World Summit Speakers Page

Dr. Peter gray p.h.d.

Peter Gray, P.h.D., is a TED Talks speaker, research professor at Boston College, is the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life and Psychology, a college textbook now in its 7th edition. He has conducted and published research in comparative, evolutionary, developmental, and educational psychology. He did his undergraduate study at Columbia University and earned a P.h.D. in biological sciences at Rockefeller University. His current research and writing focus primarily on children's natural ways of learning and the life-long value of play. His own play includes not only his research and writing, but also long distance bicycling, kayaking, back-woods skiing, and vegetable gardening.

Dr. Gray's Psychology Today blog:


Peter Hill is a TED Talks speaker and has been living and working on the Pine Ridge Reservation for over 15 years, and over time became part of the movement to preserve and revitalize the language, having become fluent as an adult. In 2012, he started the Lakota Immersion Childcare program, which started as simple in-home daycare with five children and only one staff member. He continues to work for the program - now the Lakota Language Initiative of Thunder Valley Community Development Corp. - as its Language Coordinator, and spends most of his working hours making translations, recording audio material, creating curriculum, and working with the adult second-language learners on staff.


Shelly Lefkoe is co-founder and President of the Lefkoe Institute, and the founder of Parenting the Lefkoeway. She has personally worked with thousands of individuals from around the world. Using The Lefkoe Method she has helped people eliminate issues as serious as eating disorders, phobias and depression as well as everyday problems like procrastination, shyness, fear of public speaking and the inability to form healthy relationships. Currently Shelly is a speaker, workshop leader, and author of Parenting the Lefkoe Way.


Mr. John Hunter is an award-winning and gifted public school teacher and educational consultant. He is a TED Talks speaker who has spoken at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Pentagon, and at the United Nations to share the lessons of the World Peace Game. His book World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements is a must read and has even been made into a documentary film. Mr. Hunter explains that, "The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown."

John's Website:


Dr. Alizah Brozgold has a P.h.D. in clinical neuropsychology from City College and over 30 years of experience working diagnostically and therapeutically with children and adults who have dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She was Chair of Professional Training at the NY Branch of the Orton Dyslexia Association (now the IDA). She speaks about the assessment of dyslexia at numerous conferences and schools. Dr. Brozgold is currently in private practice in New York City.


Over the past 30 years, Dr. Lyon has had a wide range of professional responsibilities including his contributions as a research scientist, professor, classroom teacher, special education teacher, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, and leader in the development of evidence-based education policy at federal and state levels. From 1992 until 2005, Dr. Lyon served as a research psychologist and the Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he was responsible for the direction, development and management of research programs in developmental and cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, behavioral pediatrics, reading development and disabilities, learning disabilities, early childhood development and school readiness.


Dana Blackhurst is a nationally recognized educator and authority on students with dyslexia. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the field of special education.

Since becoming a teacher in 1983, Dana has received numerous educational honors, including the Educator Award, Carolina Branch of the IDA (2002), South Carolina Middle School Teacher of the Year (1990-91), P. Buckley Moss Teacher Award for National Outstanding Educator in Learning Disabilities (runner-up), and Congressional proclamation as “Outstanding Educator” in South Carolina.


Jane Elliott is a gifted educator and author of A Collar in My Pocket whose lesson in discrimination is featured in the documentary film, The Eye of the Storm. In response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, Jane Elliott devised the controversial and startling, ‘Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes’ Exercise in Discrimination. This, now famous, exercise labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority. Everyone who is exposed to Jane Elliott’s work, be it through a lecture, workshop, or video, is dramatically impacted and learns a valuable lesson in discrimination.

Jane's Website:


Jan Jones Blackhurst first woman mayor in Las Vegas history and now working for Caesars Entertainment and developing the industry’s first responsible gaming practices, advancing environmental stewardship, increasing employee diversity in management positions by 41% and developing an employee volunteer program resulting in 160,000 donated hours to company and local causes. Jan is someone who is use to setting the bar high for improving the standards both in politics and business. Jan is a passionate advocate for many social issues focusing around women, gender equality and education.


Laurent Valosek is the Managing Director of Peak Leadership LLC, a leadership and strategy development firm. The Peak model, derived from decades of research, integrates neuro-psychological, emotional, cognitive,interpersonal, and systems drivers of optimal performance.

Mr. Valosek is also the Executive Director and co-founder of the Center for Wellness and Achievement in Education (CWAE), a San Francisco based non-profit that develops and implements high impact stress management and performance improvement programs for schools and public health agencies, like the ‘Quiet Time’ program.


Diane Lyon is an effective advocate for children, adolescents, and adults who struggle to learn to read. In 1995 Diane founded the Parent Coalition for Literacy in Indiana where she designed and implemented a state wide advocacy initiative that brought together parents and leaders from the education, legislative, business, and the medical community.

Diane’s passion for education compelled her to take her advocacy and management expertise to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., where she directed programs for a national network of Federal Parent Training Information Centers.


Thomas G. West is the author of In the Mind’s Eye (1991 and 1997) and Thinking Like Einstein (2004). A second edition of In the Mind’s Eye was published in September 2009 with a new Foreword from Oliver Sacks, MD -- who says that "In the Mind's Eye . . . stands alongside Howard Gardner's Frames of Mind as a testament to the range of human talent and possibility." The book has had 18 printings, been selected as one of the “best of the best” for the year by the American Library Association and has been translated into Japanese (1994) and Chinese (2004). A Korean translation became available in late 2011.

