Conversations on Early Childhood is an exciting series providing new and interesting perspectives on early childhood policy issues facing Georgia and the nation.

Through this series, GEEARS hopes to foster deep and deliberative discussions of the issues among academics, policymakers, advocates, civic leaders, providers and the business community. Our goal is to promote the development of policies and practices that will enhance the development and well-being of Georgia’s children.


Past Events

“Balancing Act: How Business and Policy Support Modern Parenting featuring, Josh Levs”

February 6, 2020

GEEARS hosted a lunchtime conversation with, the award-winning author and leading global expert on modern fathers, gender-equity, and making a better workplace for employees and businesses, Josh Levs.

From the United Nations to Congress, Oxford and Google, Josh Levs’ powerful talks chart new terrain, advancing everyone’s understandings of men, modern parenthood, and gender equality. With the publication of his book, “All In”, Josh cemented his place as the leading voice for modern dads at work, shining a light on their unknown struggles. 

His talk explored how a range of family-friendly policies can help attract top talent, keep it, and help our economy thrive. 

“Lunch with GEEARS and a Side of Purpose, featuring Joey Reiman”

FEBRUARY 14, 2019

GEEARS hosted a lunchtime conversation with Author, consultant, Founder & Chairman of Brand New World Studios and Founder of BrightHouse, Joey Reiman, where he exposed the underlying purpose of our careers and businesses. His talk on finding your purpose in business highlighted the importance of including young children and their families in creating a better brand, a stronger company, and a lasting legacy for yourself and your company.

“Understanding Trauma’s Impact on Young Children”

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

In partnership with ZERO TO THREE, GEEARS hosted an evening conversation with Dr. Ross Thompson, professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis and director of the Social & Emotional Development Lab. We explored the powerful impact that trauma has on the young brain, even among infants to better understand how trauma affects the socio-emotional, intellectual, and even physical health of infants and toddlers, and how that impact can last a lifetime without meaningful intervention. We also discussed strategies and promising practices for intervening with a young child who is showing signs of trauma.

“Why Children Are Better Learners Than Adults: The Exploratory Infant Brain”

SEPTEMBER 10, 2018

In partnership with ZERO TO THREEGEEARS hosted an evening conversation with Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. We explored the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play and learned more about the fascinating minds of infants and toddlers, and how much we understand before we realize we do.

“Geoffrey Canada: What GA’s Communities Can Do to Save Our Youngest Children”

NOVEMBER 28, 2017

GEEARS hosted a lunchtime conversation with the Harlem Children’s Zone President Geoffrey Canada, as he shared insights into the issues Georgia’s youth are facing and how the answers to these problems are not found in any one strategy, but a community plan of action to save our children.

“Brigid Schulte: Child care in Georgia and work-life balance”

FEBRUARY 27, 2017

GEEARS hosted a thoughtful morning discussion with Brigid as she unpacked the Care Index (a collaboration between New America and The index examines the cost, quality, and availability of child care in all 50 states. Additionally, the New America Care Report highlights stories from Georgia’s families, Georgia’s Pre-K program, and opportunities for policies to improve these issues. Click here to view the full report.

In the afternoon, GEEARS hosted Brigid for a lunchtime keynote where she shared insights into work-life balance, gender equity, and meeting the needs of 21st century families.

Brigid Schulte is the New York Times bestselling author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love & Play When No One Has the Time and director of the Better Life Lab at New America.

“Junlei Li, Ph.D., Fred Rogers Center”

DECEMBER 5, 2016

Dr. Li shared lessons from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for policy makers, parents and caregivers, students, community leaders, and practitioners. We explored the continuing legacy of Fred Rogers and the “active ingredient” that universally supports young children’s development. Read more about Dr. Li here.

“Pay for Success”

MARCH 9, 2016

Panel featuring Joe Waters (Institute for Child Success), Jeff Schoenberg (J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Foundation), Chris Bishop (Nurse-Family Partnership), Chris Ellis (United Way of Salt Lake), and Jen Lewis (Sonoma County Department of Health Services)

“Understanding and Supporting the Early Language and Literacy Development of English / Dual Language Learners”

MARCH 11, 2015

Dr. Linda Espinosa.

Challenging Common Myths about Dual Language Learners (PDF)

Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners (PDF)

Dr. Espinosa’s Presentation (PPT)

“The Economics of Early Childhood Education”

OCTOBER 22, 2015

Rob Grunewald of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

“The Transformative Power of Education”

JUNE 19, 2015


Wes Moore, the New York Times’ bestselling author of The Other Wes Moore, led discussions in June on the power of education.  Moore offered new perspectives on educational issues that face academics, advocates, civic leaders, policy makers, and the business community and established the fundamental importance of education in the lives of children.

“How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character”

APRIL 22, 2015

The New York Times bestselling author, Paul Tough, joined GEEARS in April to discuss his book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. In his presentation, Tough discussed the important role of skills such as perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control in readying children for adulthood. Tough interwove anecdotes with science to illustrate ways in which children need a balance of support and autonomy to build conscientiousness, persistence, and grit.