About the FREE Initiative

Under Ian Rowe’s leadership, AEI’s FREE Initiative is cultivating a deeper understanding of how families, faith communities, educational institutions, and entrepreneurial cultures weave together a moral fabric that shapes children. We’re sharing those insights with leaders around the country who can reinvigorate the critical institutions that help develop agency in young people. We seek nothing less than to help transform the lives of the rising generation for the better by empowering them with a sense of agency and a deep understanding of the institutions that can serve and support them.

We aspire to catalyze change in regions across the country through a four-pronged approach:

Inspire to think differently about the pillars of upward mobility.

Educate about the behaviors that lead to upward mobility and human flourishing.

Connect researchers, policy thinkers, and business executives with social entrepreneurs in unique settings that foster knowledge-sharing.

Resource leaders with successful intervention strategies that bridge business, philanthropic, government, and non-profit sectors.


About FREE Forums

FREE forums are a central pillar of the FREE Initiative’s efforts. AEI will host gatherings in cities across the US with the purpose of educating and emboldening leaders to build core institutions that empower the next generation. Every FREE forum takes a tailored approach to address the specific strengths and challenges of the hosting community. Over the last year, the FREE Initiative has gathered leaders in Birmingham, Chicago, and Salt Lake City.

FREE Forum: Denver will feature rich discussions and offer practical resources to equip local leaders to be catalysts for change in their communities. Attendees will come away with actionable steps grounded in world-class scholarship to ensure the young people in their communities have what they need to thrive. Programming will unearth crucial practices and insights related to Family, Religion, Education, and Entrepreneurship.

About Us

American Enterprise Institute

The American Enterprise Institute is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. The work of AEI’s scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in the organization’s belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture. Please click here to learn more about AEI’s mission, activities, and impact.