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The Council of Human Development  |  Conference on Children’s Development in the 21st Century

A Note Note: For those individuals that are interested in taking the Certified Infant Massage Instruction Training Course (CIMT) held by Tina Allen of Liddle Kidz® a course is being planned for late 2008 in Toronto, Canada.  If you are interested in attending the course, would like to be notified once the dates are confirmed or would like additional info, please contact us at or send us an E-mail through our online contact form.

Tina Allen of Liddle Kidz®, will present a workshop on Peaceful Touch® for educators attending The Council of Human Development Conference on Children’s Development in the 21st Century, to be held in Toronto May 29 – June 1, 2008.

The conference follows, and expands upon, the themes laid out in the book “Human Development in the 21st Century: Visionary Ideas from Systems Scientists” (edited by Alan Fogel, Barbara J. King, and Stuart Shanker) forthcoming in late January from Cambridge University Press.

The conference is intended to be of particular importance for connecting scientists and researchers with health and education professionals, as well as, parents. The council’s intention is to establish a direct link between scientific achievements on one hand and community needs on the other. Furthermore, the conference will be a place where researchers will be able to exchange the latest findings as well as the developing ideas in all areas where a systems approach is applicable.

Date: May 31, 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada


About The Council of Human Development

The Council of Human Development is an international group of biological and social scientists who have a systems orientation. The members of the Council believe that research and applied work, as well as policies affecting peoples around the world, need to be informed by the broadest possible dynamic understanding of how human beings develop and function in relationship to the human and natural world. This includes developmental processes that build on the relationships between biological, familial, cultural, and environmental factors.

The Council is guided by the principle that early childhood is the most important time in a human being’s development. Growth in these years establishes the foundations for intellectual, emotional, and moral growth. Education and intervention regarding nurturing care in these early years can establish long-lasting practices that maintain physical and mental health and prevent unnecessary human suffering.

The Council is divided into seven working groups, each led by a member of the organizing sub-committee:

Anthropology of Human Development
Christina Toren (Brunel University)

Biology, Development and Evolution
Robert Lickliter (Florida International University)

Ecology of Human Development
Alan Fogel (University of Utah)

Geo-political Contexts of Development
Stuart Shanker (York University)
Stanley Greenspan (George Washington University)

Latin American Initiative
Pedro Reygadas (Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi)

Mental Health and Development
Stanley Greenspan (George Washington University)
Stuart Shanker (York University)

Social Developmental Neuroscience
Marc Lewis (OISE, University of Toronto)


The Mission of The Council of Human Development

To promote a "dynamic systems" view of development, a new science of development that has not received widespread attention. This Council of the world's leading systems scholars is focused on bringing this new view and its implications for public policy to as wide an audience as possible.

To recognize and aid the diverse ways in which people around the world may achieve nurturing interactions and develop safe, caring communities for the future of children. Specifically, the Council will:

  • Strive to understand and promote the vital core components of nurturing interactions in human communities everywhere, such as the emotional communication between children and caregivers that forms a basis for the growth of intelligence, physical and emotional health.
  • Attempt, equally, to understand and promote diverse ways in which such nurturing interactions, and the moral principles and actions upon which they may be based, may be expressed in different communities under widely varying degrees and types of economic and social pressures.
  • Deal with the geopolitical, social and psychological barriers to creating and sustaining safe, caring communities, including a focus on the current challenges involving conflicts and wars, the proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons, environmental toxins, the destruction of plant and animal species, and the continuing spread of preventable diseases.

To initiate and maintain an unparalleled public education campaign involving leaders from all public arenas to build a new public ethic on the importance of nurturing interactions and safe, caring communities that thrive through a caring relationship with the natural world.

To support strategic research and service programs to further the knowledge base and create the "nurturing infrastructure" to translate these concepts into care for every child and family.

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