Sustainable Growth

In Pursuit of a Just, Inclusive Economy

October 21, 2019  • Daniel R. Porterfield

Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield delivered the below remarks announcing a $26 million investment in the Aspen Institute by Mastercard at the inaugural Global Inclusive Growth Summit, co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, on October 21, 2019 in Washington. DC. Follow him on Twitter @DanPorterfield.

Thank you to Shamina Singh, Mike Froman, Ajay Banga, and all of your colleagues. With this investment, we’re inspired to elevate and integrate the theme of inclusive growth across our enterprise.

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth’s partnership with the Aspen Institute is both significant and timely.

My colleagues at the Aspen Institute, many of whom are here today, are working right now at the individual, local, business, and structural levels to drive change on related issues ranging from portable benefits to corporate social purpose to youth empowerment to community college success to rural economic development to whole family strategies to poverty prevention to support for those re-weaving our social fabric.

We don’t view the places where we’re working as poverty-stricken communities. Actually, there’s no such thing. They’re poverty-structured communities—which means the structures that hold people back can be changed with imagination and co-creation.

With your investment and the work of many Aspen Institute colleagues, including Ida Rademacher and Dana Hyde, both here today, we hope to accelerate tipping points for change on this issue.

This investment of $26 million will allow the Aspen Institute, for the first time, to activate and integrate our unique constellation in pursuit of a just, inclusive prosperity.

To cite just a few examples, with this investment, we will develop bold proposals: 1) to increase financial inclusion and security for workers; and 2) to enable financial security and access to capital for small and growing businesses around the world.

We also will mobilize and activate the Institute’s global network of thousands of values-driven, community-centered leaders—many of them here today—as a force for local and global development and inclusion.

And we will bring together changemakers in many different places and settings in order to drive awareness and progress on inclusive growth.

The Aspen Institute has been working to sustain inclusive economies for a long time—but we can do more. Much more. This partnership will allow us to integrate our strengths in policy, practice, leadership, convening, and ideas toward the goal of putting more economic power in the hands of people and communities where change is deeply needed.