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Why the first 1,000 days matter

Smiling baby on all fours at the beach
19 November 2021


Register here

Join this free webinar as part of the Commission's A fair chance for all inquiry. Hear from four global experts about the importance of focusing on the early years in breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.

Why are the first 1,000 days important? 

The first 1,000 days, from conception to a child’s second birthday, have a large impact on a child’s development and wellbeing. In the early days, a baby’s genes interact with the environment to determine what kind of brain is needed for the rest of their life. Join this webinar to learn about the science, interventions and implications for public policy.

Webinar description

Sir Peter Gluckman, director of Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures, and Koi Tū Associates Prof Richie Poulton, Prof Mark Hansen and Dr Robyn Mildon will share the latest scientific evidence, why it’s economically sensible to develop robust policies that recognise the importance of helping all children develop optimal executive functions, and how it can be done.

Executive functions are the set of brain processes that enable us to achieve basic tasks such as learning, solving problems, controlling impulses, and interacting harmoniously with others.

There will be four short presentations, followed by an audience Q&A. Register here.


Sir Peter GluckmanSir Peter Gluckman
President of the International Science Council, Sir Gluckman will explore the essential skills needed to develop strong executive functions – the key building blocks of success in life.


Prof Mark HansonProf Mark Hanson
One of the UK’s leading researchers on the life course and intergenerational effects and advisor to WHO and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health initiative. Prof Hanson will give an overview of the science and its economic implications.


Prof Richie PoutlonProf Richie Poulton
Director of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit which conducts the world-famous Dunedin longitudinal study, Prof Poulton will share research about interventions and its implications for public policy.


Dr Robyn MildonDr Robyn Mildon
Founding Executive Director of the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, Dr Mildon will discuss the challenges of implementing good programmes and public policies to address intergenerational disadvantage.



Free and open to all, register here.

This webinar is for the Commission's 'A fair chance for all' inquiry, in association with Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures. 

Logos of Productivity Commission and Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures