Perched On The Shoulders Of Giants: Honoring The Three Founding AGLN Moderators
From left to right: Skip Battle, Keith Berwick, and Ben Dunlap.
A reflection from David Langstaff, Executive Vice President, Leadership Division
Over the years, our seminars and programs have built on the vision and leadership of Mortimer Adler, Robert Maynard Hutchins, and Jim O’Toole. Today, our moderators benefit from the experience, art, and wisdom of Keith Berwick, Skip Battle, and Ben Dunlap. Their passion for the Aspen Global Leadership Network, their love of our Fellows, and their commitment to the art and craft of moderating serve as inspiration for all of us and carry us forward. Bernard de Chartres offers a reflection that rings as true today as it did in the 12th century:
Thank you, Keith, Skip, and Ben for being the giants on which we are perched. Our community is indebted to your service.
“We are like dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants so that we can see more... not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size."
This story originally appeared in the 2019 edition of Summit magazine.
At the 2019 Action Forum, we honored these three great men throughout the event. You can find each of their unique tributes below.
Ben Dunlap is the co-founder of Liberty Fellowship and long-time moderator for the AGLN. During the plenary "Leadership Beyond Borders", Ben was honored by Henry Crown Fellow Tamsin Smith. His tribute took a look back on an address Ben gave at the founding of the AGLN where he nicknamed the network "the intergalactic army of the just". Tamsin also wrote a poem to honor Ben's late wife Anne. Check out his full tribute above.
Skip Battle, complete with "Skip-isms" and photos from the more than 120 seminars he has moderated since 1997. In the video, a new award was announced called the Skip Battle Award. The award will be presented to annually to an AGLN Fellow for exceptional dedication and service to the Fellowship, the nurturing of the network, and the constant affirmation of its values and objectives, representing Skip's incredible spirit.
The final plenary session honored the past and paving the path forward with an interview by long-time friends and moderators Heather Sonn and Keith Berwick. His biggest piece of advice to Fellows is to lead with love. You can also read a reflection piece called “Embracing the Other” written by Keith in this year’s issue of Summit magazine (page 42). The piece focuses on the boundaries we create between one another and how Keith has lived to find the common humanity in all of us to break that boundary.