Ascend Network

The Ascend Network is a nationwide community of more than 450 organizations from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that uses two-generation (2Gen) approaches in policy and practice to create a society where every family can reach their full potential. The Ascend Network assembles cross-sector leaders – from community-based organizations, local and state systems, philanthropies, researchers, to policymakers – who are most proximate to communities and know the needs and skills of the 6,863,082 people within the Network’s reach.

Ascend Network

The Ascend Network is a nationwide community of more than 450 organizations from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that uses two-generation (2Gen) approaches in policy and practice to create a society where every family can reach their full potential. The Ascend Network assembles cross-sector leaders – from community-based organizations, local and state systems, philanthropies, researchers, to policymakers – who are most proximate to communities and know the needs and skills of the 6,863,082 people within the Network’s reach.

About the Ascend Network

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is a catalyst for using and amplifying two-generation (2Gen) approaches that increase children’s and families’ economic security, educational success, and health. Through the work and innovation within communities, the Ascend Network collects research and case studies, builds partnerships, and scales ideas in order to spread reach and deepen impact for families. This community enables access to peer guidance and best practice knowledge sharing, co-designing and technical assistance from Ascend, strategic convenings and networking, as well as thought leadership amplification.

Hear from Ascend Network partners how they apply the 2Gen approach in their communities.

The Ascend Network’s History

The Ascend Network launched in 2014 with 58 inaugural partners, spurring significant shifts in the family well-being field and influencing 2Gen policy and practice changes. The Ascend Network has grown steadily to more than 450 partners in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

The Ascend Network’s Impact

In collaboration with Ascend Network partners, we have developed more than 300 resources, tools, and case studies to operationalize and improve 2Gen approaches throughout the country and across sectors.

Join the Ascend Network

Becoming a member of the Ascend Network provides a special opportunity to learn from and collaborate with others around the country who are committed to identifying, developing, and implementing 2Gen approaches. If you are interested in becoming a Network Partner, please send an email to sariah.toze@aspeninstitute.org for more information.

There are no fees associated with participating in the Network. To enable peer learning and growth, Ascend requests Partners send tools, resources, products, and templates developed as part of their 2Gen work in order to share with the Network and move the 2Gen field forward.

Being part of the Ascend Network has allowed us to be part of a national network that is learning and growing together. We have been able to discuss challenges with other organizations, such as how to define 2Gen outcomes and we have also been able to present together to other organizations.

Ena Yasuhara Li

United Way of the Bay Area

For us the greatest impact is the intentionality that we now bring to everything we do. By looking at everything, whether it’s a scholarship, it’s our grants that we do, we are looking at how does this impact both children, students, and their family. That intentionality has really been a breakthrough on how we look at our work.

Roxie Jerde

Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Being part of the Ascend Network has really helped us push our innovation to the next level.

Jeanette Pai-Espinosa

The National Crittenton Foundation

Stories from the Ascend Network

8 Principles for Engaging and Centering Parent Voices

8 Principles for Engaging and Centering Parent Voices

The following text is adapted from "The State of the Field: Two-Generation Approaches to Family Well-Being." The full report is linked here.Two-generation approaches (2Gen) meaningfully engage and listen to families as equal partners in setting and achieving family...

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 Thank you to our philanthropic Supporters

We sincerely appreciate the generosity of our Philanthropic Partners for their support of the Ascend Network.

Contact the Ascend team

If you would like to learn more about the Ascend Network, please contact our Associate Director for Network and Outreach, Sarah Haight () or our Program Associate, Sariah Toze ().