Ideas Into Action: The 2012 Assets Learning Conference


Grounded in core values like boldness, creativity and determination, Ascend is founded on the belief that a country in which millions of families are living in poverty is neither equitable nor sustainable.

Recognizing the power of collaboration as a vehicle for putting promising ideas into meaningful action, the Ascend Fellowship convenes a network of thought leaders from across the country to share, develop and test strategies that combat America’s burgeoning poverty level and wealth disparities.

CFED, a national nonprofit with the mission of building assets to move people out of poverty, also views collaboration as an essential part of its business model. As CFED’s President, I am proud to be an Ascend Fellow and to invite my colleagues to visit our website to learn more about our recent Assets Learning Conference, which was held September 19-21.  Over 1,000 asset-building professionals joined us in Washington to translate ideas into action and demonstrate the next generation of strategies that create pathways to financial security and opportunity. The Conference embodied collaborative methods in every part of the program.

On Wednesday, September 19, the Conference kicked off with a series of Institutes which gave participants hands-on experience with new innovations or strategies with the capacity to scale their work, ranging from Children’s Savings Accounts programs to advocacy for state and federal policy change. On Thursday, we started with our Opening Plenary, where I delivered my biennial State of the Field address, followed by a special Plenary on Friday that featured Anne Mosle, the Executive Director of Ascend. Other highlights included Plenary addresses by Richard Cordray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark. In addition, the Conference featured 65 Concurrent Sessions which addressed the cutting-edge policy, practices and research aimed at rebuilding the opportunity structure of the country. The Conference ended midday on Friday when participants boarded buses to Capitol Hill to talk with their lawmakers about adding assets to America’s policy agenda.

Visit our website learn more about the Conference.

I hope to see you in 2014!