Two generations. One future.


The Aspen ThinkXChange

The Aspen ThinkXChange

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Aspen Asks

The New York Times' David Leonhardt and Ascend's Anne Mosle: Aspen Asks

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Two Gen Education

Two Generations Strategies In Education: A Roundtable

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Did you know?

A body of research demonstrates the connection between maternal education and child outcomes

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Ascend elevates effective policies and community-based solutions that move children and their parents towards educational success and economic security.  The $1.5 million Aspen Institute Ascend Fund taps the creativity, knowledge, and assets of all sectors for two-generation solutions. Our briefings, publications, and roundtables, including the Aspen ThinkXChange, elevate breakthrough ideas and policies.

Ascend fosters partnerships across programs, policies, and systems that have traditionally focused separately on children and their parents. We invest in cutting-edge research and the national network of Ascend leaders.

Ascend Showcases Two-Generation Pioneers in Colorado and Washington Metropolitan Area in Momentum on Our Doorstep

The Aspen Institute has been proud to call both Colorado and the District of Columbia home. Today both are breaking new ground on behalf of children and their parents together.
As they test new models and identify policy solutions, Ascend captures these efforts in real time on this multi-media blog. Join the conversation and share your feedback as the momentum continues.

Aspen Institute Ascend Network 
The goal of the Aspen Institute Ascend Network is to mobilize empowered two-generation organizations and leaders to influence policy and practice changes that increase economic security, educational success, social capital, and health and well-being for children, parents, and their families.

The initial 58 organizations were selected from 24 states and the District of Columbia. They represent the leading edge of a national movement around two-generation approaches.

Promising Programs

Ascend identifies promising practices among two-generation programs: from early childhood education centers to postsecondary institutions, and from community organizations to social capital-building programs.  To learn more about these on-the-ground innovations, check out the Promising Programs Profiles.

Aspen ThinkXChange

The theme of the 2014 ThinkXChange was the power of networks to create lasting, two-generation change in the lives of American families. The Ascend Network members represent 24 states and the District of Columbia and include local, state, and national pioneers. Along with the Ascend Fellows, anchor members of the Network, they serve our country’s most vulnerable families. With the same strong commitment to racial equity and a gender lens that is a hallmark of Ascend’s work, the Aspen ThinkXChange is a powerful platform for two-generation leaders to present big ideas, share data and research, understand best and next practices and policies, and identify evidence-based opportunities for children and their parents.

The 2012 Aspen ThinkXChange convened more than 150 dynamic leaders to debate opportunities, challenges, and solutions for moving children and their parents toward educational success and economic security.  To learn more about the agenda, speakers, and tools from the 2012 Aspen ThinkXChange, click here.

Building Family Economic Security: Lessons Learned from Impact Investing

Ascend at the Aspen Institute and the Program on Philanthropy of Social Innovation are gathering information about investments, tools, and strategies that have proven successful in the impact investment field and can be applied to building family economic security in the United States. Learn more about the guiding research questions and strategies.

Roundtables and Forums

Ascend hosts closed-door and open events at our main offices in Washington, DC, as well as around the country. These convenings build on the values-based approach of The Aspen Institute.

To learn more about Ascend-hosted events and roundtables, click here.

Parent Voices: Dreams For The Future?See allnext

“Maybe just an opportunity to get a better job or to advance. You know, get a job and then maybe be able to advance.”

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