Ask the MITM Team to Speak

download a list of MITM keynotes, presentations, workshops and trainings (2010 – ongoing)

The Mind in the Making team at The Bezos Family Foundation is made up of professionals with an impressive mix of academic, policy, and practitioner experience.  As you read the biographies for Ellen Galinsky and Erin Ramsey, you will see that we offer a strong set of knowledge and experience on a range of topics – for example,  early childhood education, education and poverty policy, running demonstration programs, delivering professional development  to future educators and caregivers, evaluating early childhood programs and policies and explaining complex concepts to a variety of audiences.  We share a passion for using research in practical ways to improve the lives of children and their families and are well versed in the content and application of Mind in the Making.

Mind in the Making at The Bezos Family Foundation makes every effort to meet the requests of all organizations that would like to have a member of our team share their insights as a speaker.  However, there are times due to issues related to scheduling, travel, and intended audience that we might not be able to connect you with the specific team member you request.  In those instances, we will suggest another member of our team who is available during the dates you requests and/or who has an in-depth knowledge of the topic or group(s) that you wish to address.  We also encourage you to consider the option of distance presentations, for example webinars and conference calls, that offer more flexibility in scheduling and reduced travel costs.


How do you keep the fire for learning burning in children’s eyes? All children are born with a passion to learn but life experiences stifle that passion for far too many children—they don’t just drop out of school, they drop out of learning. Ellen Galinsky, early childhood expert, president of Families and Work Institute and former president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, has moved beyond the achievement and opportunity gap to identify a gap in children’s engagement in learning.

What causes this gap and what can we do to rekindle children’s engagement in learning? How can we help all children—not just some children—thrive. These are the questions that have propelling Ellen Galinsky for the past 13 years.  She will share the results of her journey in interviewing and filming the best research in child development, neuroscience, cognitive science, literacy, numerous, and research on children’s learning.

Among her findings, chronicled in her book, Mind in the Making, are the importance of promoting life skills, all based on Executive Functions of the brain. The key skills are focus and self control; perspective taking; communicating; making connections; critical thinking; taking on challenges; self-directed, engaged learning.

Mind in the Making (MITM) has gone beyond a book, becoming a national educational movement.  MITM, part of the Bezos Family Foundation, is now a national initiative to share scientifically based research and applicable strategies for promoting life skills in communities across the country.

Executive Functions are Essential to America’s Present and Future

This engaging, multi-dimensional presentation covers the importance of Executive Function Life Skills in children and in adults.  The audience has the opportunity to watch videos of the evidence based research, participate in interactive executive function exercises and learn about the Seven Essential Life Skills and how they can be promoted in adults and children.  The impact of Executive Function Life Skills on workforce and workplace functions is also discussed.


Ellen GalinskyEllen Galinsky

“Galinsky has spent her career observing and analyzing how children learn. Collaborating with top researchers in the science of childhood brain development for the past decade, she identifies seven life skills that help children reach their full potential and unleash their passion to learn. The skills are presented in a readable and accessible volume enlivened by parents’ narratives about what works and what doesn’t, hints and tips, and over a hundred “suggestions” (games and family activities) for involving kids in the pursuit of learning. Each of seven chapters focuses on one skill, most of them involved with the “executive” (or management) function of the brain, such as focus and self-control, communicating, and critical thinking. Galinsky urges parents to instill in their children a grasp of different kinds of knowledge to best tap inborn “sense” and foster self-motivation. The big message is simple: teaching children to think may be the most important thing a parent can do. It doesn’t take a village and it doesn’t require fancy courses or equipment—Galinsky’s everyday, playful, parent-child learning interactions offer a place to start…” — Publisher’s Weekly

By synthesizing the lessons she has learned from filming and interviewing hundreds of leading researchers, Ellen Galinsky has identified a set of seven essential life skills that are the most important for children AND for adults to succeed in the 21st century. In a series of events throughout 2010, Ellen is engaging in conversations about Mind in the Making with diverse audiences across the country.

In her presentations, Ellen uses an interactive approach that is based on research-based principles of adult learning. Participants will be engaged in direct experiences that help them think about their own learning in relation to the seven essential skills. They will see videos of researchers “in action” sharing studies on the same topic, and they will be able to apply what they have learned to their own lives.

download Ellen Galinsky CV
download Ellen Galinsky bio 2016 


erin_cropErin Ramsey

Erin is the Senior Manager for Mind in the Making at The Bezos Family Foundation and is responsible for the overall implementation and development of partnerships for Mind in the Making.

Ms. Ramsey has worked for over 20 years in the early childhood field and began her career as a family child care provider and preschool teacher. She later served for 12 years as Executive Director of 4C of Southern Indiana, Inc., a child care resource and referral agency, where she developed the organization and several programs that were nationally recognized. Ms. Ramsey also served as the director of public relations for a statewide child care resource and referral agency and was the Director of Early Childhood for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, the third largest urban school district in Indiana.

Throughout her career, Ms. Ramsey has served on numerous national, state and local boards and initiatives to increase the awareness of the importance of early childhood education and to improve the quality and accessibility for families, professionals and communities.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Child Development and Psychology from California State University at Sacramento. She also earned a Master of Science in Public Service from the University of Evansville.

Erin is the mother of four children, has been happily married for 21 years, has three dogs and a cat and resides in Evansville, Indiana. She is an experienced public speaker and works to help others see their potential.

If you’d like to invite Ellen or Erin to speak at your event, please fill out the form below (all fields are required) or download and complete this MITM Speaks Presentation Form and contact Marline Griffith at:
Marline Griffith | Executive Assistant
Mind in the Making
mobile: 206-957-0156