The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas.

The Aspen Institute has earned a reputation for gathering diverse, nonpartisan thought leaders, creatives, scholars and members of the public to address some of the world's most complex problems. But the goal of these convenings is to have an impact beyond the conference room. They are designed to provoke, further and improve actions taken in the real world.

an institute collaboration

The Aspen Institute Summit on Inequality and Opportunity is a collaboration between the Institute's Public Programs and a team of Policy Programs working to increase access to opportunity and financial security around the country.  By sharing research, wisdom, and networks, this collaboration represents a new brand of Institute thinking: together is better.


Ascend is a policy program of the Aspen Institute and the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. We take a two-generation approach to our work and embrace commitment to gender and racial equity lenses. Ascend elevates effective policies and solutions that move children and their parents towards educational success and economic security.


Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) is a policy program at the Aspen Institute. Its primary mission is to advance promising strategies and policies to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s dynamic economy. Over its more than 20 years of work, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities – to develop their skills and capabilities, to build professional networks and connect to quality work, to start businesses, and to build assets and economic stability.


The Forum’s mission is to support community collaboration – including collective impact – that enables communities to effectively address their most pressing challenges. There is an opportunity to put a spotlight on community success stories, inspire others to act, and take collective impact to the next level. The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions seeks to serve as a platform for sharing best practices across community collaborations, and it will enlist more communities to pull together for community-wide progress while providing them with the tools, support, and resources necessary to achieve results.



Financial instability has gone mainstream.The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program connects the world’s best minds to find breakthrough solutions for America’s family financial security crisis. We need a new generation of financial policies, products and services that enable more Americans to meet basic financial needs, and withstand financial shocks, while saving for long-term goals like college, home ownership and retirement. We aim for nothing less than a more inclusive economy,
with reduced inequality and shared prosperity.


Grantmaking foundations, nonprofit organizations, social enterprises and public-private partnerships offer lasting solutions to societal challenges. They are at the heart of civil society. This program seeks to inform and maximize the impact of these social sector actors through leadership development initiatives, convenings, and communications so that each can contribute to the good society at home and abroad. The program’s theory of change rests on the premise that if their leaders have clarity about their values, are collaborative in their approach to problem-solving, and are aware of the strategies and potential partnerships available to them, they are more likely to succeed in advancing the social good.