The Aspen Institute Socrates Program invites you to join us in Aspen, Colorado, for an exciting weekend of learning and summer activities July 7-10, 2017. Choose one of five expert-moderated seminars available!
America’s National Security Toolbox: Tools of Diplomacy in the Digital Age
In an open interdependent world, citizens are powerful actors who play a role in how countries engage globally and shape how countries relate to each other through foreign policy. The rise of non-state actors and transnational interest groups, along with rapid advances in information and social technologies, have changed the landscape in which countries practice diplomacy. This July Socrates program examines the U.S. foreign policy toolbox; a complex web of tactics, approaches and strategies that aim to advance American interest, values and national security. What happens when the line between “information” or “disinformation” is so distorted that institutions lose credibility? What does it mean to engage in Public Diplomacy in a world where propaganda is the norm? Participants will explore traditional diplomacy, public diplomacy, digital diplomacy and cultural engagement to see how America utilizes old and new forms of safeguarding its values, interest and policies in this dynamic world.
Moderator: Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State and Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group and Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the Department of State and professor at George Washington University
The New Capitalism: Leveraging Social Enterprise and Impact Investing for Change
The past decade has seen a wave of innovators building and investing in market-based models to create social and environmental benefits. How are these trends reshaping the role of business, government and capital markets? What are the implications for entrepreneurs, corporate executives and impact investors?
Sacred Ground: Religious Pluralism And Prejudice In The American Experiment
G.K. Chesterton famously said that America is a nation with the soul of a church. He would have to slightly modify that sentence if he were speaking today. The United States is now the most religiously diverse country in human history and the most religiously devout nation in the western hemisphere. Current controversies surrounding Muslims are only the most recent chapter in the broader American story of how a historically Protestant-majority country with Constitutional commitments to religious freedom and equality welcomes and integrates new faith communities. This seminar will explore this question from multiple angles, including: The history of religious pluralism and prejudice in American life, from the Founders to the present day; the challenges and opportunities that religious diversity presents to a democratic society; the significant role that religion plays in American civic and public life; and strategies for proactively engaging religious diversity in ways that reduce prejudice and strengthen pluralism.
Moderator: Eboo Patel, founder, Interfaith Youth Core and member, Inaugural Advisor Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships
‘As a City Upon a Hill:’ On Becoming America
This seminar invokes this country’s hope, from its very beginnings as a nation, to model the good society. Over the centuries, Americans have fought for and enjoyed a sense of difference from their fellows, even as they committed to an economic and philosophical equality with them. Today more than ever, we live that difference in the diversity of our origins, our political beliefs, and our expectations for the future. A shared idealism and the humanity we wish it to inspire remains, now as in our earliest days, the challenge to which we must rise. Seminar materials capture the values-in-tension that characterize our history, and celebrate the moments and movements that have delivered on our promise.
Moderator: Leigh Hafrey, Senior Lecturer in the Behavioral and Policy Sciences area at MIT Sloan School of Management and Russ Muirhead, Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics and Professor of Government, Dartmouth College
How Do You Know?: Finding the Truth in a Post-Truth World
Whether you want to deliver information that is objectively true, or simply do the work of being a citizen in the 21st century, how do you know what’s true? Content is coming at your eyeballs and eardrums nearly non-stop, from a vast array of sources. Can you tell the difference between good information and bad information? Fact versus fiction? If it is true that anyone with a smartphone can be a journalist, who then determines journalistic standards? What happens when no one gets to define those standards? Who determines truth? Is this a good place to be an information consumer? What can/should we do differently?
Moderator: Ray Suarez, former Host with Al-Jazeera and Chief National Correspondent for PBS NewsHour