Our story

Ascend at the Aspen Institute Founder Anne Mosle set out with a mission to spark and spread breakthroughs in how we achieve intergenerational family prosperity and well-being. For a decade, Ascend has catalyzed a modern two-generation (2Gen) approach. One that intentionally focuses on children and the adults in their lives together, honors lived experience, and encompasses racial, gender, and economic equity through an intersectional lens. We are a community of leaders β€” well-connected, well-prepared and well-positioned β€” building political will that transforms hearts, minds, policies, and practices.

We believe in the power of co-creation. Through the Ascend Fellowship, we identify and invest in bold leaders bridging divides and reimagining the levers of power to ensure all children and families thrive. Today, 140 Ascend Fellows are transforming the leadership landscape, from winning historic local, state, and federal elections to reinventing systems of care and unlocking capital that opens new doors to economic mobility to revolutionizing our understanding of brain development for parents and caregivers. Through the Ascend Network, more than 500 organizations work directly with families to operationalize 2Gen approaches and design new tools in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico as well as across the globe in Ireland,Rwanda, and Guatemala. Together, we have ignited a movement reaching 15 million families.

Our Values

Embrace an abundant and ambitious mindset

We believe that when we do right by families, we all do better. We bet on bold leaders and savvy risk-takers to remake society to one where all children and families flourish and fulfill their dreams.

Honor lived experience

Ascend centers the voices of parents, caregivers, and families: their expertise, experiences, challenges and solutions. It’s how we co-create actionable solutions that meet their needs.

Equity is the moral center of all we do

Ascend believes we do right by children and families when we center equity in our work and partnerships. We encompass racial, gender, and economic equity with an intersectional lens in all we do.

Together we can climb high and go far

We welcome diverse viewpoints as we reimagine leadership. We invest in systems, policy, and social impact leaders for the long-run because it’s only together that we can build the future children and families deserve.