innovation + impact in early childhood


Early Futures was a first-of-its-kind event focused on innovation and impact in ECD in November 2018.

We gathered a diverse cross section of 200 of the sector’s most influential leaders — from experts to funders to government leaders — and featured 52 promising early childhood entrepreneurs who demo-ed their ventures in 3- and 1- minute presentations. The event sparked new ideas and new connections, and challenged us to think bigger about how to move the field forward.

“I didn’t even think this was possible, but this event changed the culture of the whole field and things won’t be the same again.”

— Field academic and expert

“[A leading tech exec] approached me as I walked off stage. Two days later, I was at [his office] and it looks like we’ll be the first test user for a new platform.”

— Venture founder (for-profit)

“The remarkable interdisciplinary mix of people — from pioneers who've been in the field for decades to newcomers whose passion is newfound; from doctors to policy wonks to media producers to entrepreneurs; from people coast to coast — made the event spectacular.”

— Foundation executive

Fast Facts

  • 165 influential ECD leaders in attendance

    • 40% funders, 15% practitioners, 15% researchers, 10% government / policy, 15% media, 5% corporate

  • 52 promising entrepreneurs who demo-ed their ventures

    • Selected from a pool of 175 applicants by a team of academics, funders, policy makers, and entrepreneurs

    • 35% nonprofit, 55% for-profit, 10% TBD

    • representing 15 states, Canada, and Mexico

    • 62% female founders / leaders

  • 23 main stage speakers

  • Countless new connections and reconnections made

  • Countless new ideas, debates and discussions started

  • Link to highlight reel

Selected Ventures

Event Resources


You can visit here to see a full list of speakers, view the agenda, learn about our partners and more. You can also read our event press release.

Selected Ventures

Video Highlights

Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Director of Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, presents New Science, New Measures, New Partners A Game-Changing Formula for Impact at Scale.
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, CA's first Surgeon General and Founder of Center for Youth Wellness presents ACEs & Resilience Rewriting the Story of Toxic Stress for Future Generations.
Scott Cook, Founder and Chairman of the Executive Committee at Intuit and Nancy Lublin, Founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line talk with Amy Klement, Partner at Omidyar Network, and offer their insights as entrepreneurs.
Check out what happened at Early Futures of two action-packed days of listening, learning, debating, connecting and challenging.