Economic Development

An Economy for All

July 1, 2020  • Institute Staff

Give NowFor years, the story of America’s prosperity has obscured a fundamental truth: tragic inequity. Today, the intersecting brutalities of Covid-19 and entrenched systemic racism have stripped bare any illusion that the economy is just or fair. And it is undeniable that when the economy provides basic opportunity and security only to some, it affects us all.

The Aspen Partnership for an Inclusive Economy, launched with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, its founding partner, connects people realizing breakthroughs at the community level with those crafting policy at the national level to ensure that widespread policy change is informed by what works and what is just.

APIE’s Institute-wide approach is already having an impact. Since its launch in 2019 at the Global Inclusive Growth Summit, APIE has hosted a salon series, bringing together partners from the boardroom to main street. The Financial Security Program and the Future of Work initiative are collaborating on a project called Benefits21 that will convene a wide array of policymakers, businesses, financial technology experts, and government representatives to reimagine the delivery and design of public and private benefits that will center policy recommendations around paradigms of portability, accessibility, and innovation. The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and Business Ownership Initiative are examining the conditions required for small and growing businesses to succeed in developed and emerging economies. Finally, the Aspen Global Leadership Network is launching a signature program that will take leaders through a seminar experience to consider new ideas on what constitutes a fair and just society, confront the tensions and trade-offs needed to achieve shared prosperity, and reimagine an era of more inclusive growth.

Recently, with the impact of Covid-19 reverberating through our economy, APIE has encouraged programs to respond to the needs of society at all levels. For example, the Financial Security Program launched a webinar series dedicated to exploring how households can triage, recover, and stabilize their finances for the long term. The Business Ownership Initiative is working with their existing networks to assess how best to support small businesses and community development financial institutions in creating a special purpose vehicle that will spur more lending, while the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs is developing an information portal for its members that synthesizes research around Covid-19’s impact on small and growing businesses and hosts funding opportunities for businesses in need. These are just some of the ways APIE is changing the way the Institute works. And together these Institute initiatives are shaping an economy in which everyone can feel hope.