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Speeches matching topic Children’s Issues
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Bill Bradley (Exclusively WSB)

The recent recession proved that society has not learned from the mistakes of the past. While many look to blame private industry for the ongoing economic turmoil, Bill Bradley shows that it is bad political judgment that brought us to the brink of collapse. In this highly informative and timely discussion, Bradley looks at the economic meltdown and outlines how we got here through a mix of too much leverage, not enough regulation and forgetting the economic indiscretions that caused previous recessions. Moving forward, Bradley advocates the need to embrace a culture of innovation that invests in our educational system as the foundation for preventing such economic turbulence in the future. Bradley shares with audiences:

  • The direct connection between faltering economics and failing schools
  • How education is necessary to stay competitive with China and other emerging powers 
  • What steps leaders in Washington need to make to not only fix economic regulation but also fix crumbling schools

Gordon Brown (Exclusively WSB)

Gordon Brown believes that they key to developing the workforce of tomorrow is transforming education today. He explains how education unlocks better health, greater social stability, more rights and opportunities for women, and a higher standard of living. In his role as United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, he works to find funding for the 59 million children currently out of school by persuading national governments and the international community to take their responsibilities to these children seriously. In this presentation, Brown discusses how educated populations boost economies, how the digital revolution is changing the way people learn, and why education reform is essential so both young people and those already working can continue to gather the skills they need to compete.

Sarah Brown (Exclusively WSB)

Acknowledging the dire need to help impoverished nations, in 2001 the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals to create long-lasting change around the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter and security. As a leader intimately involved with these efforts from her role on the front lines of the struggle to create a more just world—particularly when it comes to issues of health equity and women’s health, Sarah Brown is a compelling voice in the global campaign to end injustice, poverty and inequality. In her keynote presentations, Brown highlights the progress that has been made—and the opportunities to do good that still exist. Brown’s words inspire action in identifying and empowering those around the globe to extend help to those most in need.

Barbara Pierce Bush (Exclusively WSB)

United in their humanitarian missions and the spirit of service—as well as through their close family bond—Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Hager have found a shared purpose in giving voice to the disadvantaged while bringing to light stories of hope. Coming from a unique vantage point as the only twins to grow up in the White House as both grandchildren and children, Barbara and Jenna were inspired to live lives of meaning from an early age. Stemming from their travels to impoverished areas in Africa and Latin America, they have now made it their life’s calling to address the most pressing health, education and economic inequality issues of our time. Whether through Barbara’s creation of Global Health Corps or Jenna’s position as a Today correspondent and UNICEF chair, both women help spread the message that ideas put to action are the best kind. With their special brand of infectious warmth and kind humor—evidenced in their delightful back and forth banter during their presentations—this dynamic pair will ignite an audience’s passion to serve and inspire future young leaders to give back in their schools, local communities or abroad.

A central challenge of any educational system is to bring out the best in all its students. This means providing a robust learning experience for both introverted and extroverted children. Yet too often with introverts—who comprise nearly a half of every classroom—we simply ask them to act like extroverts. This is a serious waste of quiet children's considerable and under-noticed talents, not to mention their energy and happiness. In an enlightening and practical talk, Susan Cain shows us that introverted children possess gifts that enhance the culture of any classroom, and are crucial to the survival of our society. Drawing on her original research, compiled over years, Cain answers a plethora of questions, including how and when to use group work, grade on class participation and use social media in the classroom. Passionate yet coolly reasoned, Cain will radically change your view of the best way to cultivate the talents of quiet children, develop their leadership skills and create a classroom culture designed for introverts and extroverts alike. This is an urgent and necessary talk for anybody concerned with the state of education today.

As a mother of two teens, Jean Chatzky knows what parents want—kids who grow up to earn their own money and live independently (i.e., not on the family couch)! After conducting a dozen focus groups with middle-schoolers around the country for her upcoming Not Your Parents’ Money book (September 2010), she also knows what skills kids need in order to get there. In this fun and lively presentation, Chatzky shows how teaching responsibility, setting limits and living by financial example can all combine to put your kids on the path to personal financial success.

After 20 years covering the world of real people and their real money, Jean Chatzky knows there are some universal (and nagging) questions audiences have about their money. Do I pay for college or retirement? What do I do about my older parents? How do I rebuild a sagging portfolio? Is it possible to raise kids who will be financially independent? And what in heaven’s name can I do about that credit score? In this presentation that can be tailored specifically for the needs of your group—and the questions of the day—Jean will answer the questions she knows you have then conduct a Q&A that can include a money makeover or two for a member of your audience.

To educate all learners to higher levels, education must shift away from a narrow conception of curricula focused on language arts and mathematics. Experiences with the arts and in nature enable schools and other learning centers to expand engagement and success for students, building on their strengths and "multiple intelligences." Instead of an "achievement gap," we should address the "experience gap" and provide students with authentic, place-based learning in, for instance, school gardens and National Parks. These experiences enable them to learn not only about STEM, histories, and cultures in powerful ways, but also about themselves, their abilities, and their aspirations.

Powerful digital devices are now affordable "weapons of mass instruction" for all learners. Providing them to every student, as well as teachers who know how to harness their power for learning, has become the civil rights–indeed, the human rights–issue of our time, since education is the key to violence reduction, health care, employment, and community-building. The next generation of digital tools will include wearable devices that enable students to track and improve their own behaviors. Dr. Milton Chen will present examples of projects that enable students to learn more, faster than in previous generations, enabled by hardware, software, rich Internet resources, and networks of mentors. He will show examples of these innovative practices from Edutopia.org, the Lucas Foundation’s multimedia Web site and its archive of documentaries, available for free download and embedding.

Dr. Milton Chen, senior fellow and executive director emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), will present the rationale and examples for inquiry and project-based learning (PBL) in STEM. At a time when the U. S. is emphasizing STEM for college- and career-readiness, PBL now needs to become the curricular centerpiece for a national movement. GLEF's Edutopia.org website has documented many exemplary STEM projects during the past decade, using documentary film and supporting articles and interviews, from elementary grade students using GPS devices on farms to monitor endangered species to high school students designing schools of the future with architectural software.

PBL and STEM represent an important "edge of innovation" in our schools, as described in Chen's award-winning book, Education Nation. PBL curricula connect to other "edges of innovation," such as the role of technology is transforming when, where, and how students learn. New roles for teachers and students are being defined, as teachers form teaching teams with other experts and students take on more responsibility for their own learning. Dr. Chen will show examples of these practices from Edutopia.org. Its archive of documentaries is available for free download from iTunes U.

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