Plan for the Future to have a Future | A Theory of Change (video from Harvard)

Handcuffs:  The future for too many...
Handcuffs: The future for too many…

“Plan for the future to have a future”

That quote says it all, doesn’t it?

This is a great video (reblog) explaining the science behind investing in our future, our children. This video features Jack Shonkoff, M.D., Director, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard. He presents compelling evidence on the “why” and the often difficult “how” on building skills in parents and other adults caring for children.

He points out many programs have failed because they were giving information and advice instead of active skill building, such as skills to cope with adversity, problem solve and develop emotional intelligence. These improve adults’ capabilities to become part of the workforce and to provide  “environments of relationships” essential for healthy child development. These environments of relationships start in the family but extend to the community. This makes us all responsible for creating environments of relationships for children that are safe, positive and nurturing because this is also essential for healthy adult development.

He even defines Toxic Stress and its harmful effects.

In 5-minutes, he packed very complex relevant and important information—for all interested in the future– into a simple video presentation of frames and narratives.

Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change

Jack Shonkoff, M.D.

Reblog video from the following link:


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

9 thoughts on “Plan for the Future to have a Future | A Theory of Change (video from Harvard)

    1. Hi Adriana,
      It does try to provide skills to all those who interact with children creating environments of relationships. I really like Dr Shonkoff’s framing of this topic.

      Thanks for your comments.

  1. This is a great video, and the only word that I could think of while watching was: DUH!

    I know that is terse, and probably a bit crass, but still… DUH!

    I have thought these very things when I was teaching. I can do all sorts of wonderful things in the classroom but when the child goes home and has to sleep on the floor in the living room because (s)he doesn’t have a bedroom nor a bed, well then how is effective learning going to happen in class the next day? That’s just one example, others are drugs, divorce, lack of food, lack of medical and dental care and onandonandon!

    If the parent(s) aren’t coping, educated, and willing to work with their child it is rare for the child to make any steady gain in learning.

    Thank you for sharing this, Angela. I hope people are inspired to do something about the problem.

    1. Hi Lynda,

      I am glad you liked the video and i can only hope to inspire people. I depend on you and others to spread the word. 🙂

      Thank you for your comments.


  2. A very concise compellation of multiple areas of complicated developmental psychology research distilled into everyday, common-sense language that is easy to understand. To spend years in intense study in college and then graduate schooling creates a plethora of $5 words in a person’s vocabulary that they can use to precisely describe complex phenomena. To be able to “make change” and discuss these concepts in plain English requires a depth of understanding that is not common to every well-educated individual. When an exceptionally bright person speaks in plain English so that everyone can understand, it is usually not because they talk only about the obvious, but because they have the ability to make the very difficult seem obvious. Thanks for the post, Angela.

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Agree! Dr Shonkoff applies science to daily life. Perfect paradigm on the universal communication of science to provide diverse access to knowledge. The kind of Knowledge to improve and promote health on many levels.

      I see you are also a fan of Dr Shonkoff..

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