Around the Institute

Letter from Maria Laura Acebal

July 1, 2020  • Institute Staff

Give NowTo know the Aspen Institute is to delight in the discovery of a catalyzing idea, an inspired leader, a systemschanging innovation. It’s a challenge to think of another organization with the breadth and depth of expertise and impact—over 30 policy programs that work on everything from the rural economy to climate change to national security, renowned values-based leadership seminars and fellowships, riveting public programs like the Aspen Ideas Festival, and much more.

With these remarkable and arguably unmatched assets—imagined, nurtured, and advanced by an exceptional staff, board of trustees, and committed partners—we must as an Institute continue to ask: what more can we do? How can we amplify our individual programmatic successes to significantly and measurably address society’s greatest needs?

These are the questions that animate the Institute’s strategic development efforts and compel us to explore the power of programs coming together, leveraging their combined strengths and assets to make even deeper contributions. In reaching across boundaries we are better able to match solutions to the magnitude of the problems facing the world—financial insecurity, systemic racial and gender disparities, distrust in democratic institutions.

What does this bold vision look like in practice? The Aspen Partnership for an Inclusive Economy (page 12) is the first-of-its-kind collaboration. Its mandate is to bring together Institute programs and networks in new ways to address the growing chasm of economic inequality.

The Institute-wide initiatives that follow will be no less ambitious. Next is Rising Generations, which will be informed by the voices and experiences of young people and grounded in research on equity, youth development, and high-impact pedagogy. More than 20 Institute programs actively contribute to a future in which all young people have access to the opportunity to develop their talents and thrive. Top on the Rising Generations agenda is harnessing the power and promise of technology while mitigating its perils and scaling two-generation strategies for expanding education and economic opportunity.

Join us as we deliver on the promise of our mission—a promise that draws its strength from our past and rises to optimistically meet the defining challenges of our time.


Maria Laura Acebal
Vice President for Strategic Development