Last week, New York City hosted the 2015 Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Investments.
The summit was “a major gathering of 200+ business people, policymakers, and experts designed to showcase how the private sector is leading the way in advancing early childhood development around the world.”
The event was held by ReadyNation, an organization of business leaders who work to “strengthen business through better policies for children and youth.”
The goal of the summit was to “inspire and equip executives to take actions that expand support for young children at all levels.” Among the themes was a focus on “new evidence that establishes early childhood as the foundation for a culture of health and international leadership for early childhood.”
Chris Martes, president and CEO of Strategies for Children, attended the event and said, “The summit clearly shows how excited our business leaders are about investing in young children. Business leaders understand that high-quality early education and care programs help to produce the labor force of the future.”
Among the scheduled speakers at the summit were Jack Brennan, chairman emeritus and senior advisor at Vanguard; Patricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff, co-directors of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences; and John Pepper, former chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble and the co-chair of ReadyNation’s CEO Task Force on Early Childhood. The full agenda is online here.
Twitter also played a role in the summit thanks to tweets marked #RNG2015.
Marjorie Paloma tweeted this quote from Scott Ozanus, deputy chairman and COO at KPMG, “‘As we worked on ensuring a ready workforce and a vibrant community for our company, it all pointed to early childhd dev.’ S.Ozanus #RNG2015”
ReadyNation tweeted this quote from Oxford University Professor Edward Melhuish: “‘Wake up, America. We’re way behind the ball, here.’ #ECE #RNG2015.”
ReadyNation also tweeted: “‘Whether we believe it or not, one-third of children in the world are not developing to their potential.’ – @pia_britto #RNG2015 #ECE” — a quote from Pia Britto, UNICEF’s senior advisor on Early Childhood Development.
And Kim Fortunato tweeted: “@JimMarks @RWJF #poverty goes straight to the brain. #Health & Ed are joined at the hip #qualityearlyed #RNG2015”
This tweet is about Dr. James S. Marks, executive vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A message also appeared on the Facebook page of Mission: Readiness – Military Leaders for Kids. It said: “Lieutenant General (Ret.) Norman Seip at the ReadyNation Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Investments: ‘We in Mission: Readiness believe that every generation deserves the opportunity to be called the Greatest Generation…’”
It was also great to see Sally Fuller of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation at the summit. We also saw her at last month’s State House hearing on proposed early education legislation.
As John Pepper, Procter & Gamble’s former CEO, says in the brief, “In business, we rarely have the luxury of making an investment decision with as much evidence as we have to support the economic value of investing in early childhood development and education… Put bluntly, in my terms, they are a financial no-brainer.”