Aspen UK is part of a global network of Aspen Institutes, which for over 70 years have inspired and empowered leaders around the world. Aspen UK inspires change through dialogue, and in doing so, hopes to build a more tolerant, democratic society in the United Kingdom.
Aspen UK was established not as a traditional think tank but as a platform for building networks and sparking useful conversations. We convene a range of thought-leaders to generate dialogue across geographies, ideologies, and industries, in both our public engagement programmes and leadership seminars.
We see dialogue as a means of promoting understanding – an essential step to repairing the political, social, and cultural divisions that exists in the UK. We believe that better dialogue can help deepen understanding of current issues. We don’t shy away from disagreement – it can be thought-provoking and constructive, rather than threatening and polarising.
Our public engagement programmes feature conversations on a broad range of critical current issues, always with an eye on the conversations of tomorrow. Our discussions bring together experts for conversations that take a far-reaching perspective – not just providing an analysis on the events of the day but also looking at solutions for the future.
Our leadership seminars are committed to building communities of engaged, enlightened leaders and encourage attendees to learn with and from each other. We use the original Aspen method of text-based, professionally guided conversations to help participants reflect on their leadership skills, evaluate their own ideas and values, and explore effective solutions to social challenges.
We are committed to building communities of actively engaged and enlightened leaders, inspiring them to work towards our vision of a tolerant, democratic society.
“The Aspen seminar didn’t only help me to revisit and rethink the values shaping my environment, but it also provided a space for an inspiring and fun exchange of ideas.”
Health in conflicts specialist and Academy Fellow at Chatham House
Katy Blake Burch-Hudson
Katy Blake Burch-Hudson is the Head of Public Engagement at Aspen UK. She came to Aspen UK after completing a MSc in Global Affairs at
Beth Brookes-Lamdin is the Programme and Events Officer at Aspen UK. Before joining the organisation, she worked internationally in start-ups, non-profits, academia, the private sector,
Olivier (Olly) Chapman is the Director of Seminars at Aspen UK. He has a background in managing world-renowned executive education programmes for professional bodies and
Toby Coppel (Trustee) is a co-founder and partner at Mosaic Ventures, a European venture capital firm focused on early-stage investing. Toby has been investing and
Charlotte is Aspen UK’s part-time Finance Manager. Charlotte previously worked at the Institute of Masters of Wine for 8 years and comes to Aspen UK
Marisa Drew (Trustee) is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Standard Chartered Bank. At Standard Chartered, Ms Drew chairs the Group Sustainability Forum, drives the Bank’s
Rebecca Edwards joined the Aspen Institute UK on its internship programme whilst concurrently completing her Master’s, and is now in a full time role as
Elliot Gerson (Aspen Advisor) is the executive vice president at the Aspen Institute responsible for its Policy Programmes, its Public Programmes and its relations with
Rachael Jones is the Public Engagement Events Officer at Aspen UK. Before joining the organisation, she completed several internships in the Communications sector and worked
Zelmira Koch Polk
Zelmira Koch Polk (Trustee) is the managing director of the Hearth Advisors, a global education and healthcare advisory firm. Zelmira specialises in company turnaround, growth, strategic
Laura Lauder (Aspen Advisor) is a venture philanthropist in Silicon Valley, focused on leadership, education, and Jewish community areas. She joined her husband Gary in
Pierre Mercier (Trustee) is a Managing Director and Senior Partner of the BCG (The Boston Consulting Group) which he joined in 2001 in Paris after
Vanessa Neill (Aspen Sustainability and ESG Advisor) is a strategic communications consultant. She advises global public and private companies on their organic and transitional growth
Penny Richards is the CEO of the Aspen Institute in the UK. She’s a leader with an exceptional track record of delivering change and meaningful
Nizam Uddin OBE
Nizam Uddin OBE (Trustee) is Chief Strategy Officer of algbra, a technology-based financial ecosystem dedicated to global financial inclusion by focusing on the underserved and
Ed Williams (Chairman of the Board of Trustees) is the President and CEO of Edelman EMEA. Prior to that he led Edelman UK and Ireland
“Leaders are increasingly confronted with moral dilemmas not technocratic problems. These seminars address head on these moral questions, providing structured space for reflection, and help individuals to understand their own moral compass. It’s a life changing experience.”
Sir Stuart Etherington
Chief Executive, The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)