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We help public, private, and social sector organizations build a culture of innovation, solve complex problems in new ways, and develop creative products, programs, experiences, and services that transform people's lives

What do we do?

Ascendant is a world leader in helping organizations build a culture of innovation, solve complex problems in new ways, and develop innovative products, programs, experiences, and services that transform people’s lives.  

We are experts in combining multiple innovation approaches to generate the best outcomes for your organization. This includes: human-centered design, community engagement, digital technology and innovation, data analysis, behavioral economics, strategic planning, and performance management. By combining these skills and developing a customized engagement that meets your specific needs, we can help you deliver results that have measurable impact.

We will help you:

  • Uncover the root causes to your most complex social challenges

  • Generate and test creative ideas, and

  • Implement new physical and digital services, programs, and experiences that measurably improve lives.

Additionally, we help public, private, and social sector organizations transform their culture by:

  • Building a culture of innovation, even in the most bureaucratic environments,

  • Training a team of innovators and creative problem solvers, and

  • Developing ground breaking ideas that transform your impact.

Transforming perspectives through world-class 
innovation training

We develop and deliver world-class innovation training to teach individuals in your organization to solve problems in new ways.

Your teams will learn to:​

  • Deeply understand the root causes of challenges

  • Generate creative solutions in partnership with the people who will be impacted by them, and

  • Prototype, test, and implement ideas that push the boundaries of what they thought was possible

Specifically we have:

  • Created and led customized short and long-term engagements to teach innovation skills to 7,500 people working in over 100 international cities

  • Developed and delivered training to senior leaders to national governments around the world

  • Serve as adjunct faculty for graduate design and public policy students

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Building a culture of innovation for lasting impact

We help create a culture of innovation in your organization, by:​

  • Developing a comprehensive innovation strategy that creates a clear definition and roadmap to achieve your goals

  • Creating an aspirational mission and vision

  • Defining operational metrics

  • Creating a strategic staffing plan

We know how to create change in the most bureaucratic organizations. For example, we:

  • Led innovation culture change efforts across the U.S. Federal Government as Director of an Innovation Lab (Lab@OPM)

  • Embedded innovation mindsets and skills in multiple programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies that have generated powerful new ideas in over 1000 cities worldwide

  • Led the creation of an innovation practice at the private sector consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and developed overarching strategies, action items, communities of practice, and performance management systems to track impact

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Unleashing impact through innovative problem solving

We help you create solutions to your complex problems that generate measurable impact you didn't know was possible by:

  • Helping you improve an existing physical or digital program or service

  • Generating new physical or digital services

  • Advising your teams throughout a project to improve their impact

For example, we:

  • Led the redesign of the U.S. Federal Government's digital hiring portal USAJOBS.GOV to transform the hiring experience for 2 billion visitors a year

  • Coached the City of Los Angeles which developed an affordable housing solution that won a Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award

  • Supported the City of Anchorage, Alaska, which provided over 12,000 residents access to 3.5 million meals during the Covid-19 pandemic

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