The initiation of type 2 immune responses by the epithelial cell-derived cytokines IL-25, IL-33 and TSLP has been an area of extensive research in the past decade. Such studies have led to the identification of a new innate lymphoid subset that produces the canonical type 2 cytokines IL-5, IL-9 and IL-13 in response to IL-25 and IL-33. These group 2 or type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2 cells) represent a critical source of type 2 cytokines in vivo and serve an important role in orchestrating the type 2 response to helminths and allergens. Further characterization of ILC2 cell biology will enhance the understanding of type 2 responses and may identify new treatments for asthma, allergies and parasitic infections. Interactions between ILC2 cells and the adaptive immune system, as well as examination of potential roles for ILC2 cells in the maintenance of homeostasis, promise to be particularly fruitful areas of future research.