Recent Book:

Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains


Dr. Kalayjian, Founder & President of the Association for Trauma Outreach & Prevention, Meaningful world, and is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University with Masters and Doctoral Degrees, and Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Long Island University. She has been consulting at the UN since 1988, currently representing ATOP Meaningful world.


Disaster & Mass Trauma: Global Perspectives in Post Disaster Mental Health Management


Debra Poneman is the founder and President of Yes to Success, Inc, an international seminar company dedicated to giving people the tools they need to live lives of profound happiness, unlimited success, prosperity, and deep and lasting fulfillment.

Since founding her company in the early 80's, Debra has been the catalyst for hundreds of thousands of people to wake up and recognize who they really are and why they were put here on earth – and how to fearlessly turn their dreams and visions into exciting and lasting realities.


Kay Howell graduated from Pennsylvania State University and completed a Master's Degree in Sociology and Political Science at Duke University. She has experience in social work, and has taught in the public schools. She developed the Michigan Dyslexia Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides diagnostic testing and instruction for children and adults with dyslexia, trains teachers, offers free information to the public, and conducts projects with schools and other organizations. Today the Institute maintains five centers in Michigan. It has served as a model for the development of similar Institutes in other states. Kay volunteers time to teach students, train teachers and assists the Institute with special projects.


Marcia Mann received a B.S. degree from New York University in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She spent a year at Hood College in an intensive program of study with Margaret Rawson, in the field of Language Based Learning Disabilities, (Dyslexia) and then went on to Stanford University School of Medicine, where she was awarded an M.A. in Speech Pathology.


Evelyn Reiss is a writer, teacher, lecturer and editor. She has held several leadership positions, including founding executive member of the IDA (Ontario), lead teacher in public elementary school, teacher-trainer and principal of The Claremont School. Evelyn founded Claremont for students with dyslexia. The school began with 6 students and now 7 years later has 60 students and a Reading Clinic. Claremont has an assessment center which carries out psycho-educational testing and dyslexia screening.


Elenn Steinberg is the founder and educational director for Every Child Reading. It is her long held commitment to serve students, parents and educator with education, information and support.

Elenn began her journey into the world of education and literacy sixteen years ago when the school informed her that her son was at risk for reading failure. At that point she had no idea that that journey would result in her becoming a passionate voice for students, a highly skilled reading interventionist, an advocate for families, consultant and a nationally known speaker in the areas of dyslexia, literacy, student self-advocacy and literacy legislation.


Lori Leyden, P.h.D., MBA: is an internationally known stress and trauma healing expert and uniquely qualified psychotherapist, author, workshop leader, inspirational speaker, and humanitarian. After a near death experience, Lori developed The Grace Process, a transformative spiritual practice for heart-centered living. She is the author of "The Grace Process Guidebook: A practical guide for transcending your ego and engaging the wisdom of your heart" and "The Stress Management Handbook: Strategies for Health and Inner Peace," available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Korean. Lori holds a doctorate in Health and Human Services with a concentration in psychoneuroimmunology, and a master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in management.


Susan Peirce Thompson, P.h.D. is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, and an expert in the psychology of eating. She is the President of the Institute for Sustainable Weight Loss and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions, a company dedicated to helping people achieve long-term, sustainable weight loss. Her program utilizes cutting-edge research to explain how the brain blocks weight loss and everyday she teaches people how to undo the damage so they can live Happy, Thin, and Free.


The daughter of holistic health pioneer, Donna Eden, Titanya Dahlin has been immersed in Energy Medicine all her life. Since 1996, Titanya has taught and assisted in Donna’s world-wide workshops and is a teacher on the faculty of the Eden Energy Medicine Certification Program. She is the creator of Energy Medicine Dance! Energy Medicine Dance is a form of creative healing movement, set to world music that is based upon her mother’s acclaimed alternative medicine work. It is a fun and easy movement that balances your energy field for better health and joy. She has a world-wide following with this popular program and has sold thousands of her own professional DVDs on the subject. As an accomplished professional Middle Eastern dancer, storyteller, national award-winning speaker, stage actress, and certified Waldorf education teacher, Titanya has been sharing her natural connection and love of children while incorporating programs with kids since 1983. Her experience and interaction with children also includes more than seven years teaching and leading kids in world dance and theater with her acclaimed performing arts company in Boulder, Colorado.


Energy Medicine for Kids, A Simple guide for children and the Adults Who Love them


Edward (Ned) Hallowell, M.D., is a child and adult psychiatrist, a NY Times bestselling author, a world-renowned speaker and a leading authority in the field of ADHD. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Tulane Medical School, and is the founder of The Hallowell Centers in Boston Metro West, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. He was a Harvard Medical School faculty member for 21 years and now devotes his full professional attention to his clinical practice, lectures, and the writing of books. He has authored 20 books on various psychological topics, including attention deficit disorder, the power of human connection, the childhood roots of happiness, how to help your people SHINE, forgiveness, managing worry and managing excessive busyness.

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