Julie Lythcott-Haims is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, an anti-helicopter parenting manifesto which gave rise to one of the top TED Talks of 2016. The book details how a parent can rob a child from developing agency by over-parenting. It emerged from her decade as Stanford University’s Dean of Freshmen, where she was known for her fierce advocacy for young adults and her fierce critique of the growing trend of parental involvement in the day-to-day lives of college students, which was becoming a nationwide trend.
Peter Gray is a professor of psychology at Boston College whose recent research focuses on the role of play in human evolution and how children educate themselves, through play and exploration, when they are free to do so. He has expanded on these ideas in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. He also authors a regular blog called "Freedom to Learn" for Psychology Today magazine.
After her column "Why I Let My 9 Year Old Ride the Subway Alone" landed her on every talk show from The Today Show to Dr. Phil, Lenore Skenazy got labeled “America’s Worst Mom.” She turned around and founded “Free-Range Kids,” the movement that says kids are NOT in constant danger. That grew into “Let Grow,” a non-partisan nonprofit co-founded with Jonathan Haidt, working to make it easy, normal and legal to give kids back some independence.
DR. MICHAEL HYNES
Dr. Michael Hynes served as the superintendent of schools in his hometown district of Patchogue-Medford, Long Island. His mission is to spread the message of the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. He emphasizes the importance of play, recess in schools, mental health, yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. He's also a public school advocate, TEDx speaker, and author of numerous articles on school leadership.