The 2019 Theme: Borders: Within and Around Us

BORDERS | 边界 | FRONTERAS | الحدود | גבולות | FRONTIÈRES | सीमा
Within and Around Us
There are borders within us all. The person we are today and the person we want to become. The balancing act between our families, our professional ambitions, and our self-care. The identity outwardly presumed and the authentic self we know to be true inside.

There are borders around us all. Walls between countries, religions, and cultures that decide what’s in and what’s not. Policies that can close or open, altering the spread of knowledge, resources, and transactions across sectors and nations. Man-made systems that construct and deconstruct our sense of seeing and being seen.

Whether literal or conceptual, all of these borders are real and powerful, and constantly evolving, especially as technology leapfrogs, political systems reorder, and business models disrupt. We now face renewed questions about the boundaries of human potential: What causes some borders to be drawn while others are erased? What cracks do you see emerging and where do you see bricks being laid? What borders preserve what you love and protect what you hold sacred? And which might be holding us back from realizing our shared horizons?

Around the seminar table, we break down some boundaries and reinforce others to explore the boundless frontier of human compassion, ingenuity, and leadership. We invite you to return to this space to ask: how is bordering impacting my world today? What might lie beyond the limits we have constructed? And what might transpire should we dare to leap across the edge?

The 2019 Agenda

Each year, the Action Forum offers a variety of different session formats. From classic text-based dialogues to interactive skill workshops, each session is designed to help participants reflect on their values and spur them into action. Most sessions will be small group dialogues of no more than 25 - 30 people each, much like the Aspen Institute's AGLN Fellowship experience.

Key Session Types:
  • Seminar Dialogues help leaders reflect on timeless ideas and values. Through text-based dialogue with expert moderators and accomplished peers, seminar participants expand their knowledge, refine their tools of intellectual analysis, test the wellsprings of their convictions, and enhance their capacities to think more creatively in solving the problems that confront society.  
  • Topical Dialogues are designed to allow participants to grapple with some of the most pressing tensions surrounding the theme of borders. In 2019, these dialogues have been redesigned to help participants dive deeper into a specific issue area. Each 3-hour session will be uniquely crafted to help participants understand these issues so that they can explore how to best step up, lead, and commit to making a difference.
  • Action Workshops are an integral part of the Action Forum experience. Each year there are three different types of workshops offered: Peer Consultancies, Group Collaborations, and Venture Skill Workshops. These sessions are often hands-on, interactive, and collaborative. They are designed to offer tangible lessons to challenge participants to think about the unique impact they can have. Stay tuned for a list of workshops that will be available in 2019. If you are interested in presenting a challenge during a Peer Consultancy, please contact Kidd Solomon at

The agenda below provides a snapshot of the week. It will be updated as content is developed, so make sure to check for updates and exciting new information about the available sessions.