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The following researchers and their books, videos and podcasts inform our thinking:

Influencers

  1. Sarah Blaffer Hrdy: anthropologist and primatologist, known for proposing the most credible theory of what ignited the trajectory of human intelligence. Her book Mothers and Others (2009) is a must-read.
  2. Dr Bruce Perry, MD: child psychiatrist specializing in healing developmental trauma. Advocates for the power of relationships. One of my favorite speakers.
  3. Robert Sapolsky: primatologist turned neuroscientist. His latest book, Behave (2017) is a masterpiece.
  4. Dr Dan Siegel, MD: Attachment researcher actively disseminating attachment research and mindfulness concepts to parents and early childhood educators. Very conceptual, yet able to modulate his message to reach broader audiences. Embraces mindfulness for interoception, attunement, and self-regulation.
  5. Dr Bessel Van der Kolk, MD: psychiatrist and researcher in PTSD and somato-sensory healing methods.

International

1. Boris Cyrulnik: French neurologist and psychiatrist, writes for the general public on psychological resilience. Frequently interviewed on French TV, and university lecturer (Biology of attachment, Lyon, 2015 – in french).

2. Michael Rutter: UK’s first child psychiatrist.

Other favorite authors

  1. Mary Ainsworth: Patterns of Attachment
  2. Celine Alvarez: Les lois naturelles de l’enfant
  3. John Bowlby: A Secure Base
  4. Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs and Steel. Collapse.
  5. Allison Gopnik: The Gardener and the Carpenter
  6. Yuval Harari: Sapiens
  7. Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow
  8. Ellen Langer: Mindfulness.
  9. Peter Levine: Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
  10. Gabor Mate: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
  11. Maria Montessori: The Absorbent Mind
  12. Alan Shore: Modern Attachment Theory: The Central Role of Affect Regulation
  13. Hans Selye: The Stress of Life
  14. Germaine Tillion: The Harem and the Republic of Cousins
  15. Michael Tomasello: A Natural History of Human Thinking
  16. Franz de Waal: The Bonobo and the Atheist
  17. D W Winnicott: Winnicott on the child

Podcasts

Hidden Brain (Shankar Vedantam)

“A conversation about life’s hidden patterns.”

On Being (Krista Tippett)

“Conversation about the big questions of meaning in 21st century lives and endeavors — spiritual inquiry, science, social healing, and the arts. What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other? Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.”

Invisibilia (Hanna Rosin and Alix Speigel)

“Exploring the invisible forces that shape human behavior — things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions”

TED and TEDx talks

  • Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.
    Susan Pinker: The secret to living longer may be your social life The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it’s not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy — it’s their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. Learn more about super longevity as Pinker explains what it takes to live to 100 and beyond.
  • Elias Papaioannou: Civic-Social capital. (TEDxAcademy) Taking the example of Greece during its economic crisis, an exploration into how a population’s values and beliefs shapes its institutions, and ultimately influences its GDP. He concludes with the role of education in building civic virtue