2020 marks the beginning of a new decade, a new opportunity to aim high, dare to dream and write new stories. This year we are celebrating the 10th Aspire Anniversary and 10 years since the first Aspire Academy program.
We started with a program of 39 participants and grew into a 1000-member community, 3 summer programs, countless year-long initiatives such as mentorship program, hubs, Pre-Accelerator, Christmas Ball, university application support and many more.
It all started in 2011, when a group of youngsters who graduated top universities in the US and Europe thought how lucky they were that they had access to qualitative education and decided to join forces to create a unique program in Romania where professors from Harvard, Stanford teach and inspire.
They started working on this initiative well before it happened (July 2011): they pitched the idea to multiple companies to raise the amount of funds needed for organising the first edition, pitched their professors to spend tens of hours on the way to Romania, built a recruitment process and highly selective criteria to select the best and the brightest students, designed the sessions, curriculum, and the extracurricular activities and planned every moment of the day. Lots of energy, intense moments and a unique experience, that’s how Aspire 2011 can be described in a couple of words.
Happy 10th Aspire Anniversary and cheers to many more to come!
Fast forward 10 years later, in 2020, Aspire celebrates a decade of discovering, connecting and developing young leaders from all over the world. We have listened, learnt and always sought new ways to provide the best experiences and opportunities for our members. We forged life-lasting relationships and we turned strangers into family.
I joined Aspire in 2014 and witnessed both as an alumna and organiser how Aspire grew and became better and stronger with every year that passed. Aspire changed my life and way of looking at the world in so many ways that I can’t even begin to express. I was a high school student from Bacau, who grew up in a small city and never ever dared to think outside my comfort zone.
Aspire offered me long-lasting friendships, helped me get to know and understand myself better, offered me access to professors and people I would’ve never dreamt of, opened my mind and made me understand that I can do whatever I want, I just needed to eliminate all the barriers that I was imposing on myself. That’s why I spent so many years close to Aspire and why I’m so excited to share with you our plans for Aspire and Aspire Anniversary.
Aspire Product Redesign
Aspire has been successful for the past 10 years in the format that consecrated it. We discovered, developed and connected, more than 1000 people over the past decade. Yet, we’re always aiming at offering our community the best experiences and we have thus actively wondered what the next step for Aspire is. The Aspire management team is working on a product redesign process that strives to identify the key elements contributing to the success and evolution of our participants and integrate them within the Aspire strategy for the next 10 years.
Aspire Recruitment Redesign
Our community has grown exponentially during the last 9 years, yet we have always kept the highest standards of recruitment. We wish to bring on board youth with ambitious aspirations, driven to make a change. For this reason, this year we have worked on developing a recruitment process specific to Aspire in order to select young people with the ability to solve real world problems through innovative solutions and with a scalable impact. The new generation of Aspirers will be the first to undergo the new recruitment process.
The key element of Aspire is the community. We will continue the tradition of organising get togethers in various places of the world to strengthen the relationships between our members. We have started last November with the London hub, we continued with the biggest reunion of the year, the Christmas Ball, the first hub of the year, Yerevan and we are planning to organise events during the next couple of months in Tbilisi, Kyiv and Chisinau.
Yet, we always feel the desire to see our Aspire friends more often. And that is how Aspire Dinners came to be – monthly meet-ups in multiple Aspire hubs aimed at networking and learning from an insightful speaker. This series already started in Bucharest in January and soon the London hub will join as well.
In 2020, we are ready to celebrate our Aspire anniversary in style and we are excited to introduce our anniversary edition, Aspire X, which brings a couple of new and exciting changes.
We are making changes in terms of curricula, aiming at achieving the perfect combination between theoretical lectures, practical workshops and one-on-one feedback. We have also confirmed a couple of new professors and speakers who will join us for this edition.
We believe that Aspire is about you and that each and every one of us has different interests, passions and objectives. Therefore, this year we’re introducing elective courses aiming at allowing our participants to create their own Aspire journey by offering them a more tailored experience. To be able to provide more time for one-on-one feedback, creating thus more value for our community, we have decided to accept around 35 participants/program this year.
For this special edition, Aspire Professionals will be extended with one more day, turning it into a 5-day experience, allowing the participants more time for networking, debates and discussions.
This year, the Aspire programs will take place as it follows:
- Aspire Academy – 22-29 July
- Aspire High School – 22-26 July
- Aspire Professionals – 22-26 July
- Aspire Alumni Weekend – 24-26 July
We are truly excited about the future of Aspire and the anniversary edition. We cannot wait to meet and welcome the new generation of Aspirers. We hope you’ll be one of them!
Warm wishes for a new decade,