Finance Forward

Event Series

Finance Forward is a multi-city event series that—for the first time—brings together local governments, businesses, community advocates, and nonprofit leaders to identify and advance innovative, actionable solutions to income volatility.

Latest News


● Income Volatility Toolkit

Resources for tackling a growing financial challenge

Government, employers, non-profit service providers, and financial service providers may use this as a guide for pursuing tailored solutions to help mitigate the effects of income volatility. While not exhaustive, this list is based on the results of Aspen EPIC’s research, consumer focus groups, notes from public and private events, and the collection of commitments that emerged from the work with partner cities. For full toolkit, please visit

The Events

● South Carolina

● Michigan

● Missouri

● California

About Income Volatility

A growing body of research shows that month-to-month income fluctuates wildly for low-and moderate-wage workers. This unpredictable income significantly impacts the financial lives of these individuals - making it hard for them to meet monthly expenses, save, pay down debt, qualify for a loan, or handle a major unexpected expense. The financial insecurity that results from this income volatility can take a devastating toll on families and their communities, with painful impacts that span everything from credit and health care access to education, housing, and public utilities.

We wrapped up our Finance Forward series on income volatility in January 2018 with a closing event in Oakland, California. Read a recap of the series in our blog post, Looking Back at Finance Forward: Solving Income Volatility at the Local Level.


About Finance Forward

Tackling a challenge as far-reaching and systemic as income volatility requires us to look beyond abstract analyses. We must work to develop a fully informed, on-the-ground understanding of how it impacts real people in real American cities. And it demands a cross-sector movement with new ideas that harness the best insights of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, rather than relying on traditional policy tropes.

That’s why we launched the multi-city Finance Forward Series: to start a national dialogue that shines a light on income volatility across a geographically and industrially diverse range of U.S. cities. Our goal is to identify innovative, practical solutions that can inspire action in communities across the country.

Learn more about the building blocks of Finance Forward »


Founding Partner


● About LendUp

We believe that everyone should have access to quality financial services, provided with dignity, transparency, and care. Founded in 2011, LendUp is focused on helping expand access and choice for many Americans who are financially underserved. Our goal is to provide credit-building opportunities for everyone because we’re invested in the long-term financial health of our customers. Others are starting to take note, which is perhaps why we were selected as one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in personal finance by Fast Company in 2015. For more information, please visit

National Partners


The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. For more information, please visit


The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. For more information, please visit


Stride Health delivers intelligent healthcare coverage to self-employed and independent working Americans.


The National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization primarily composed of current and former black women legislators as well as many appointed officials. Originally established in 1985 as a national organization to increase and promote the presence of black women in government, NOBEL Women in recent years has expanded its vision to serve as a global voice to address a myriad of issues affecting the lives of all women. For more information, please visit

Read NOBEL’s resolution to promote awareness of and an increased commitment to address issues of income volatility.

EPIC Supporters


Income volatility is not a discrete, boutique problem. It's a new normal for American households.


Government Officials


Think Tanks


Policy Makers Researchers FinTech Leaders


Nonprofit Innovators
We’re always looking to expand our network. Join our mailing list to stay in the loop with everything we’re working on.

EPIC is an initiative of the Aspen Institute's Financial Security Program.

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