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.

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Making Tomorrow Better Together: A Guide to Outcomes for 2Gen Policymakers


This report leads with 5 principles policymakers should consider when designing evaluation plans for their 2Gen efforts: Measure and account for outcomes for both children and parents; Embed learning and evaluation in policy design and systems development; Use multiple approaches; Use and promote data; and Build internal capacity and ensure continuous feedback through evaluation efforts.…

Community Models: The United Way


As hundreds of organizations and dozens of states around the country explore two-generation (2Gen) approaches, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the national 2Gen hub, is documenting and sharing the lessons of field leaders. This brief from our 2Gen Toolbox focuses on a leading community model, the United Way, and how United Ways are leveraging their…

Reinventing the Way We Measure Family Outcomes

Many policies and programs in the United States target either children or their parents. Few keep the whole family in focus, and even fewer have mastered the complex task of measuring outcomes for families. This month, the state of Connecticut took a big step forward when its Office of Early Childhood announced a new way measure when…

Sustaining 2Gen Success During Transitions

Good leaders know when a transition is coming and work to provide a clear roadmap for the future. Transitions at the state level are felt even more acutely these days with staff turnover, retiring leadership, and 2018 gubernatorial elections on the horizon in 36 states. As state leaders think about what comes next, maintaining the…