Keynote speakers

Prof. Stephanie Jones - Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development at Harvard Graduate School of Education
Stephanie Jones' research, anchored in prevention science, focuses on the effects of poverty and exposure to violence on children and youth's social, emotional, and behavioral development. Over the last ten years her work has focused on both evaluation research addressing the impact of preschool and elementary focused social-emotional learning interventions on behavioral and academic outcomes and classroom practices; as well as new curriculum development, implementation, and testing. Jones is a recipient of the Grawemeyer Award in Education for her work with Zigler and Walter Gilliam on A Vision for Universal Preschool Education (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and a recipient of the Joseph E. Zins Early-Career Distinguished Contribution Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning. Jones' research portfolio emphasizes the importance of conducting rigorous scientific research, including program evaluation, that also results in accessible content for early and middle childhood practitioners and policymakers. Her developmental and experimental research investigates the causes and consequences of social-emotional problems and competencies; strategies for altering the pathways that shape children's social-emotional development; and programs, interventions, and pedagogy that foster social-emotional competencies among children, adults, and environments. Her policy-driven research with colleague Nonie Lesaux focuses on the challenge of simultaneously expanding and improving the quality of early childhood education, at scale (The Leading Edge of Early Childhood Education, Harvard Education Press, 2016). Jones serves on numerous national advisory boards and expert consultant groups related to social-emotional development and child and family anti-poverty policies, including the National Boards of Parents as Teachers and Engaging Schools. She consults to program developers, including Sesame Street, and has conducted numerous evaluations of programs and early education efforts, including Reading, Writing, Respect and Resolution, Resolving Conflict Creatively, SECURe, and the Head Start CARES initiative. Across projects and initiatives, Jones maintains a commitment to supporting the alignment of preK-3 curricula and instructional practices.

Prof. Marc Brackett
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a Professor in the Child Study Center of Yale University. He is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by nearly 2,000 pre-K through high schools across the United States and in other countries. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). As a researcher for over 20 years, Brackett has focused on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards and accolades for his work in this area. He also consults regularly with corporations, such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating the principles of emotional intelligence into employee training and product design. Most recently, he co-founded Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems on emotional intelligence. Brackett’s mission is to educate the world about the value of emotions and the skills associated with using them wisely. “I want everyone to become an emotion scientist”, he says. “We need to be curious explorers of our own and others’ emotions so they can help us achieve our goals and improve our lives.”

Dr. Marcelino CABRERA, European Commission Joint Research Centre
Marcelino Cabrera is a senior researcher at the Human Capital and Employment Unit, Joint Research Centre (European Commission). He is currently in charge of studies on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, including the Digital (DigComp), and the “Personal, Social and Learning to Learn” competences. He is co-author of the conceptual framework “LifeComp”. He is also leading work on Education for Environmental Sustainability and several studies on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Marcelino has a large research experience on the Cohesion policies, including the Smart Specialization of Regions, eHealth, eGovernment, and digital technologies for social inclusion. He is experienced in communicating European policies and holds degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Psychology. Contact: European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) - Unit Human Capital and Employment. Edificio Expo - Calle Inca Garcilaso 3; E-41092 Sevilla – Spain. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prof. Adrian OPRE, Babes - Bolyai University, Cluj – Napoca, Romania
Opre Adrian is a tenured professor at the Psychology Department of Babeş-Bolyai University. His competence domains are: cognitive and educational psychology, personality psychology, applications of cognitive sciences in education. Over the past 12 years, dr. Opre’s preoccupations have focused primarily on the socio-emotional development programs for children and young persons. The most relevant outputs are Self kit ( and DASECA Programs. Adrian Opre was director/coordinator or member in over 20 research projects/development-research projects and published as a first author or co-author over 75 studies in scientific journals, ISI indexed – over 30, reviewed in international databases or aknowlegded by the scientific community; he published 5 books as a first/primary author, 6 books as co-author and 18 book chapters. (see