In 2015, the significant growth of the Think Tank led it to move from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. On November 3, 2015, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Think Tank convened a group of 500 stakeholders from fields including education, business, philanthropy, and medicine who directly impact policy and practice in early child development. The Think Tank served as a platform to showcase cutting-edge neuroscience research related to children ages 0-3, specifically the significant potential to reduce negative outcomes related to childhood stress through the primary child-adult relationship.

The 2015 Think Tank also presented the inaugural $25,000 Simms/Mann Whole Child Award to Dr. Michael Yogman, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Desired Impact

The 8 international speakers at the 2015 Think Tank armed the audience with the latest and greatest research in early child development, with a focus on the primary adult-child relationship. The speakers covered topics including the importance of early childhood investments, attachment, temperament and executive functions, and more.

The Think Tank also continued to showcase the vital role that California’s community colleges and state university system play in training California’s early care and education workforce. The 2014-2015 cohort of fellows presented their research projects, and 13 new faculty in the 2015-2016 cohort were awarded Faculty Fellowships to spend the year designing projects to disseminate research presented at the Think Tank.

2015 Think Tank Speakers

Art Rolnick, PhD

Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Topic: The Importance of Early Investment

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Pat Levitt, PhD

Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Topic: Why Early Matters

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Ruth Feldman, PhD

Simms/Mann Professor of Developmental Social Neuroscience, Reichman University

Topic: Synchrony and the Neurobiology of Attachment

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Nathan Fox, PhD

Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology

Topic: Temperament and Genetics

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Alicia Lieberman, PhD

 Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, UCSF Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Child Trauma Research Program

Topic: Dyadic interventions

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Adele Diamond, PhD, FRSC, FAPA, FAPS, FSEP

Canada Research Chair, Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of British Columbia

Topic: Executive Functions

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Peter Fonagy, PhD, OBE, FMedSci, FAcSS, FBA

Head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London; Chief Executive of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, London

Topic: Mentalization

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Mona Golabek

Concert Pianist and Storyteller

Topic: Presentation and Piano Performance

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2015 Whole Child Award Winner

Michael Yogman, MD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the Board at the Boston Children’s Museum