About the Institute: Mission
Historically, the Institute had two primary lines of business that operated separately: a Seminars Program that recruited executives to multi-day discussions; and a set of Policy Programs that were somewhat independent of each other and the Institute. Both use The Aspen Method of conducting meetings and seminars: a moderated dialogue in a small group setting where participants from various backgrounds and perspectives learn from each other through an interactive discussion of specific readings. In the past, the Institute had minimal public programs or leadership initiatives. In 2004 a strategic decision was made to focus future growth in these two areas in order to increase its reach, bring in new participants and supporters, and integrate a disparate set of programs.
Our current principles provide a framework for going forward; however, opportunities for innovation and experimentation that do not fit within our mission will be undertaken periodically if there is the potential for a high impact on society. New initiatives and programs will be evaluated in light of our mission and strategic priorities using the following categories: Definition of the program or activity. Mission of the program or activity. Rationale: Why would the Institute do this? Does it fit with the Institute's mission? Target audience: Whom is the program trying to serve? Sustainability: Will the program be viable for the prescribed time period? Metric(s) of success: How will program be measured? Funding philosophy: Does the program cover costs, make money, or seek a subsidy?
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