Pediatric cochlear implant surgeon and co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago
Founder and CEO of Character Lab, and the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania
Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise
BONUS AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of Parent Nation from FAN’s partner bookseller The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Dr. Suskind that will start immediately after the webinar. Details on the webinar registration page.
Rarely in our private or political debates over the gig economy is the science of early childhood development mentioned. Nor do we tend to reference babies’ brains in discussions of national security, housing, declining wages for blue-collar workers, racial justice, or gender equity.
In her revelatory new book Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise, Dana Suskind, MD reveals why it is crucial we change this. A world-class pediatric surgeon, social scientist, and the bestselling author of Thirty Million Words, Dr. Suskind proposes a radical approach to building a prosperous and equitable future across all spheres of life: We must make healthy brain development the organizing principle around which our society is oriented. We must elevate our expectations for how society supports parents, the first and most important architects of children’s brains. Neuroscience shows that 85 percent of human brain development occurs in the first five years of life. But it’s neither appropriate nor realistic to expect parents alone to act on this science.
Sufficient nurturing is only possible when parents have the necessary time, guidance, capital, safety, and security. Dr. Suskind shows how our systems and policies directly aid or inhibit this process—and, therefore, affect its long-term outcomes. When institutions are designed to help parents facilitate healthy brain development in their children, those institutions grow stronger over time, boosted by the ensuing generations of healthy and productive citizens. But when we fail to prioritize parents, children, and development, our institutions languish, and so do we all. Dr. Suskind invites us to envision a society wherein parents forge a communal identity, imbued with empathy and capable of creating sustainable change.
Dr. Suskind is the founder and co-director (with John List, Ph.D., FAN ’22) of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. She will be in conversation with Angela Duckworth, Ph.D., (FAN ’12 and ’16), founder and CEO of Character Lab, Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director at Behavior Change for Good, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics.
This event suitable for youth 12+. It will be recorded and available on our website and YouTube channel.
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