The ROI that Matters: Investing in Kids and Families to Build a New Economy


 

Photos by Dan Bayer, The Aspen Institute

This year at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Ascend hosted a session with Jackie Bezos, president and CEO of the Bezos Family Foundation, and Nobel Memorial Prize Winner in Economics Dr. James Heckman titled The ROI that Matters: Investing in Kids and Families to Build a New Economy. 

One of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty is to invest in children and families in the earliest years. How do we apply groundbreaking research and innovation on children's and parent’s health and educational attainment to ensure that the next generation is poised to transform and maintain America's role in the world? During this dynamic session, Ms. Bezos and Dr. Heckman offered answers to this question, sharing findings on executive function and investments in early childhood education respectively. 

To listen to the full session, please visit the Aspen Ideas Festival website. 

“We have to help people understand that every child is born with enormous potential, and that early interactions reap big rewards.” – Jackie Bezos

Jackie Bezos highlighted the Bezos Family Foundation's tremendous work supporting early childhood and executive function through the Vroom initiative.

Listen to a condensed version of Ms. Bezos's remarks

"What we really need to think about is how to work with the family, bolster the family, support the mother… and at the same time, stimulate the child." – Dr. James Heckman

Additionally, Dr. Heckman shared his groundbreaking findings on the high ROI for early childhood education.

Listen to a condensed verison of Dr. Heckman's remarks.

 

In the words of Jackie Bezos, "If you change the beginning of the story, you change the whole story." Ascend's time at the Ideas Festival was energizing and enlightening, strengthening our collective resolve in service of children and families.