*Growth Trajectories  *Environmental Factors  *Support Networks
*Timely Interventions  *Life/Work Skills   *Earning Pathways
Why are young people like they are?
What can we do so they can do better?
Making a positive difference to the life outcomes of individuals by understanding key developmental and environmental factors and identifying potential path changers in the journey from infancy to adulthood.

Cross-sector approach

“A number of studies… have shown that the most creative groups are those that include the greatest variety of  perspective and experience.”  Oliver Moody


Education Leaders Forum 2017 LIFE PASSAGES   & LEARNING PATHS will be held on 23 & 24 August at the Millennium Hotel in Rotorua.

ELF17 will be about making a positive difference to young people and their communities by understanding key developmental and environmental factors in their journey from infancy to adulthood and making timely interventions when necessary.

It will pick up on the Dunedin and other New Zealand longitudinal developmental studies and the intersection with fast changing environmental factors, with a focus on rapid changes in how people learn and work and how to help unlock their learning and earning potential.

The 2017 forum is aimed at education leaders and aspiring leaders from across the learning spectrum from early childhood to post-tertiary and also at those engaged in social welfare, health and justice who are interested in cross sector collaboration in order to improve outcomes for young people as they navigate life passages of infancy, early childhood, childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.

Why am I? Why are they?

“The excellence of the teacher is to identify the difference in talents of students”.  Roman Scholar Quintilian

Why are young people like they are at each life passage? What can we do so they can do better at each transitional stage?

ELF17 is about making a positive difference to individuals and their communities by understanding life shaping developmental and environmental factors and path changers in the journey from infancy to adulthood in the years 0-25 years, during which the brain matures, and acting on the need for timely interventions for those at risk to get them back on track.

Key research input

The forum will  pick up on the 45+ years old Dunedin Longitudinal Study. Pioneered by Dr Phil Silva, the University of Otago’s Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study examines the progressive results of ongoing research into the lives of 1,000 New Zealanders born 46 years ago in Dunedin.

Other relevant research will come from the Christchurch Health and Development Study, a 39 year study founded by Professor David Fergusson of a birth cohort of 1,265 children born in the Christchurch region in mid-1977; and the University of Auckland’s Growing Up in New Zealand, which is keeping tabs on the growth and development of initially 6,000+ children from a variety of ethnicities. The study aims to improve the lives of their generation and answer the fundamental question: What makes us who we are?

Making a positive difference for children

“If we get it right with everyone’s kids-if they are healthy, well educated, and ready to give something back to the world-then we get it right with everything.'”  Peter Rugg

ELF17 will have a strong strand relevant to the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki.  However, it is also relevant to learners at all levels, including the highly gifted, in terms of unlocking their potential.

As well as developmental themes, ELF17 will pick up on the fast changing environment, especially in terms of rapidly evolving learning places and work spaces, and the implications for educators in terms of enhancing teaching and learning and strengthening connections with parents, employers and communities.

Speakers from different sectors will be asked to explain how “we together” can help influence the choice of individual learner pathways for the better and how we can draw on support networks if intervention is needed at different stages in life and family development, particularly in the dimensions of health and social development.

While early childhood years are crucial for facilitating the development of healthy and engaged adults who become lifelong learners there are other key life passages, not the least of which is adolescence, where timely intervention can make a huge difference.  This can come from the personal coaching of an interested and inspiring teacher or the support of another sympathetic adult, often outside the immediate family circle.

Better learning and earning trajectories

Hope is necessary. It is a necessary concept. What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”  Michele Obama

It is important to give children hope, as demonstrated in Dr Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology work. Better learning trajectories and better work pathways, based on the appreciation of individual talents and passions,  and helping learners set personalised goals add up to better life choices and outcomes and help to break the cycle of material and cultural poverty.



Educators are in a pivotal position to apply developmental insights from several renowned New Zealand longitudinal studies.

The first chatbot [Nadia] understands human emotions… Retweeted by EducationLeaders2017

Consider joining other inspiring education leaders at ELF17 -

Why are young people like they are at each life passage? What can we do so they can do better at each transitional stage? Check out ELF17

Big thanks to our amazing presenters @EdLeadersForum & our wonderful participants for a truly inspiring event #ELF16…

Thanks for being a part of @EdLeadersForum @farmgeek - great to see all the inspiring connections being made! #ELF16…

Love the idea of Fab Lab. Teaching kids cool hi-tech skills for the 21st century. Thanks 4 sharing @farmgeek #elf16 Retweeted by EducationLeaders2017

Maker movement in rural NZ - Fab Lab Masterton co-founders Kirsten Browne & John Hart @EdLeadersForum #ELF16

Twitter Media

Thanks also @CareersNZ for being a supporter of Education Leaders Forum 2016 - Tomorrow's Skills #ELF16

Twitter Media
Twitter Media
Twitter Media

A big thank you to the team @EducationGovtNZ the major sponsor of @EdLeadersForum #ELF16 - it's been a great 2 days!

Twitter Media
Twitter Media
Twitter Media

Up now Dr John Boereboom CEM at @UCNZ on student attitude & engagement in NZ schools @EdLeadersForum #ELF16

Twitter Media

Career Ready - Challenge & Opportunity. Thanks to Keith Marshall CE of @CareersNZ presenting @EdLeadersForum #ELF16

Twitter Media

Tim Fowler CEO @TECNZ talking about flexibility of funding models @EdLeadersForum #ELF16

Twitter Media
Twitter Media
Twitter Media

integration of parallel universes of credits, subjects and skills link education to employment @itfnz #elf16 Retweeted by EducationLeaders2017

Pathways to a Skilled Future @EdLeadersForum #ELF16 - Josh Williams, CE, Industry Training Federation @itfnz

Twitter Media

Big thanks to Dr Lucy Hone for talking on Positive Education for Adaptability & Resilience @EdLeadersForum #ELF16

Twitter Media

Dr Lucy Hone... Thank you for bringing wellbeing AND education into the fore. It's a non-negotiable in my eyes #elfconf #wellbeing Retweeted by EducationLeaders2017


ELF 17 Contributors

Take a look at who will be contributing at ELf17    

Registrations Now Open

Very Early Bird Registrations rates are available if booked and paid by 28 Feb.  Register Now…

ELF17 – Register your interest now

ELF17 is being held on 23&24 August at the Millennium Rotorua. Register your interest in attending now and receive forum updates and links to early bird registrations.