Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies

Once again we find a real place and a website (Isnt it just plain interesting that everyone likes to have a web site these days? Aint technology grand?

Asset Building Through Credit Program Studying Innovative Credit Building for Low-Income Entrepreneurs … Humanistic? This is the first thing my eye falls on. Then I see this: September 28, 2011 An Aspen Institute and Citi Foundation Program. Citi… CitiBank? And there in a corner of the index page (the page you see when you first arrive at asite for those who are not webmasters) is the connection… Aspen Institute, Citibank Team Up To Secure Good Credit Scores For Struggling Business Owners (Fast Company)

Wait… Humanistic Studies??? BANKING STUDIES???? Now somebody I think ought to inform them that the name of their institute is MISSLEADING. Oh wait we arent really supposed to know they are there anyway arent we? Now we know at least one of the places that is responsible for the banking mess we are in currently.

They have an EOP Equal Oportunity Program which did studies seminars talks etc with The Federal Reserve in Chicago and partnered with the Federal Reserve System (who devoted two full issues of their periodical to Aspens intrepid team.) Now I “tease” you with this but I am not kidding.

Aspen Institute’s ‘Approaches to CDFI Sustainability’ Informs New Babcock Foundation Report  This I dearly hope will actually link you the article itself. Now I don’t as yet understand their terms. What is scale? It seems to be about getting to scale. In their article they mention this:

Asset Trainings, Tools, Products and Services to Serve Your Community

The Asset Platform provides free access to a comprehensive set of financial tools, trainings, products and services for organizations in both the not-for-profit and public sectors working to build financial security for low- and moderate-income individuals and households.
The asset-building field is currently made up primarily of small, community-based organizations, with an influx of a growing number of public sector agencies. While many of these organizations have strong ties to the people they serve, they often have limited capacity to offer comprehensive, high-quality services that meet the full range of client needs. Individually, each organization can only do so much – but working together, their impact can be greater than the sum of its parts. Since
its launch in beta in June 2009 and its official launch in April 2010, the Asset Platform has introduced a variety of trainings, tools, products and other resources to over 10,000 users from an estimated 6,000 organizations.
The Asset Platform seeks to even out and enhance the quality of asset-building services provided by community-based organizations (CBOs) and public sector agencies across the nation, provide these organizations and agencies with access to a greater range of quality financial products and services for their clients, reduce the cost of delivery, and help level the playing field between them and costly for-profit providers of financial services who are targeting the same consumers. currently has over 170 pieces of content, either directly hosted on the website or directly linked to it, in six main categories of resources: Budgeting, Savings, Credit Score, Debt, Insurance/Safety Net and Organizational Resources. Examples of some of the most popular resources are:
Quick Assessment Tool – allows counselors to quickly assess a client’s needs and
Debt-in-Focus — an anonymous, easy-to-use tool that provides users with a summary
of their debt and an actionable plan to reduce debt and improve credit profiles.
Credit Union Locator—enables counselors to help clients identify a credit union to
join in their community.
Training on Savings Bonds, Prepaid Debit Cards and Medical Debt Savings Checklists – a set of 4 checklists to assist the counselor in getting their client
ready to save
The Asset Platform was developed by the Aspen Institute in partnership with 13 other
organizations: Center for the Study of Social Policy, CCA Global Partners, Community Financial Resources, Credit Builders Alliance, D2D Fund, Institute for Financial Literacy, National Community Tax Coalition, National Credit Union Foundation, NeighborWorks America, NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment, One Economy, San Antonio Department of Community Initiatives, and The Access Project.
Funding for the Asset Platform has been provided by Living Cities, a national consortium of funders, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

The previous is listed in the article I made mention of. Its basically a way to help asses you and help you get out of debt and that sounds nice doesn’t it?  Then I found this… Living Cities. or Suddenly a lot of things make sense look at the member list.






















Ok AARP is for the over 50 set and it offers discount and roadside and medical and a whole lot more.

