"The discussions with my fellow participants have changed

how I view the world and will impact my daily life." 

- Eva Deininger, CEO of xtracake GmbH

The last seminar took place at Gut Klostermühle on 11-14 April, 2024.

You can find more information here.

The Aspen Leadership Seminar

In an era of unprecedented global challenges and geopolitical upheaval, the Aspen Germany leadership seminar “Philosophy and Practice” is a cornerstone in the Institute’s efforts to create a safe space for meaningful dialogue on the essence of leading in times of crises. The seminar builds purpose-driven leadership that strengthens the individual’s moral compass and sense of responsibility throughout all sectors of society. 


By bringing together high-level leaders from politics, business, non-profit organizations, and academia, the participants learn to reflect upon challenges for their own leadership style. The essence of value-based leadership is developed through peer feedback sessions between the participants, thorough academic study with distinguished moderators, as well as external input from high-level decision-makers making difficult decisions in our society today. Moral dilemmas, questions of the individual’s freedom, and societal turbulence are at the core of such contemporary leadership challenges. The seminar links philosophical discourse about values, freedom and responsibility to the individual participant’s everyday decision-making and crisis management in a safe environment.

Shaping the Future of Leadership in Disruptive Times

Our world has — after a period of relative certainty and stability — returned to an era of unpredictability, heightened economic and societal tension, and global health emergencies. The reliability of information, integrity of liberal values and structure of society as we know it is changing before our very eyes. New challenges test our resilience and sense of responsibility — as individuals and as a society. They require us to reevaluate what constitutes value-based leadership in a time when values are under attack. As new and growing challenges arise, so does the responsibility of leaders to make real-time, momentous decisions that have life-changing impacts on the people they lead. 


Through profound peer exchanges before and after each session, frequent feedback discussions with our moderators and external decision-makers, seminar participants learn to reevaluate their own morals and values as leaders in changing times. The seminar encourages the participants to be more perceptive to the challenges and opportunities of conflicting perspectives and strengthen their own ability to make decisions with conviction and clarity in disruptive times.

 "The Seminar provides a chance to think about your values. Do you act differently in your company or your family if you begin with the premise that human nature is naturally good?"

 - Prof. Dr. Carol Gluck, George Samson Professor, Columbia University

A Community for Life

Aspen´s leadership seminar gives high-level executives the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers from other professions and disciplines they would otherwise not meet. An in-depth debating experience and the chance to join our international as well as diverse alumni network are the seminar´s key advantages. Our leadership alumni provide each other with long-term support as they advance themselves and their societies. They find the leadership seminar to be fun, a source of knowledge and the perfect occasion to expand their professional network.


With ten years of experience in hosting the “Philosophy and Practice” seminar, we want to continue the journey of mind and friendship and keep seminar participants connected to each other and the Aspen Institute Germany. Through exclusive alumni gatherings our alumni stay connected to the Aspen Community for life.

A Clearer Sense of Self for a Resilient Organization

The leadership seminar responds to questions of ethical leadership and strives to make a purposeful contribution toward our participant’s impact as leaders. By developing creative thinking, navigating dissenting opinions, and candid dialogue, we strengthen our participants’ value-based leadership mindset.  Our participants have very diverse professional backgrounds and excel in their area of responsibility. By engaging with participants of similar seniority in an open and dynamic setting – far away from one’s regular business network and daily obligations – they engage in deep conversations with their peers and dive into a state of profound self-reflection. Participants find themselves immersed in new perspectives and reconsider their own opinion. The experience allows them to approach problems from a new angle and take different opinions better into account. We offer English-taught Seminars only. 

You will leave our Leadership Seminar with

  • a refined personal compass to guide your actions and decisions; 
  • a clear sense of your own values, driven by a feeling of empowerment to take action as a more effective leader;  
  • an in-depth debating experience that expands your ability to think outside of the box and challenges your existing views and belief systems; 
  • a broader and more diverse professional network through one-on-one peer exchanges with leaders from other disciplines; 
  • a greater focus and determination to tackle new challenges in your profession, a sense of personal renewal and readiness to take on even higher leadership roles. 

"The Aspen Seminar is an indispensable equipment
for ethical, values-based management."

- Ambassador (ret.) Thomas Matussek, Senior Advisor, Flint Global