The 13th Global Aspen Institute was initially formed in 2020 as the Aspen Colombia Initiative, and is now a full international partner.
Washington, DC, November 15, 2023 – The Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and Executive Committee approved the creation of Aspen Institute Colombia (Aspen Colombia) on Friday, November 3, at the group’s annual meeting in New York City. The organization becomes the newest member of the Aspen Institute International Partners Network, having first been established in 2020 as the Aspen Colombia Initiative. It is led by Felipe Medina as Chair of their Board and Pablo Navas as Executive Director.
As with other international partners, the Aspen Institute Colombia is a non-partisan and non-ideological institution with programs dedicated to promoting dialogue and understanding on critical issues. Among the issues they are engaged with are education, the environment, a more inclusive economy, and the leadership ecosystem in Colombia. Recently, they gathered participants from different geographies and backgrounds to reflect on the question “Can Democracies Fix Democracy?” for an Aspen Institute Socrates Seminar in Medellín, Colombia.
“The Institute was approached about creating a partner in Colombia in 2018 and their team has been actively engaged ever since. Over the last five years, Aspen Colombia has made great strides to expand their network and programs to share the Aspen purpose, mission and values,” said Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of Public and Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute. “We are very proud of the work they have done and will continue to do to promote the Aspen Idea and the good society throughout Colombia.”
“Given the Colombian reality, the Aspen experience and resources are not only welcome, but an imminent necessity. To have a nonpartisan and non-ideological, independent organization that will embrace the Institute´s mission to foster enlightened leadership in Colombia is more than welcome. We are very proud and honored to be an institute, and very grateful for all the support, guidance, and encouragement we have received at all levels of the organization,” said Executive Director Pablo Navas.
Aspen Colombia Board Chair Felipe Medina and Pablo Navas were both present at last week’s Board meeting in New York City. Medina leads the Transformative Philanthropy initiative, guiding families to enhance the strategic impact of their philanthropic endeavors and manages portfolios for individuals and families in the region. Navas has held several leadership and prominent roles in education, including serving as Rector at the Universidad de los Andes from 2011 to 2019.
The Aspen Institute’s international partners are individually managed and financed organizations which conduct their own programs, conferences and seminars on region-specific issues, global challenges and leadership development. Partners work to create a global community of leaders committed to the greater good and elevate non-partisan dialogue. Since 1974, the Aspen Institute has inspired 13 international partner organizations in 16 countries: Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. There is also an Aspen Initiative in Kenya.
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.