Around the Institute

Socrates Goes to Japan

June 4, 2018  • Institute Staff

In October 2017, the Socrates Program and Aspen Institute Japan joined forces to bring the first English-language Aspen seminar to Japan: “Order Amid Chaos: Making Sense of Major Trends Shaping the Future of Technology, Business, and Society.” Led by the MIT Media Lab’s William Powers, participants from Japan, the United States, Italy, Romania, and Hong Kong delved into technology, the rise of social media, and national competitiveness. Conversations that began at the seminar table continued over Wagyu beef dinners and group excursions. Held just outside of Kyoto, in Otsu, participants toured iconic temples, shrines, and parks. The event marked the first of five seminars the Socrates Program and Aspen Institute Japan will hold over the next two years. In May, leaders met in Tokyo to examine artificial intelligence with Google’s Wilson White. In November, Charlie Firestone, the executive director of the Institute’s Communications and Society Program, will bring “Democracy in a Digital Age” to the city of Nara, Japan. The Japan partnership is the result of the vision and generosity of Leonard Lauder, an Institute lifetime trustee; the late Yotaro Kobayashi, the former president of Aspen Institute Japan; and Elliot Gerson, the executive vice president of the Institute‚Äôs policy and public programs and international partnerships.