Bank of America Citi Foundation which is CITIBANK Deutsche bank (they deal in mortgages and they are not helping you. Folks this site writer lost her home to them!) MacArthur foundation… ever watch PBS? you will find they are underwriters along with the Knight Foundation. Now SNAP CARD HOLDERS…. your EBT account guess who own it? Turn your card over…. JPMORGAN. Your assets for food and cash are tied to CHASE BANK! (Hey arent they the ones that will buy your groceries for a month if you win their whathaveyou?) Metlife Prudential are LIFE insurance! Rockefeller is possibly the biggest partner in face you will find this foundation or name intricately involved with nearly every one of these little organizations on this website…
Axa Foundation is into investment retirement funding life insurance…. but they are a investment agency primarily. Clicking on each member name will take you to their site and the about page. but I will also try to nutshell it myself. Annie E Casey founded by Jim Casie co-founder of UPS. Thats where the money comes from… when “brown” does for you the foundation gets a tip. It helps children… from their fact sheet… Casey Family Services works directly with families and child welfare professionals
to ensure that every child has a safe, nurturing, and permanent family. The agency has divisions in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (Readers on need there try it see what happens but I bet you will run afoul your states Children and Family Protective Services first… if you’re really Christian you may want to avoid those agencies because they dont like you… neither do the demons. I walk a fine line for my foodstamps!) They write grants and fund them for those organizations that are actually helping the poor with their kids. Nice people but…. not a lot of agencies fit their criteria. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation… Gates… Microsoft???!!!! Yes indeed and they are into this year vaccines. Gates of Micrsoft is into all sorts of things. I dont have room to disclose it all. Ford Foundation seems to be involved in a wide variety of things you may want to look in on this as its rather liberal in thought. One of the things supported is ending girl brides. We have the same problem here too but under foreign law and culture girls of 11 12 13 and such are wed and have families. This does pull them out of education and because they have no rights or property if the husband no longer provides or dies or dumps her she has all these kids and nothing. To make the changes the Elders call for would entail such a backwash of upheaval so as to destabilize the economy and government of the places where the girls get liberated. Worse still now instead of being alive a lot of them simply are killed. So is what The Elders group doing such a good thing? Oh yes and the innitiative is headed by Bill Clinton. This and others like it would be called Omnibus foundations. Kresge is another it does the arts, health, education, environment, human services… omnibus. McKnights are more into the Arts and artists but they also support activistic groups. Morgan Stanley (and Smith Barney) is realestate investment. Robert Wood Johnson does elderly health care nursing home issues. Rockefeller is into society … survival in the urban sprawl and global economy et al… They are busy people. Surdna Foundation, another nice group… they are helping America.

The Surdna Foundation fosters just and sustainable communities by making grants in the United States in the areas of:

Sustainable Environments

Strong Local Economies

Thriving Cultures

Foundation Initiatives

Finally Kellogg the kids cereal is into…. you guessed it.. kids, education, community building, food distribution.

All these members are giving in targetted areas and some are Omnibus and they come together under one umbrella to “give” and Aspen utilizes their giving to help non profits help the poor. Again this is really great PR.

This is what wikipedia has to say about them.

The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1950 as the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies. The organization is dedicated to “fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues.” The institute and its international partners promote the pursuit of common ground and deeper understanding in a nonpartisan and non ideological setting through regular seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives. The institute is headquartered in Washington, D.C., USA, and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado(its original home) and near the shores of the Chesapeake Bay at the Wye River in Maryland. It has partner Aspen Institutes in Berlin, Rome, Lyon, Tokyo, New Delhi, and Bucharest, as well as leadership initiatives in the United States and in Africa, India, and Central America.

The Aspen Institute is largely funded by foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation, by seminar fees, and by individual donations. Its board of trustees includes leaders from politics, government, business and academia who also contribute to its support. Board members include Madeleine Albright, Sylvia Earle, Henry Louis Gates, David Gergen, David H. Koch, Queen Noor of Jordan, and Condoleezza Rice. Walter Isaacson is President and CEO.

Wait Rice? The foreign ambassador Rice? Gates NOT the son of MicroSoft owner Bill Gates you might call him the literary and arts link in this group or one of them at least. The Queen of Jordan…. the oil mogules? Albright now why does THAT name also ring a bell. Albright former US secretary of state under Clinton. Oh and… Secretary Albright also serves as a Director on the Board of theCouncil on Foreign Relations. Rice owes a large portion of paychecks to the Bushes. She served as National Security Advisor under Bush Sr. and Secretary of State under Bush Jr… Albright was the first. HM Noor is a dowager Queen a figure head but probably very well connected and an activist in her own right.

Folks what are political leaders and figures doing in a consortium for banking or what ever the sam hill they are really doing there?!

Every big wheel that turns needs oil and money is the oil that lubricates these agencies so is it any surprise that Aspen has backers like this? Is it any surprise that Aspen is part of the “bigger picture”?

What is that Bigger Picture?

Well from Wikipedia I find this:

Policy programs

The Aspen Institute has more than 20 policy programs that work to advance public and private sector knowledge on policy issues confronting society, convene leaders and experts from relevant fields to reach solutions. The programs explore topics such as prospects for peace in the Middle East; communications, media, and information policy; economic opportunity in rural America; social innovation through business; the nonprofit sector; creating smart solutions to help Americans save, invest and own; and community initiatives for children and families.

The Aspen Strategy Group convenes prominent foreign policy and national security experts to consider the important challenges facing the United States.

The Business and Society Program is dedicated to developing leaders for a sustainable society. It creates opportunities for executives and educators to explore new pathways to sustainability and values-based leadership. The program hosts the Corporate Values Strategy Group and the Center for Business Education. Its websites, and, are used by business schools around the world.

The Program on World Economy promotes dialogue among leaders in business, finance, government, academia and the media from industrial and developing nations in order to generate new approaches to economic challenges.

The Commission on No Child Left Behind is a bipartisan, independent commission to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the No Child Left Behind Act and make recommendations to Congress, the Administration, State and local stakeholders, parents, and the general public to ensure the law is an effective tool.

