Two Generations. One Future.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together – and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis.

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Colorado Guide to 2Gen


Colorado has already seen great success with a multitude of 2Gen efforts, primarily in the human services realm. Critical stakeholders within the state recognize that if they want to take 2Gen to the next level, they must go beyond human services and look for 2Gen strategies that cut across sectors, nonprofits, the business community, state…

Forging Ahead: The 2Gen Practice Institute


“It seemed that way in the 1960s, at the height of the civil rights movement, when America itself felt as if it might burst at the seams – so much tension, so many storms. But the people of conscience never left the house. They never ran away. They stayed, they came together and they did…

Re-Wiring Family Policies with Brain Science

On Thursday, September 28, Ascend hosted the Brain Science and Positive Parenting roundtable discussion to discuss the latest research and jumpstart action on behalf of family mental health. The roundtable brought together over 30 leaders across brain science, positive parenting approaches, direct-service programs, and policy to explore opportunities and challenges to applying new research to…

State 2Gen Leaders Come Together in Minnesota

On September 14, 2017, Ascend joined The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, State of Minnesota, City of Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Foundation, and Future Services Institute at the Minnesota 2Gen Summit to Reduce Poverty. The summit brought together 150 policymakers and philanthropic, state, and community leaders from across sectors to learn more about the 2Gen…