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July 9 - 11, 2018
Early Childhood Innovation Summit
Louisville, Kentucky

Schedule at a Glance


Day 1: Learn

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


8:30 - 9:00 AM

Coffee Jumpstart!

9:30 - 10:45 AM

Opening Session

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Innovation Cycle

Much of early learning’s success can be traced to a focus on change and innovation. Programs across the country are constantly refining their strategies to adapt to opportunities and challenges at every level, from within their local communities to state policy and federal guidance. Earn your first credit toward your first Innovation Fitness badge by joining Henry Wilde, CEO of Acelero Learning, for a look at a unique and transformative framework for innovation and change management in early childhood programs.

The system is simple to describe and powerful when put to use, especially when tackling new expectations around things like coaching, family engagement, and staff retention and development. It ensures that new ideas are implemented in a way that is measurable, sustainable, and scalable. After this session you will have earned your first credit, Product Management!

12:30 - 1:30 PM

Lunch: Refuel and Reflect

1:30 - 2:00 PM

Pop-Up Talk: Storytelling

In addition to sessions (like Shark Tank) and receptions (at the Muhammad Ali Center), demonstrations (of the Elevated Classroom) and workshops (on how to replicate and scale innovations), the 2018 Early Childhood Innovation Summit will feature “Pop-Up Talks.

These short palette cleansers are brief, provocative, and full of insights that will keep us focused on the ultimate purpose of innovation."

2:00 - 3:00 PM

Innovation Fitness

3:15 - 5:00 PM

Childhood by Design

Focused on the end-user (children and parents) and using human-centered design principles, Childhood by Design is intended to help us brainstorm and prototype status quo busting solutions to unique challenges facing young children and their families.

This session, built around the design challenge “How might we redesign early learning settings to help parents build strong and healthy relationships with their children and other supportive adults?” will help us design innovations within our programs to better serve children and families.

5:00 - 5:30 PM

Demonstration and Q&A: Elevated Classroom

In 2017 an idea was born, and now that idea is quickly becoming a practical solution...

Teachers in the child care industry are nurturers who just want to teach and impact the lives of the children in their care during the critical birth to five years. But as regulations and requirements increase, the paperwork and administrative burdens are being disproportionately shifted to the front line education staff.

Developed by Michael Patterson and Tim Oppenheim from Arkansas Early Learning, Inc., the “Elevated Classroom” uses existing technology to complete administrative tasks using a natural voice method. This means that staff don’t have to stop, take their focus away from children, and complete paperwork.

5:30 - 7:00 PM

Reception: Gallery Walk

"Enter the Innovator Studio to see recent examples of ideas come to life, network with leading innovators from across the country, and connect with your fellow practitioners.

If you would like to show off your idea - especially new or improved practices and processes that have been designed by practitioners - just let us know!

The goal of the Innovator Studio and accompanying Gallery Walk reception is to learn from and share ideas with fellow Summit participants -- almost like a Science Fair for adults! There will be ""exhibits"" and Summit participants will mingle through the “gallery of ideas” with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.


Day 2: Innovate

8:30 – 9:00 AM

Coffee Jumpstart!

9:00 – 10:30 AM

Unleashing the Potential of Blockchain

10:45  - 11:35 AM

Bright Spot Panel: Health and Nutrition

11:35 AM - 12:20 PM

Replicate and Scale Workshop

12:30 - 2:00 PM

Lunch: Refuel and Reflect

2:00 - 2:15 PM

Pop-Up Talk

2:15 - 3:05 PM


Diligent and creative leaders around the world are working to ensure that young children and their families can thrive in the future. However, those efforts rarely include a thorough exploration of that future might be like. Strategic foresight is a discipline that allows stakeholders to explore rigorously such possibilities for the future and use them to chart an informed path forward.

Taking a deliberate look at changes on the horizon – and at what opportunities and challenges they might present – opens new prospects for innovation and avenues for action that are only apparent through a future-facing lens. During this session, we will use some of the tools of strategic foresight to enable us to better comprehend what the future may be for the children and families we seek to serve.

3:05 - 3:55 PM

Workshop: Challenge - Parenting in a Gig Economy

4:05 - 4:55 PM

Bright Spot Panel: Workforce and Employee Experience - Follow-up from Catalyst

4:55 - 5:45 PM

Workshop: Replicate and Scale 

6:30 - 8:30 PM

Tour and Reception: Muhammad Ali Center

Did you know that Muhammad Ali started his boxing career at age 12 when his red Schwinn bike got stolen? He went to the police and said he “wanted to beat up the kid who did it”! Instead, the police officer took him to his boxing studio - little did he know that a great hero was born out of this wonderful teachable moment.

His “red bike moment” was the start of his new found passion and he went on to serve America’s most vulnerable during trying times in the 1960’s and beyond. Join us for a special, reception and private tour of the Muhammad Ali Center to learn more about his life and legacy. While visiting, participants will also get to explore two extraordinary, temporary exhibits “Shining a Light: Experiences of Refugee Women” and “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far.” A night you will not want to miss!


Day 3: Lead

8:30 - 9:00 AM

Coffee Jumpstart!

9:00 – 11:00 AM

Shark Tank

Join early childhood entrepreneurs and dive into the Shark Tank! to experience the excitement of pitching ideas. A panel of esteemed judges or sharks will judge the presentations and choose a winner.

If your idea or product is chosen you will win 3 months of personalized coaching from the Business Romantic Society! Tim Leberecht, Co-Founder and CEO, and team will offer their expert advice to help move your innovation forward - from design, to product management to social media marketing.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Closing Keynote: Luis Hernandez