Why the Aspen Institute?

The First Movers Fellowship Program fits squarely within the Aspen Institute’s mission: to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

In the more than six decades since its founding, the Aspen Institute has grown and evolved in many directions, but it has always held fast to its reputation as the place where policymakers, writers, artists, executives and members of the public can come together to explore the values underpinning society. That reputation, though, is incomplete. From the beginning, the Institute has been driven by a desire to both convene and have real-world impact.

This desire stems from founder Walter Paepcke’s focus on the “good society”—a concept that still lies at the heart of the Institute. The “good society” is not some final destination. Instead, it is an ideal, an aspiration—a continual striving for improvement, individually and collectively, driven by both the ideas we explore and the actions we take.

This Fellowship Program is housed within the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (Aspen BSP) which works with business executives and scholars to align business decisions and investments with the long-term health of society—and the planet.  Through carefully designed networks, working groups and focused dialogue, the Aspen BSP identifies and inspires thought leaders and “intrapreneurs” to challenge conventional ideas about capitalism and markets, to test new measures of business success and to connect classroom theory and business practice.

The First Movers Fellowship Program transforms what we have learned from this inquiry into practice. By finding the First Movers in business, learning from their experiences, connecting them with others and fueling their passion and courage, we believe we will generate the kind of fresh thinking that will ensure business lives up to its full potential as a vehicle for positive social change.

For further information on the First Movers Fellowship Program please contact us by email at first.movers@aspeninstitute.org.