Aspen Institute Romania public conferences and events provide a commons for people to share ideas; a set of matching publications follow as well.
Designed to address key issues of the day the set of Public Programmes builds upon and dovetails in the activities under the Aspen Romania Policy program. It includes a variety of different activities some truly public and open to large audiences while others are more specialised and destined for smaller audiences. From open round-tables and conferences to Aspen Romania speaker series and book launches the public may find events that not only offer a glimpse into the complex policy activity of the Institute and its members but also allow for a wider promotion of its values based activity in the search of the philosophical "good society".
Several different categories are included in the Institute's Public Programs:
Bucharest Forum is the public events platform of Aspen Institute Romania. To ensure that Bucharest Forum is a relevant space for debating decision making, the Institute is developing dedicated partnerships with media, think tanks, industry representatives and governmental bodies in Romania, the region and across the Trans-Atlantic space.
Bucharest Forum represents a series of landmark events organized by the Aspen Institute Romania and its partners, designed to: generate a comprehensive policy agenda unifying the voices of the domestic private sector; create a regional platform for EU - US regional economic priorities. The events in the Bucharest Forum series rely heavily on the work undertaken by Aspen Institute Romania's Permanent Policy Programs.
Focusing closely on the needs of economic policy-makers in Romania and on the main priorities for the next five to ten years, the various editions of the forum create platforms for discussions and expertise sharing that go beyond commonplace remarks or routine discussions. Bringing together public and private actors, political and expert voices, the Bucharest Forum aims to be a federating effort of all the critical elements for a new push for Romania's economic growth and stability. It employs the methodology used by the US Business Round-table and the European Round-table of Industrialists. The results serve as blueprints for the expectations and needs of a functional return to sustainable growth.
The forums are only the pinnacle of a continuous process with a long-term objective and plan, established and stable partners, a lasting interest in sustainable policies, a balance between large and medium size economic actors, foreign and domestic. The series is envisaged as a multi-stakeholder conversation in which everybody assumes roles, tasks, with well-established objectives and regular checks on the meeting of targets and deadlines.
We aim at creating the conditions for a serious reflection, providing a debate methodology and a certain recurrence of actions to allow for a qualitative leap in the approach of economic priorities at governmental and societal level. Such a process, properly sustained, responds to the needs of the business environment and provides public decision makers with a bench-marking tool for economic sector ambitions and reforms. It also allows each participating institution to focus on those parts of the process that best suite its members' interests and its organizational strengths.
Ultimately, the Members of the Institute hope the work leading to its public events will unify and strengthen the business sector voices with respect to main economic priorities and offer the government clarity of purpose in its relationship with both domestic and foreign investors. Equally important for the Romanian business environment, is to extend the economic dialogue beyond the day-to-day domestic agenda.
Society: Under this heading the public will find opportunities to participate in debates and dialogues around specific issues highly relevant to Romania and its region in the field of democratization, human rights, including promotion of cultural and minority rights, development issues related to urbanization of the societies, the effect of EU integration processes, language and identity, environment the relationship between contemporary culture and nature etc. Also represented are several annual events that allow members of the Aspen Institute Romania to invite guests, or to create fundraising opportunities for civic and CSR objectives. Aspen Institute Romania has established a series of partnerships with other like-minded organisations (like the Robert Kennedy Foundation, AMCHAM, FIC, AOAR, etc.) both public and private in order to create meaningful content and highly relevant events. Key among these events are Aspen Speaker series. This monthly events invite diverse Romanian and foreign personalities from business, politics, academia or the arts to address each an issue of particular relevance in a seminal way. Topics for 2010 include: NATO's reform, the challenge to the existing social policy system of EU members and issues of sustainability, cutting edge genetic research and the future of medicine from an ethical perspective, educating for social reform, what role for Christianity in the "secular" EU, etc.
Arts and Culture: This is a special track of Aspen Romania events specially designed with a view of supporting and promoting the arts as a most important element in the makeup of the "good society". Fertilizing debates, promoting dialogue and questioning stereotypes art and culture are a very important and hence inherently difficult instruments to handle in the exploration and modeling of this society. As artists abhor instrumentalization of their art, the idea is to offer a free platform where the only constraints are high quality standards and a certain relevance to our activity. Thus art and culture events are often attached to other Aspen Policy or Public events but they can be stand alone. Key elements to be represented are the dialogue of cultures, multiculturalism and interferences with a non exclusive focus on contemporary cultural phenomena and young artists. From jazz to classical music and from photography to film all art forms are welcome.
Book Launches: Both books published by Aspen Institute members and books deemed to be relevant for the Institutes activity and values are regularly presented to the public in events that mix interesting debates and opportunities to meet relevant intellectual contributors and their ideas.
Publications: Aspen Institute Romania publishes regularly in electronic or physical from reports, interviews, articles, etc.. Often a byproduct of Policy and Public events most are to be found in PDF format in the members area of the site.