Youth Leadership Seminar

Founded in 1949, the Aspen Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership and action to help solve the greatest challenges of our time. We are proud to announce the launch of the first youth seminar by the Aspen Initiative Africa (AIA – N). A two-and-a-half-day, text-based, moderated dialogue for youth aged between 19 and 24, our participants will gather at Nairobi’s Karen Club from the 16th through the 18th of April, 2024.

In an intimate and closed-door space, our young fellows will embark on a brave journey of reflection and self-discovery. Following the 75-year old tradition of the Aspen Institute, each session will be a moderated dialogue, exploring ancient and contemporary writings by the world’s most eminent thinkers.

By the end of the seminar, participants will emerge with a personal manifesto, critical thinking tools and a refreshed call to leadership. Once completed, the young participants will join the global network of Aspen Institute, laying the foundation for a more reflective and proactive approach to success and more importantly, significance, over the course of their lives.

About the Youth Leadership Seminar

Participants will start each day with a personal reflection before grappling with challenging readings. Carefully curated articles from revered African leaders to poems by global literary greats will help stimulate philosophical questions: ‘Who owns my story?” “What do I value?” “How much progress is too much progress?” “How do I recognize my most harmful biases?” and “What global problem is most worthy of my vocation?”

Readings will be drawn from diverse sources, ranging from Greek philosophy and the Effective Altruism framework to Khalil Gibran and the Gapminder Foundation’s Factfulness. Afternoon sessions will include practical exercises based on the Stanford Design Lab approach. 

Themes include:

    • Critical Thinking: Learn to analyze information, mitigate bias, and form a judgment effectively. Successful leaders can withhold impulsive reactions, communicate their rationale, question alternative decisions, and navigate challenges objectively.

    • Effective Altruism: Everyone wants to do good but many ways, even most ways, are ineffective. What is the best area of focus for your time and talent? Combine empathy with data to find the best approaches that will work within your community.
    • Balance: We all dream of success, but how do we ensure a sustainable path that allows us to safeguard our most important values along the way?

Seminar Outcomes

    • Clarity on how to navigate competing priorities

    • Tools for critical thinking and more reflective decision-making

    • A Personal Manifesto


What’s In Store

Personal Development

The Youth Seminar is a powerful personal development tool that provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn through Aspen Insitute’s time-tested method of moderated dialogue. You will gain valuable insights on how to best leverage your skills to advance the social causes you care about. 

By sharing your perspective with your peers, you can broaden your horizon and channel different approaches on a community impact project of your choice.

Build Your Global Network

Aspen Initiative Africa – Nairobi (AIA -N) is part of an international community of partners around the globe who are committed to developing the world’s rising generations to build a fair and just society. Beyond the seminar, you’ll gain lifelong access to unique AIA benefits, including leadership development programming, and career and educational resources to maximize your impact. 

The seminar provides a rare opportunity to connect and network with emerging leaders from various backgrounds, facilitating peer learning, and potential collaboration on new projects.


The Youth Seminar is open to you if:

  • You’re 19 to 24 years old
  • You have observed, questioned, and taken a personal interest in effecting change
  • You’re open to self-discovery and personal growth
  • You’re ready to unlock and harness your leadership capabilities


US$500 (inclusive of materials, readings and refreshments)

Venue: Karen Country Club

Don’t just imagine a better tomorrow. Get the skills to drive impactful change. Sign Up.

Nairobi, Kenya

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