The 2018 Think Tank was held on May 2, 2018 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. As in the prior years, it convened 500 stakeholders from fields including education, business, philanthropy, and medicine who directly impact policy and practice in early child development, and served as a platform to showcase cutting-edge neuroscience research related to children ages 0-3. The theme was “Early Factors that Promote Resilience.” It featured a diverse group of neuroscientists speaking on the various buffering factors that can help children thrive during the first few years of life.

Desired Impact

The 2018 Think Tank speakers highlighted many buffering factors that can help promote resilience, including:

  • managing stressors
  • parent-child synchrony
  • fathers’ involvement
  • reflective function
  • emotional regulation

Whole Child Awards were presented to Matthew Melmed, MD (Visionary); Tom Boyce, MD (Medical); and Patricia Kuhl, PhD; and Andrew Meltzoff, PhD (Community).

2018 Think Tank Speakers

Marc Brackett, PhD

Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University

Topic: Stressed Out/Burnt Out: Are we Giving Today’s Children (and Adults) the Social and Emotional Tools to Thrive?

View Video

Natasha Cabrera, PhD

Family Involvement Laboratory, Maryland Population Research Center

Topic: Making the Case for Fathers: How and Why They Matter for Children’s Development

View Video

Ruth Feldman, PhD

Simms/Mann Professor of Developmental Social Neuroscience, Reichman University

Topic: Empathy and How it is Researched in Infancy

View Video

Phil Fisher, PhD

Professor of Education, Stanford University, and Senior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Topic: Migrating the Behavioral and Neurobiological Effects of Early Life Stress Through Care-Giver Based Interventions

View Video

Pat Levitt, PhD

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

Topic: Master of Ceremonies

Sonia Lupien, PhD

Director of Centre for Studies on Human Stress, University of Montreal

Topic: Stress, Mom, Dad, and Me

View Video

Emeran Mayer, MD

Director, Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience, UCLA

Topic: The Mind-Gut Connection

View Video

Michael Meaney, PhD

Ludmer Centre for Neuroinformatics and Mental Health Researcher, Douglas Institute

Topic: The Nature and Nurture Alliance in Child Development

View Video

Arietta Slade, PhD

Professor of Clinical Child Psychology, Yale Child Study Center, Yale University

Topic: Relationships and Reflection: From Fear to Hope

View Video

Laurie Rubin

Performer and Motivational Speaker

Topic: Opera Performance and Conversation with Dr. Pat Levitt

View Video

2018 Whole Child Award Winner

Matthew Melmed, MD 

2018 Whole Child Award Winner – Visionary

Executive Director, Zero to Three

Tom Boyce, MD

2018 Whole Child Award Winner – Medical

Lisa and John Pritzker, Distinguished Professor of Developmental and Behavioral Health, UCSF

Pat Kuhl, PhD & Andrew Meltzoff, PhD

2018 Whole Child Award Winner – Community

Co-directors of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington