development.

An interdisciplinary mix of speakers coming from business, arts, academia, politics, science, sports, and the non-profit sectors guarantees provocative perspectives and triggers further cooperation among the already interdisciplinary group of AYLP participants. The emphasis on building the program through cross-sectoral perspectives adds to the uniqueness of the whole experience.

“It’s an opportunity to meet excellent people.” – Tomáš Čupr, Rohlí



Participation Criteria – the prospective candidate must be:

✔ Aged approx. 22 – 35, and of Czech, Hungarian, Polish, or Slovak nationality or a long-term resident living and acting in Central Europe

✔ Fluent in English

✔ Professionally active in politics, business, media, the arts, sports, science, or the nonprofit sector

Selection Criteria – the prospective candidate should be:

✔ An exceptional individual (who, for example, holds a leading position at work, is working on an innovative project, is leading a team of people, is contributing to an extraordinary field of work, has extraordinary achievements, is a disrupting leader, etc.)

✔ An open-minded and active citizen, who is interested in tackling current challenges

✔ Willing to promote cooperation among different professions and segments of society




After completing the program, participants become part of the Aspen Institute Alumni network. They are invited to remain involved in the Institute’s activities and its development as well. They are encouraged to continue to support one another and are further supported by the Aspen Institute. The Alumni will be invited to various events organized by Aspen Institute Central Europe and further supported in cooperation and networking. You can take a look at our Alumni network of former participants.

I’m very grateful to Aspen Institute CE for pulling together this inspirational group. Diversity, excellence, drive, and thoughtfulness – those are words that fit not just the speakers but also the participants of AYLP 2016. Thank you all for the long discussions, inspiration, challenges, and ultimately, recharging my optimism.” Tamara Bobáková, SK


Step away from your daily routine & Apply or Nominate a Young Leader!

👉 Call for Applications is usually opened 4-5 months prior to the Program.

👉 Specific dates are shared on our website right here or in the News section. 

👉You can follow us on our social media (FacebookLinkedInTwitterInstagram) where we announce the Call for Applications and other important information

👉 If you want to nominate a Young Leader, please check the criteria here.

👉 For any other questions feel free to contact us at


Participation and selection criteria

Participation Fee

The program fee is 850 EUR. Aspen Institute CE can offer a discount in the form of a scholarship to a limited number of applicants. Applicants can request the scholarship in the application. Please see here for more info about the Participation Fee.

Selection Process

Aspen Institute CE will select approx. 30 participants who best match the selection criteria, bringing together a balanced mix of participants concerning their professional background, nationality, and gender. Selected candidates will receive an invitation along with the Program agenda and organizational details.

Organizer and supporters

The Program is organized by the Aspen Institute Central Europe, the Central European partner of the international Aspen network. The Program is facilitated by experienced leaders and expert moderators.

The Program is supported by Direct Insurance and VIGO Investments.

AICE Partners | ALUMNI | Nomination



See our AYLP Alumni or browse past AYLP Program reports:

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