Lambent Data™ Co-founder and CEO Kirsten Hund Blair was delighted to participate as a panelist and in other ways in the outstanding 4th annual Early Childhood Innovation Summit, organized by the HeadStarter Network, with the National Head Start Association (NHSA). The Summit occurred July 22-24, 2019 in Indianapolis with the goal of facilitating and spreading ideas, processes, and technologies that can greatly benefit early childhood development. Kirsten enjoyed interacting with many educators, other practitioners, funders, researchers and entrepreneurs. Big shoutouts to the HeadStarter team for organizing and facilitating the sessions to include enlightening presentations and lively discussions -- and to Ashley Beckner, Venture Partner at the Omidyar Network, for skillfully emceeing the Summit, including with thought-provoking questions.
During Day 1 on July 22, Kirsten served as a panelist on the kick-off panel "Reimagining How We Deliver the Promise of Early Childhood Education." Other panelists were Michelle Cissell & Angie Kinser of the Children's Learning Center of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. Lisa Stewart, Chief Strategy Officer of the HeadStarter Network, nimbly moderated the panel and the Q and A. They had a wonderful and informative session about new innovations to help advance learning environments for children and to engage families. During this panel, Kirsten was happy to explain the OurVisit™ collaborative software platform and app with data analytics, including how it’s being built to engage and empower practitioners and the families they serve, starting with the home visiting arena (including Early Head Start and other models). During the Q and A and later conversations during the Summit, she received much enthusiastic feedback about it, including helpful questions and ideas.
On Day 2, Kirsten displayed the OurVisit™ prototype and shared related materials at the Innovator Studio, attended by participants both of the Summit and the concurrent Head Start Manager and Director Academy conference.
If you were a participant in the Summit and/or this concurrent conference, please click on this survey to provide feedback -- thanks so much!
Other interactive sessions on Day 1 and 2 ranged across educational models, technologies, architecture, hands-on-learning, and more. Energetic conversations continued during Day 3. Stimulating discussion topics included artificial intelligence (AI) and ethics regarding AI’s potential involvement in the lives of children and families -- including in education. In another session, other social entrepreneurs shared about their work, including re. child development assessments and other tools; language learning; responsive reading; infant/toddler hearing diagnostics; and professional development for early childhood educators. They also received positive feedback from Summit participants.
Since returning from Indy, Kirsten has continued lively engagement with other Summit participants through phone calls, emails, and planned meetings.
Thanks so much again to the HeadStarter Network planning team, including Yasmina Vinci (Executive Director of the NHSA), Lisa Stewart noted above, Tim Oppenheim, and Taylor Bohn! And many thanks again to emcee Ashley Beckner and to all the other Summit participants! It was an extremely fruitful conference and we at Lambent Data™ look forward to continuing interactions!