A New Way to Address Inequality: Announcing the Aspen Partnership for an Inclusive Economy

October 21, 2019 | Washington, DC, | By Casey Stavropoulos

$26 million investment from Mastercard will power a new Aspen Institute initiative aimed at building an economy where people and communities around the world can thrive

With the goal of making significant progress toward solving one of the most pressing and complex challenges of our time, The Aspen Institute (the Institute) and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth (the Center) today announced the creation of the Aspen Partnership for an Inclusive Economy (APIE). The multi-year Mastercard-Aspen partnership will combine the ideas, talents, and resources of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address income and information inequality through the lens of inclusive growth.

The partnership – anchored by a $26 million investment from Mastercard – will lead to the development of bold new proposals from experts across Institute programs and networks; the mobilization of leaders across sectors to advance integrated strategies for inclusive growth; and the convening of thought leaders and change makers to drive solutions and impact. The Center will serve as the founding partner of APIE and leverage the assets of Mastercard – people, data insights, technology and a global network – to ensure that the digital economy works for everyone, everywhere.

This innovative approach to driving action on global challenges was launched at the inaugural Global Inclusive Growth Summit, a multi-sector gathering of purpose-driven leaders in Washington, DC, who are committed to advancing sustainable and equitable economic growth in the digital economy.

The breadth of the partnership represents an unprecedented opportunity for the Institute, the Center and their networks to drive change at scale. It brings together the Institute’s solution-focused programs, unparalleled experience in developing values-driven leadership in the public and private sectors, and its reputation as a forum for inclusive dialogue in pursuit of the common goal of broadly shared prosperity. For 70 years, The Aspen Institute has tackled the world’s greatest challenges by reaching across communities, sectors and differing points of view to bring together thinkers and doers dedicated to solving problems.

“We all have a moral imperative to take action on economic inequality and ensure that no person is left behind, that no idea is left uncovered and that no collaboration is left untapped,” said Dan Porterfield, president and CEO of The Aspen Institute. “The Aspen Institute has long championed inclusion and broadly shared prosperity. This commitment also anchors the work of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. What makes this partnership so exciting is that it empowers the Aspen Institute to apply an inclusive growth lens to everything from our grassroots community initiatives to our global network of leaders to create a unifying vision.”

“Four years ago, Mastercard set out to achieve financial inclusion for 500 million unbanked individuals. Reaching that goal, however, is only the first step,” said Mike Froman, Vice Chairman of Mastercard. “Further progress will require the collaboration of the public, non-profit and private sectors, each bringing its full resources and capabilities to the table. This innovative partnership with The Aspen Institute will pair our complementary assets to mobilize action to address some of the most intractable challenges to achieving inclusive growth.”

Co-leading the partnership at The Aspen Institute is Ida Rademacher, vice president and executive director of the Institute’s Financial Security Program and Dana J. Hyde, who most recently served as the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

This enterprise-wide partnership will leverage assets and expertise from across the Aspen Institute to examine a broad range of topics, including: the rise of the gig economy, the role of global entrepreneurship in catalyzing job creation and values-based executive leadership. The partnership’s goals are driven by the understanding that, in order for growth to be sustainable it must be inclusive.


About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a community-serving organization with global reach whose vision is the creation of a free, just, and equitable society. For 70 years, the Institute has driven change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the world’s greatest challenges. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute has offices in Aspen, Colorado and New York City, as well as an international network of partners. Learn more at www.aspeninstitute.org.

About the Center for Inclusive Growth

The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth focuses on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. As a subsidiary of Mastercard, the Center leverages the company’s data insights, expertise and technology, along with administering the Mastercard Impact Fund’s philanthropic investments, to empower a community of thinkers, leaders and innovators on the front lines of inclusive growth.  For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter @CNTR4growth, subscribe to its newsletter and visit www.mastercardcenter.org.

Visit our Digital Press Kit to find out more about the announcements coming out of the Global Inclusive growth Summit.

Aspen Communications Contact:

Jon Purves | Jon.Purves@aspeninstitute.org

Mastercard Communications Contact 

Casey Stavropoulos | 914-414-5291 | Casey.stavropoulos@mastercard.com

Casey Stavropoulos

Casey.Stavropoulos@mastercard.com | +1 914 414 5291