The Aspen Institute offers its Teen Socrates Seminar each year over Presidents’ Day Weekend in Aspen, Colorado. Teens between the ages of 15-17 from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond convene to take part in this transformational experience and come away with a new perspective on their lives, their futures, and society.
The three-day seminar is dedicated to enhancing leadership, problem solving, and critical thinking skills for high school students in a setting conducive to thought and fellowship. Students are challenged to think more critically and deeply about their values and ideas, and those that make the good society. Our proven method of text-based dialogue offers participants a neutral forum in which to reflect on timeless human values, pursue common ground, and cultivate a richer understanding of the human condition. Participants emerge from the seminar with a new perspective as they confront the difficult choices of our ever-changing world.
Each seminar convenes a diverse group of 23 students for lively, intensive roundtable discussions led by a skilled moderator. Classic and contemporary texts reflecting the breadth of human civilization form the starting points of a rich conversation in which the questions posed by the group are frequently as illuminating as the varied, timeless wisdom of the texts.
Moderated in traditional Aspen Institute Socratic style, students read selections by such authors as Plato; Aristotle; Seneca; Mary Oliver; and Martin Luther King, Jr.; among others.
The Aspen Institute is committed to bringing together students with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which adds depth and richness to the dialogue. Thanks to the generosity of the Wall Family Foundation, we are able to offer scholarships to those in need of financial assistance.