Two Generations. One Future.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together – and we bring a gender and racial equity lens to our analysis.

Learn More

Ascending at the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival


Presented by the Aspen Institute in partnership with the Atlantic, in its 14th year, the Aspen Ideas Festival is the nation’s premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to present and discuss the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. Ascend has had the honor…

Embracing the American Tradition of Radical Reimagination


In just over a week, millions of Americans will parade, observe firework displays, and picnic in celebration of the Continental Congress’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence – the document that formally severed ties between America’s 13 colonies and Great Britain. The Declaration is a great source of pride for many. Reflecting on its cultural…

Candidates, Listen to Families: Three Recommendations from a Parent

I am a teacher, a student, a mother, and an advisor. I also grew up in poverty. When I joined a two-generation program called JeffCo Prosperity Project (JPP) that supports children from Head Start to graduation, I did it to help other families – but ended up finding myself in the process. I was asked…

Impact Series: Goodwill’s 2Gen High Schools Lead to Increased Wages

This blog is part of Ascend’s Impact Series: monthly stories and stats that illustrate the powerful, tangible impact a two-generation (2Gen) approach can have in building prosperity and opportunity for families.  According to the Census Bureau, 32 million adults in the U.S. currently lack a high school diploma, with those who are parents having 10 million children. The Excel Center,…