As many of you may have noticed in the media, we launched our activities in Central Europe with the international conference “Crisis as Opportunity: Europe and the United States in a Globalized World” that focused on the most urgent political and economic issues of today. On 19 July 2012 we welcomed Madeleine Albright, one of the main initiators of the Aspen Institute establishment in Prague, to the Knights’ Hall of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. Over twenty former foreign ministers from around the world attended the event, some of whom spoke on the conference panels, including Ana Palacio, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Andrei Kozyrev, Lord Peter Mandelson, and Sir Donald McKinnon. Thanks to them the historical premises of the Wallenstein Palace in Prague were full in spite of the summer holidays.

All the participants well deserve our sincere thanks for coming to support the launch conference in person. We were also very pleased to see the great interest shown by both Czech and foreign media that produced over thirty printed content items from the conference and thus confirming society’s interest in such events.

Even before the launch conference, which was the first event of our Public Programs, we were able to send several Czech participants to the Socrates Seminar and Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado at the beginning of July 2012. These were young Czech business people and journalists. Their references confirmed that investing in talented leaders is the right way that we want to follow in the coming years. We would therefore like to hold similar seminar for emerging leaders from Central Europe within the framework of the Leadership programs.

In November we also organized a Policy Makers Seminar, the first event in our third focus area—Policy Programs. The seminar titled “Visegrád Group and Germany—Prospects of Cooperation” debated the possibilities of a closer cooperation between the Visegrad Group and Germany. Government representatives, parliamentarians and independent experts were invited to the Czernin Palace in Prague to discuss three issues of major importance to all five countries: the future of cohesion policy, energy infrastructure and the economic dimension of the Eastern Partnership.

In addition to the growing number of corporate partners in the course of recent months, we have been extremely pleased to see an increasing interest in individual membership that we offer in the Friends of the Aspen Institute Prague. First entrepreneurs, university students and civil servants joined the Club in October 2012. For more information about the Friends of the Aspen please visit our website www.aspeninstitute.cz. You will also find there details about our past and future activities as well as the archive of multimedia content.

We look forward to seeing you at future Aspen Institute Prague events and wish you enjoyable reading,

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