Press Release: Ascent Leadership Networks Hosts First Fellowship Immersion


New York, November 2018 – Ascent Leadership Networks, an executive development company specializing in immersive experiences and cohort-based learning, hosted its inaugural immersion program in the San Francisco bay area last week from November 13th to 16th. Titled Technological Disruption, Innovation and Narrative, the series was the first within a larger Family-run and Founder-led Businesses Fellowship. The Fellowship brings together carefully-selected executive peers for a nine-month engagement focused on understanding how industry, technology and societal disruptions will affect them and their organizations. The program runs from November 2018 to May 2019 and comprises three 3-4-day modules.

For its inaugural cohort, Ascent convened chairpeople, chief executive officers and presidents of leading family and/or founder-led organizations, and designed an experience focused on the unique attributes of these visionary leaders. The fellows were previously nominated and individually selected, and the program included an executive leadership assessment by a global executive recruiting firm.

“The talent, wisdom and diversity of thought from the group assembled made for an unforgettable experience,” explained Kevin Steinberg, Founder and CEO of Ascent. “What was particularly striking, however, was how the Fellows not only praised the world-class faculty, experienced mentors, and contributing experts, but relished how much they learned from one another. The network of peers, confidants and resources within the Fellowship will be its lasting legacy.”

Ascent’s program officially began at the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay, in partnership with the media company Techonomy. The Fellows, joined by a select group of leaders in tech, explored technological disruption, change and opportunity. Following this, the cohort travelled north to Summit Skywalker Ranch, in Marin County, for two days in residence to focus on aspects of creativity, narrative and legacy building. In the culminating exercise, the Fellows explored the legacy they wish to leave behind through their professional and personal efforts.

Additionally, the Fellowship includes an ongoing mentor engagement in order to craft and refine each Fellows’ legacy. Throughout the week the Fellows engaged with CEOs and other mentors of global businesses, who provided ongoing feedback and guidance, shared experiences unique to the leaders in these challenging roles and offered one-on-one advice. Confirmed mentors for the first fellowship cohort included former CEO/Chairs/Presidents of Willis Towers Watson, the World Economic Forum USA, American Express, and 1-800-Flowers, as well as a former US ambassador.

About Ascent

Ascent is an innovative leadership development company that develops cohort-based learning programs to help leaders thrive. We create and leverage best-in-class peer and expert networks to deliver transformative, immersive and tailored experiences, giving leaders unique access to the people and ideas shaping the future. Founded by a team from the World Economic Forum and executive search firm Spencer Stuart, we have the experience and expertise to generate and extract the best insights for the world’s top professionals to help them grow and learn. Our programs bring together the collective wisdom of people who are shaping the future and provides them with the skills to expand their leadership styles. Ascent offers unique programs that are specifically tailored to the people participating. Our invitation only cohort-based fellowship program comprises intensive immersions focused on a particular theme. We also offer custom corporate programs and experiential retreats that address the leadership development needs of senior teams, as well as private conferences and access to global events and experiences. Ascent is a Clarim company, the family office of 1-800-Flowers founder, Jim McCann.

Marietta Bryant