Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community (Family Prosperity) is a collaborative, multilayered community of national and community-based organizations that develop breakthrough innovations to strengthen parents’ and caregivers’ access to family supportive employment opportunities in order to improve the economic security and health and well-being of families and society.

When we maximize families’ talents and skills, communities grow stronger and are more socially and economically vibrant. But many barriers are holding families back from reaching their full potential. Families deserve more than to just survive, and by joining forces with families, employers, and policymakers, Family Prosperity identifies solutions that remove obstacles to create clearer, more equitable pathways for families to thrive. 

Pictured above: Angelina Kerry and her family.

Our Innovation Community

Family Prosperity brings together cross-sector organizations and thought leaders to work together with families to reimagine more effective systems and structures for social and economic mobility. Our cohort is geographically diverse and presents perspectives from across the ideological spectrum in order to collaboratively create and refine bold policies that can maximize opportunities for families.

Family Prosperity Partners

Our cohort of 20 Family Prosperity Partners are both on-the-ground local and regional organizations with significant research, practice, and policy expertise as well as visionary and results-driven national policy organizations to create high-impact solutions to advance family prosperity. Each partner brings unique insights to the table, and the entire community works collectively to develop solutions for and with families.

Family Prosperity Advisors

Our 14 Family Prosperity Advisors are distinguished experts and thought leaders from the business, government, academic, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors who provide additional perspective, content expertise, and partnership to Family Prosperity. These cross-sector leaders – including employers in the public and private sectors – help develop, refine, and amplify equitable strategies for parents and families.

The Community’s Assets & Resources

Family Prosperity seeks to solve the biggest challenges and threats to family prosperity by identifying a set of policies and practices that can transform the way workplaces and federal and state policymakers can employ, train, and support working families – particularly those with low incomes. With child and family outcomes at the center, each of our Partners creates products and tools with recommended strategies to tackle big, complicated problems like the child care crisis or lack of paid leave.

Ultimately, Family Prosperity will disseminate a portfolio of solutions and actionable approaches proven to dismantle discriminatory systems, improve the lives of working parents and caregivers, and advance family prosperity.

Background and History

Ascend at the Aspen Institute created Phase I of the Family Prosperity Innovation Community in early 2018 to bring together some of the brightest minds and dynamic leaders across multiple sectors to identify new and different ways to ensuring families in America find opportunity and thrive. This inaugural cohort included partners leading the field in guaranteed basic income, community-based mental health and job-skill supports, higher education built around parents’ lives, employer engagement and many more innovations. 

In partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Phase II of Family Prosperity was announced in February 2020 and launched in July 2020 with an accelerated focus on the role of employers in advancing family supportive workplace policies for workers with low incomes. This phase includes several of the partners associated with Phase I, with the addition of leading national policy and community-based organizations located across the country.

This second phase of the community began near the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated the existing cracks in the nation’s systems regarding support and protections for American families. To capitalize on the momentum of this time to implement long-term solutions that will impact families for generations to come, each partner is focusing on issues that have been exacerbated due to the pandemic. 

This initiative is guided by Ascend’s comprehensive two-generation (2Gen) approach that supports children and their parents simultaneously to move the whole family toward well-being and economic security.

Contact Information

If you would like to learn more about this initiative, please contact our Associate Director for Network and Outreach, Sarah Haight (sarah.haight@aspeninstitute.org) or our Program Associate, Lexi Robinson (lexi.robinson@aspeninstitute.org). 

For any press or media inquires related to Family Prosperity partners or products, please contact our Communications Manager, Brendan Creamer (brendan.creamer@aspeninstitute.org).