• Engage: #2Gen

Two generations. One future.

Ascend at the Aspen Ideas Festival

The Aspen Ideas Festival (AIF), entering its 10th year, seeks to engage a broad audience in a discussion of some of the significant ideas and issues that touch all parts of our society, including the arts, science, culture, religion, philosophy, economics, and politics.  Alongside its partner, The Atlantic, AIF offers a stimulating and invigorating celebration of some of the liveliest minds on the stage today.

For the past two years, Ascend has partnered with AIF to highlight critical issues — and emerging and established voices — impacting American families.

2012 Economic Opportunity and Mobility

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ascend collaborated with AIF on a series of sessions highlighting economic mobility and opportunity for vulnerable families in America.  From women philanthropists “doing it differently” to the need to ensure the educational success of the next generation, the sessions underscored new solutions and showcased both established and emerging voices.  To listen and watch:

Speakers Rayonna Hall, Xavier Jennings, and Ernesto Aguilera on opportunity youth, moderated by Steve Patrick:

Voices of the Future

Speakers Dr. Mario Small, Anne Mosle, and Dr. Robert Putnam on social capital, moderated by David Leonhardt:

Six Degrees of Separation

Speakers Ann Higdon, Paul Tough, and Peter Edelman on moving parents and children toward educational success and economic security, moderated by Anne Mosle:

The Lost Generation

Speakers Anne Mosle and Peter Edelman on the history of poverty in America:

So Rich, So Poor: A Book Talk with Anne Mosle and Peter Edelman


2011: Women on the Rise

With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ascend partnered with AIF on a series of sessions that brought a gender lens to key economic issues facing our country today.  Why invest in America's women? What drives the woman entrepreneur?  Are the girls beating the boys?  And how will inclusiveness drive the global economy?  These were the headline questions asked during the "Women on the Rise" track at the 2011 AIF, the first collaboration between Ascend and the Festival. You can download podcasts of these sessions:

Why Invest in America's Women?
What Drives the Woman Entrepreneur?
Are the Girls Beating the Boys?
How Will Inclusiveness Drive the Global Economy?

"Children In America," another session at the 2011 AIF State of the Union track, also featured Ascend Executive Director Anne Mosle on a panel discussing opportunities and challenges for leveling the social and academic playing field for low-income children in the U.S. To hear that conversation, go to http://www.aifestival.org/session/children-america-how-will-they-win-future.