The Aspen Institute Announces the Aspen Action Forum, July 27-31

Third annual event focuses on collaborative leadership

ASPEN, Colo., July 27, 2015 — (PRNewswire) — The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce the third annual  Aspen Action Forum. More than 350 entrepreneurial leaders from 37 countries, including Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellows, other action-oriented trail-blazers from Aspen Institute programs, partners, and invited participants will gather at the Institute's Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, CO, from July 27 through July 31, 2015. The theme of this year's Forum is "collaborative leadership." The Forum will give some of the world's most innovative leaders opportunities to learn from each other and expand their impact by embracing diversity, sharing, and collaboration.

Aspen Institute logo.

"Our participants are uniquely poised to collaborate on solutions to some of the world's most intractable challenges thanks to the shared experience they gain in their Aspen Fellowship experiences and at the Action Forum," said Peter Reiling, executive vice president, leadership and seminar programs at the Aspen Institute. "We've seen time and time again the power of collaborative leadership and what happens when Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellows channel their talents, resources, and passions towards the problems they see all around them. We're grateful to Lynda and Stewart Resnick whose continued generosity makes this unique convening of global entrepreneurs possible and for once again bringing a great group of talented leaders from California's Central Valley to the event." 

This five-day event is designed to facilitate open dialogue, build trust, and promote action. Attendees participate in readings-based seminars, interactive roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities designed to help them tackle critical issues in their communities, countries and the world. Most important, they commit to do something:  Each is asked to make a public "Action Pledge."

A prominent feature of the annual Action Forum is the announcement of the 2015  John P. McNulty Prize laureates: exceptional members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network who are making a significant difference in the world through their required leadership projects.

Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellows are already demonstrating what is possible when leaders collaborate. Here are just a few examples: 

  • Tackling Malnutrition in Guatemala: In January 2012, two Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellows – Juan Carlos Paiz from Guatemala and Manoj Kumar from India – met at a fellowship seminar in Kerala, India. Juan Carlos was impressed by Manoj's work halting malnutrition in India through the Naandi Foundation. Though Juan Carlos had worked on stemming malnutrition for years, his conversations with Manoj provided him new ideas and approaches. When he returned to Guatemala, Juan Carlos followed Manoj's advice on looking for public/private partnerships and raised funds for key infrastructure projects that would in turn grow the economy and make a positive impact on malnutrition rates. Three years later, thanks in part to his connection to Manoj, Juan Carlos has raised more than $8.4 billion USD to date to stem malnutrition and improve infrastructure in Guatemala.
  • A Milestone Deal in South Carolina: The expansion of the Panama Canal prompted authorities around the world to explore dredging their ports to accommodate larger ships. Charleston, South Carolina was no exception. The Port of Charleston is a key economic driver for the state; but the Cooper River on which it sits is a critical corridor for regional wildlife, often causing the Port and environmental interests to be at odds. Sensing an opportunity for a mutually-beneficial compromise, Liberty Fellows Elizabeth Hagood and Barbara Melvin, who have senior leadership roles with the Low Country Open Land Trust and the South Carolina Port Authority respectively, stepped in and led negotiations. Thanks to the trust they had built through their fellowship program, they were able to create a deal that benefitted all parties – a $5 million contribution to land conservation along the Cooper River Corridor by the Port Authority and the approved, timely progression of the Harbor Deepening Project to spur economic development in the region.

The Aspen Action Forum also offers panel discussions on a variety of current topics. Speakers include: David Brooks, The New York Times op-ed columnist & author; Madeleine Albright, former United States secretary of state; Suzanne Malveaux, anchor, CNN; Adam Lowry, co-founder, Method; and Walter Isaacson, CEO, the Aspen Institute. Video of these sessions will be streamed live; see the full schedule here:

To stay engaged with the event online:

Major funding provided by the Resnick Family Foundation.

Additional sponsorship provided by: David M. Rubenstein, Accenture, The Skoll Foundation, and WomenUp, The Ferro Family Foundation, Sabrina and Antonio Gracias, The John P. And Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation, Michael Klein and Joan Fabry, Paul Hastings LLP, Margot and Tom Pritzker, Gillian and Robert Steel, The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation, Liberty Fellowship, The Ithaka Foundation, and The Rodel Foundations.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector — currently, 2,100 "Fellows" from 49 countries — who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy, and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, China, and the Middle East. 

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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