On June 5th, 2018 another Quality of Childhood (QoC) session took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. The organizers as usual were the Alliance for Childhood European Network Group and the Learning for Well-being Foundation. This time a formal forum and a large audience was provided for Nancy Mannix of the Palix Foundation in
Canada, for her experiences of how “New discoveries in the field of brain science can contribute significantly to a healthy childhood and the well-being of children. Presentation of an initiative in Alberta, Canada.” The striking lesson here was that this Initiative was able to exert major policy influence so that all legislation in Alberta is required to explore consequences for local children and the contexts for childhood in the province.
Nancy also recounted how the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative emerged in order to share knowledge effectively about the development of human brain from birth onwards, to enable children to grow up in healthier and happier ways that will move individuals and societies away from the negative consequences of uninformed behavior.
Immediately after the Qoc, in the more intimate setting of the Post QoC, Nancy Mannix shared a film about the Alberta Initiative that stimulated a discussion of “What activities can civic society undertake to help support systems to become more competent, i.e. more focused on the development of the
unique potential of each and every child in its care?” The exchange became intercontinental as those present contributed their comparative experience from Europe more widely and from Finland in particular. The basis of the discussion consisted of micro-experiences with children, families and communities that resonated on both continents.
‘Transforming ourselves,’ ‘transforming relationships,’ ‘transforming societies’ and ‘expanding research’ – these current themes of the Learning for Well-being Foundation generate the questions ‘Can we transform ourselves/ relationships/ societies — and can we expand the related research — and if we can then how do we stimulate such transformations and expand research?’ During both this QoC and Post QoC session we tried to answer these questions, with the help of the input of Nancy Mannix and lessons learned from the Alberta Initiative.