WHEN: June 9 – 10, 2014
WHERE: Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, Prague
THE ASPEN ANNUAL CONFERENCE: The Big Bang. 25 Years Since Annus Mirabilis.
The conference commemorated the momentous events that took place across Central and Eastern Europe 25 years ago. Respected panelists focused on geopolitical changes that followed the fall of Communism and will evaluate their political, cultural, and economic impacts and legacy for the present and future.
An opening debate between former U.S. Secretary Madeleine K. Albright and by Michael Zantovsky, the President of the Aspen Institute in Prague, opened the conference, followed by a panel focusing on the significance of the year 1989. Its panelists included the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former Slovak Minister of Finance Ivan Mikloš and former EU Commissioner Danuta Hübner. The second panel focused on analyzing the goals and expectations of the fall of the Wall. It was attended by Šimon Pánek, Martin Bútora, Zbyněk Frolík and Martin Jahn.
The second day of the annual conference commenced with a keynote speech delivered by former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman. The morning panel, “Breaking the Ties of Totality”, looked at the heritage of totality and discuss the current status of social and political challenges in the region with former Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radičová, Czech MP Jan Farský or the CEO of General Electric CEE Peter Stračár. The fourth and final panel of the conference, “Central Europe – New Reality, New Energy?”, brought together successful young leaders of the past decade, including Taťána le Moigne; Adam Somlai-Fischer, Michal Hvorecký and Branislav Šebo.
Aspen Gala Dinner gathered Central European leaders from politics, business, public administration, media, non-profit or academia. Welcome note was delivered by the Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the keynote speech was held by the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright was awarded the first Aspen Prague Award – art made from Bohemia crystal appreciating her indelible imprint on Central Europe.
If you missed the conference, you can also watch all panels in the video gallery.
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The conference was organized under the auspices of Milan Štěch, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.