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2023 Socrates España Seminar

Held in partnership with the Aspen Institute España, the Socrates España Seminar will take place from May 26-28, 2023. Socrates international seminars include three seminar sessions, program meals, and local excursions/tours. Seminar tuition is $3,000, which includes lodging, materials, and meals. Tuition does not include travel. Please contact if you are interested in participating  

From AI to Co-Creation: Democracy Now  

What is democracy today? Per ChatGPT, “democracy continues to be a system of government where power is held by the people through elected representatives. However, democracy has evolved . . . One significant development in 21st-century democracy is the increasing use of digital technologies to enhance citizen participation and engagement in the political process.” Does the wizard ChatGPT knowingly pull back the curtain here on its/his/her/their own operations? In this fleeting expression of the black box AI that worries us, we find both the core challenge to and new promise of a viable democratic order.  

In three sessions, our seminar “From AI to Co-Creation: Democracy Now” explores the connection between evolving digital technologies and the political culture that we experience today. While platforms evolve in Silicon Valley, climate change, war, and poverty drive population flows across the globe. Faced with this stark virtual/physical tension, we consider the forces that have modulated the tech-utopian vision of the late 20th century, ask about its intended and unintended consequences, and imagine what we might do today to produce the flourishing that we have, over the centuries, defined as the good life.  

Moderator: Leigh Hafrey is Senior Lecturer in Behavioral and Policy Sciences at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Since 1995, he has offered courses in communication, ethics, and leadership in the MBA and other graduate programs in the U.S. and abroad. He has also taught at Harvard Business School; served as co-Master of Mather House, one of the undergraduate residences in Harvard College; and for more than 20 years has moderated seminars in programs of the Aspen Institute. He serves on the boards of the Green Rural Opportunities Fund, a spin-off of the Butajira, Ethiopia-based GreenPath Food, and ClassACT HR73, an alumni initiative of the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1973. A former staff editor at The New York Times Book Review, Hafrey has published translations from French and German and columns, feature articles, essays, reviews, and interviews in The New York Times and other periodicals, as well as blog posts and business case studies for MIT Sloan. He is the author of two books on values and leadership, The Story of Success: Five Steps to Mastering Ethics in Business (2005) and War Stories: Fighting, Competing, Imagining, Leading (2016). Hafrey holds an A.B. in English Literature from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University. 

Health and Safety Guidelines for In Person Events

The Aspen Institute is committed to creating a safe seminar experience for all participants. Please see our COVID-19 safety guidelines here.

These guidelines will be regularly updated to meet the latest health and safety guidance of the CDC and local authorities. If you anticipate any issues or have any concerns, please contact us at

Event information
Fri May 26, 2023 - Sun May 28, 2023
La Granja, España