Aspen Institute Italia
Aspen Institute Italia is a business association connected to the U.S. Aspen Institute. The Institute's mission is the internationalization of Italy's entrepreneurial, political and cultural leadership through a free confrontation - behind closed doors -"between different ideas and backgrounds, "to identify and promote common values, knowledge and interests." The institute favors "interpersonal relationships" to inspire "a modern and conscious leadership".
The Aspen Institute founded in the United States in 1950 on the initiative of a group of American intellectuals and businessmen to gather the business elites in a complex and evolving international geopolitical reality, just emerging from the devastating experience of Second World War. In Italy, the Institute began its activity in 1984 with a strong transatlantic feel, which is still very present today. It currently has a headquarters in Rome, an office in Milan and one in Venice.
The Aspen international network is made up of other centers of activity - independent but coordinated - based in the United States, France, Germany, Japan, India, Romania, Spain, the Czech Republic, Mexico and Ukraine.
It was founded in 1984, after the embarrassing 1982 exposure of the Propaganda 2 masonic lodge, (coup plans, terrorism etc.) made new structures for the ruling elites necessary.
Despite its claim to openness, most of its meetings happen behind closed doors and/or under Chatham House Rules, but "favors interpersonal relationships",i.e. creating a leader class. "Around the Aspen table, leaders from the industrial, economic, financial, political, social and cultural world discuss in conditions of absolute confidentiality and freedom of expression."
The Institute claims the aim is not to find unanimous or simply reassuring answers, but to highlight the complexity of the phenomena of the contemporary world. But given the elite background of the participants and nudging from the steering committee, the agenda and "universal values and ideals" is set within a very narrow political frame.
The Aspen Institute Italia focuses on the most current problems and challenges of politics, economics, culture and society, with particular attention to the Italian and international business community. The aim is as much to influence the country's business leaders as it is outward lobbyism.
Supporting members - Italian and international big corporations, industry bodies and associations - finance the Institute's activities and programs with an annual fee, equal for all. They also financially support specific events on topics of significant strategic interest. The corporations chosen are admitted to the Association by the Executive Committee and are represented on the General Council of the Aspen Institute by their Presidents, Managing Directors or General Managers.
Ordinary Members, Italian and international personalities from the academic, political, cultural and media world, are invited to join the Association by the Executive Committee for their academic reputation and professional excellence. They participate, among other things, in working groups and task forces that address specific problems on the international political and economic scene.
The Friends of the Aspen was founded in 1994 to involve representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (with a turnover of no more than 150 million euros). In addition to the Activities provided for them (meetings and tools for analyzing problems of a wide range, such as internationalization and leadership training), the Friends also have the right to participate in 4 national or international meetings of the Institute. The total number of The Friends of the Aspen members is between 70 and 75.