Leadership and the NEAR Sciences

Last month I hosted the first ever NEAR Sciences Think Tank with over fifty thought leaders from across the country.  The NEAR sciences (neurobiology, epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences & resilience) are such an amazing combination. I’ve been following the neurosciences and work around trauma and toxic Stress for 11 years as part of my work here in Washington.  It’s been an amazing ride to see how these understandings have been brought into our community networks, legislator, early learning programs and into systems and communities across the state.   More formally adding in Epigenetics  is powerful – showing things like how our genetics are changed by our environment early in life.  We are wired to adapt to the circumstances we face… to survive.   Then add Resilience – learning how to thrive and how to “Build Resilience not ACE’s.”

The Think Tank participants came from many disciplines and perspectives.  We used our diversity of experience, training and practice to engage in cross-cutting dialogue.

The calling question:  Given that NEAR science is complex, at once separate and overlapping, and undoubtedly incomplete, how might we bring an ethical lens to bear so that thoughtful next steps in research, policy and practice may exist side-by-side with privacy, non-discrimination, and protection of personal information/data?

The Foundation for Healthy Generations, which was the lead sponsor for the event, is leading the effort to create the “harvest” from the event and conference that followed. I’ll post it here when it’s ready.

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