(I would like to make an observation here.  This group might be the bedrock for the now annual farce of a test called FCAT.  Because a schools funding is tied into their score they tend to train the little kiddies to take the test and score well rather than actually educate them.  In the years that this has been in force and the no child left behind program has been instituted elementary middle and secondary school (k-12) have produced a crop of intellect that has forced the colleges to lower their standards for the now very well FAFSA funded bachelors programs, the which is now reflecting int he job market.  It used to be a high school diploma meant something.  Now it will get you a menial low paying job.  It used to be just six years ago that a Bachelors degree held worth but not anymore.  It will get you a slightly better pay rate at the same menial job overstepping the mere high school diploma.Now the degree that will actually land you anything of real worth is the Mater’s degree.  But you see that is actual education and boy do you pay for it! Thank you Aspen Institute for ruining lives and the the economy.)

The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program promotes dialogue and decision-making in the fields of communications and information policy. It convenes leaders to assess the impact of modern communications and information systems and develops new models for communications policy.

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs is a global network of organizations that examine entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The network’s members provide financing and business support services to small and growing businesses.

The Community Strategies Group brings together community leaders, practitioners, and policymakers engaged in regional and community economic development, civic capacity, family livelihoods, and the development of local philanthropic resources.

The Congressional Program offers nonpartisan educational programs designed to foster leadership on public policy issues among members of the US Congress.

The Council of World Women Leaders and Ministerial Initiative is a partnership with the Institute that promotes good governance and gender equality and aims to increase the number, effectiveness and visibility of women in top leadership roles.

The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies that connect the poor and underemployed to the mainstream economy. EOP facilitates learning using research to stimulate dialogue and action among funders, policymakers and nonprofit and community leaders about approaches to poverty alleviation, including self-employment and microenterprise, industry-based employment strategies, and access to capital and credit for low-wealth consumers and communities.

The Education and Society Program identifies emerging policy issues and encourages new initiatives in education.

Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative is a partnership of the Aspen Institute, Columbia University, and the Council of International Human Rights Policy whose aim is to put human rights values and principles, such as equity and participation, at the heart of global governance and policy to ensure that the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable are addressed Working in Africa, Realizing Rights: EGI has programs in the areas of health, trade and development, and migration.

The Global Interdependence Initiative commissions research and provides technical assistance to help global issues advocates, experts and communicators engage the American public in dialogue on the subject.

The Health, Biomedical Science, and Society Initiative examines issues related to health policy, medicine, nutrition and biotechnology through discussions, speaker series and public convenings.

(Our all time favorite folks! Homeland Security.  Below is where it started.)

The Homeland Security Initiative examines the issues relating to US homeland security, assessing progress made by the US Department of Homeland Security and developing recommendations for making America safer.

The Initiative on Financial Security brings together business executives, elected officials, policy experts, and leaders from the nonprofit community to develop proposals on how low and moderate income Americans can save, invest, and own assets over their lifetime.

The Justice and Society Program convenes leaders to affect national and international policy regarding human rights, international law, transitional justice, and post-conflict multilateral peacekeeping operations.

The Middle East Strategy Group includes American, Palestinian and Israeli business and political leaders committed to advancing prospects for peace in the Middle East.

The Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program supports research, dialogue, and leadership initiatives on issues affecting the nonprofit sector and philanthropy.

The Program on Energy and the Environment brings together leaders in business and government as well as educational, research, and environmental organizations to seek creative solutions to domestic and international policy issues involving energy and environmental sustainability.

The Roundtable on Community Change is a forum in which leaders working to revitalize distressed urban and rural communities can address problems and share strategies for positive change.

The Socrates Society seminars are designed as a forum for emerging leaders to explore leadership challenges. Participants arrive from industries including finance, government, academia, law, sciences, and nonprofit
And this

Aspen Global Leadership Network

The Aspen Institute leadership initiatives include programs for young, government, and civic leaders spanning a number of countries. Through these programs, the Institute is identifying young men and women between the ages of 30 and 45 who have already achieved a level of success and encouraging them to reach yet further.

The Henry Crown Fellowship Program seeks to develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders, providing them with the tools necessary to meet the challenges of leadership. The program is a mix of intellectual and personal development seminars designed to broaden the perspectives of the participants and hone their skills in leadership.

The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) brings together as Fellows young leaders from Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. The program encourages the Fellows to take more responsibility for the society in which they live and work.

The Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) seeks to develop a new generation of community-spirited leaders in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. CALI captures the energy, the talent, and the resolve of these leaders.

The India Leadership Initiative (ILI) is a collaborative venture between the Aspen Institute, the Aspen Institute India, and the Global Markets Institute of Goldman Sachs. Like the Henry Crown Program, ILI focuses on young (ages 30–45) entrepreneurial, government, and civil society leaders from across India.

The Liberty Fellowship Program, inspired by Aspen Institute seminars and modeled after the Henry Crown Fellowship Program, is for motivated leaders in South Carolina.

The Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) is an international nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that aims to provide a platform for Nigerian leaders who are qualified to influence the development of Nigeria.

The Catto Fellowship Program is designed to create an opportunity for leaders from different sectors and cultures to step back from the fray, reflect on and crystallize their beliefs relative to the environment, to learn from others approaching environmental challenges from different angles and jointly develop solutions.
Interesting no?


One thought on “Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies

  1. […] Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies […]

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