Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
- District of Columbia
The Forum for Community Solutions and Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund:
The mission of the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions is to support community collaboration - including collective impact - that enables communities to effectively address their most pressing challenges. The Forum works to accomplish this mission by pursuing four complementary strategies including: 1) building awareness by documenting and lifting up proven strategies and stories of success; 2) mobilizing stakeholders through knowledge and network development; 3) removing barriers by advocating for effective policy; and, 4) catalyzing investment by encouraging funder partnerships.
The Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF) is the first funding collaborative launched by the Aspen Forum; it’s overall goal is supporting a network of 21 urban, rural, and tribal communities with multi-year grants to design and scale multiple reconnection pathways that achieve better outcomes in education and employment for opportunity youth. By focusing on the development of educational and career pathways, the OYIF seeks to interrupt the multi-generational cycle of poverty that undermines the vibrancy and economic health of communities. Two additional key goals of OYIF are 1) to build strong evidence of success for utilizing the collective impact community collaboration strategy to build and deepen pathways for opportunity youth, and 2) to make the case for increased adoption of collective impact and community collaboration as an effective model for community change and 3) to begin to scale what works within OYIF and other communities through a policy and advocacy strategy that expands the audience for opportunity youth and those who effectively serve them.
At the center of OYIF efforts is an emphasis on youth engagement and leadership; OYIF collaboratives seek to authentically and meaningfully incorporate youth voice, decision-making and expertise in designing solutions to the challenges youth face. On the national level, the Aspen Forum is deeply committed to advocating for policy and practice changes in partnership with opportunity youth, and has engaged former and current opportunity youth as thought partners since the launch of the initiative.
The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.