Aspen Leadership Seminars FAQs

How are Aspen Leadership Seminars different from other executive and leadership development programs?

Rather than offering one-size-fits-all solutions to leadership, our seminars support each participant in developing their own personalized tools for effective leadership. Our process of moderated text-based dialogue allows each participant to zero in on the values that are important to them as leaders. We do not promise to have all the answers; rather, we help participants develop the questions they must ask and continue to ask in order to continually evolve as a leader. Read more about the Aspen Experience here.

Are Aspen Leadership Seminars professional or personal development?

Both. In order to be a good leader, one must make decisions from a place of strength and surety. The best leaders are self-aware: they know their strength and their faults, they know what they value and what they are willing to sacrifice, they have developed the skills to listen to others, and they weigh competing points of view. Our seminars seek to bring personal and professional development into alignment to help individuals develop surety in their own values-based leadership philosophy.

Who teaches the seminar?

Because the seminar experience is a collaborative investigation into the questions of what makes a good leader, the seminar does not have traditional instructors. Instead, participants are guided in discussion by highly-trained moderators. Most of our moderators do not work full-time for the Aspen Institute. Instead, they have high-powered everyday jobs, choosing to take time away from their work to moderate our seminars because they believe in the experience. All of our moderators have been with us 10+ years and at one time were participant in the seminar themselves. To view select moderator bios, click here.

How many people are at each seminar?

Our seminars provide an intimate small-group experience. We cap enrollment of our on-campus seminars to 23 participants. Virtual seminars are capped at 18 participants.

Do I have to be present for the entire seminar, or can I attend on select days?

In order experience the full benefit of the seminar we ask that you be present for the entirety of the experience. What’s more, we ask that during the week you try your best to not check in with work or answer work emails. One of the benefits of the seminar is the gift of time to take time away from everyday concerns by immersing yourself in the process.

How long are the seminar readings? How much time will it take for me to read them all?

Readings for our seminars are short, digestible excerpts. Each excerpt can be read in a single sitting. Reading times vary, but we recommend setting aside 30-45 minutes to read for each seminar session.

Do you have scholarship options to attend a Leadership Seminar?

We offer scholarships to individuals on a limited basis. To qualify for a scholarship, you must work for a nonprofit or government organization or be able to demonstrate that your organization cannot pay the full seminar tuition. If you are interested in being considered for a scholarship to one of our seminars, including the Aspen Executive Seminar, please reach out to Hannah Wardell at [email protected]

Can I see an alumni list of who has taken your seminar?

We do not publicize the names of our seminar participants either before or following the seminar.  However, if you would like to speak to someone in your sector who has taken the seminar, reach out to us and we would be happy to put you in touch with an alumnus.

I’ve already applied and been accepted to a seminar, can I see the names of the people who will be taking the seminar with me?

Even once you have been accepted to a seminar, you will not receive the bios of your fellow participants until it begins. We want our participants to meet their fellow seminarians person to person, not bio to bio. The authentic relationships you develop with the other participants in the seminar will form quickly and studying their bios before the seminar begins will only get in the way.

How can I learn more?

If you have questions that we haven’t answered, please reach out to Kalissa Hendrickson at [email protected] .