What is the Ascend Network?

The Ascend Network is a national network of practitioners, policymakers, philanthropic leaders, and researchers advancing two-generation approaches for whole-family outcomes. Since the launch of the Ascend Network in 2014, Network Partners have spurred significant shifts in the field through two-generation efforts. Being a member of the Ascend Network is a powerful and special opportunity to learn and connect with others around the country committed to identifying, developing, and implementing two-generation approaches.

The goal of the Aspen Institute Ascend Network is to mobilize and activate leaders and organizations 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. Ascend Network membership now includes nearly 200 partners from over 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Who is in the Ascend Network?

  • The Network in Numbers
    • Number of people reached: 3,571,976
    • Number of partners: 194
    • Number of states: 41
    • Across platforms: 7

How does the Ascend Network advance Partners’ work?

  • The Ascend Network’s offerings include:
    • Membership in a larger community of learning with access to technical assistance, peer guidance, tools, and resources
    • Priority invitations to strategic convenings and site visits
    • Exclusive Network Partner webinars
    • Access to policy office hours with Ascend’s policy team
    • Opportunities to showcase 2Gen work on Ascend’s communications platforms 

How can I join the Ascend Network?

The Ascend Network is designed to include organizations across policy, programs, systems, research, and philanthropy that are actively exploring and/or implementing two-generation approaches. Organizations in the Ascend Network represent a broad continuum of 2Gen action. While joining the Ascend Network is upon special invitation only, there are no fees associated with participating in the Network. Ascend does request access to tools, resources, products, and templates that are developed through 2Gen action that we can share with the Network and field. To learn more about the opportunity to join Ascend Network, please contact Sarah Haight at sarah.haight@aspeninstitute.org for more information.   

Learn More About Network Partners and Their Impact

  • Spanning across the country, Network partners that are “platforms for scale” are a strategic cohort of organizations that is intentionally cross-sector, and multi-platform. These platforms – United Ways, Goodwills, human services agencies, women’s and community foundations, Educares, Head Starts, community colleges – are ripe for scale, and our focus is helping you strengthen your 2Gen work as one of these organizations or through partnerships with them. 
  • We have also ensured that the Network has a diversity of component focus areas. There is a lot of rich expertise and knowledge across the Network from early childhood to postsecondary pathways, from economic assets like child savings accounts to state policy like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). 

Find Network Partners in your state

Hear from Network Partners

 “For me the high point of the meetings were the informal lunch or dinner time conversations where someone I might not realize would be a resource provides me with sound advice or a different perspective on an issue. And I hope that sometimes I can be that person/resource to someone else. You gathered such a strong, knowledgeable group that every meal was an opportunity to learn.” -Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY), following the 2Gen Practice Institute

“[The high point of the convening was] being in the presence of and learning from such top-notch practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. The Institute was packed with data and stories to make the case for and build upon the growing 2Gen approach. Terrific energy and knowledge sharing. It was such a privilege and amazing opportunity to be included in this convening.” -United Way of the Greater Triangle, following the 2Gen Practice Institute

“My hat’s off to you… You were successful at crafting an event where everyone felt heard, included and respected. While claims of commitment to inclusion and transparency are often touted so often it isn’t much more than rhetoric. So I wanted to send a quick note to thank and commend you because each and every one of you walks the talk.” – Ascend Network Partner