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Photo Credit: Minderoo Foundation.


Molly’s TED Talk

Raising public awareness about the critical importance of brain development in the first five years of a child’s life, worldwide.

Our goal

To raise global public awareness about the critical importance of brain development in the first five years of a child’s life and the impact this has now, and in their future.

Underpinned by the latest child development research and delivered as a TED talk, the short film seeks to empower and motivate parents, caregivers and members of the community to engage more meaningfully and often with children.

The talk highlights the tangible benefits of positive, reciprocal ‘serve and return’ interactions and the impact this has on a child’s lifelong learning, health and well-being. It also incorporates key messaging about the importance of play, the prenatal period and child mental health.

The benefits

Drawing on the five key tips of connect, talk, play, healthy home and community, the talk explains the simple and fun things we can do that make a profound difference to a child’s brain development and wellbeing and the role we can all play.

Can a game of peek-a-boo change the world?

Minderoo Foundation has partnered with TED to deliver one of the world’s youngest ever TED speakers, supported by UNICEF as the global distribution partner.

Watch 7-year-old Molly’s extraordinary talk on how to help your child thrive by five below.

Watch Molly’s TED Talk

Initial impact

Prior to the global launch of the Thrive by Five TED talk, the film was previewed by patients and staff in two maternity hospitals in Perth, Australia through Ramsay Health Care and three maternity hospitals in Kabul, Afghanistan through the Bayat Foundation.

A light touch survey was implemented for staff and patients with overwhelming positive feedback received.

Over 90 per cent of parents said they would be more likely to connect, talk and play with their children after watching the film and the majority would recommend it to their friends and family.

Recent quote provided from Bayat Foundation:

“There was a woman at the hospital who was feeling sad and in pain. She had come from a poor village and had limited education. After she watched the video, her affect changed she said ‘I’ll be a great mum after watching this. It has inspired me to be a good mum.’ Further, she mentioned her husband had been aggressive to her other two young children. She believed this video would make an impact on her husband’s behaviour. She said ‘can I have this video? My husband needs to view the video too.’”

The hospital dissemination will be scaled nationally and internationally to reach as many new parents and caregivers around the world as possible. Through our international partnerships, local dubbed versions and captioning will be included to ensure accessibility.

Behind the scenes

Download the Bright Tomorrows app in Australia

Developed by Minderoo Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute, the Bright Tomorrows app provides over a 1000 ideas backed by science on the simple but powerful ways you can connect, talk and play with your child and support your child’s brain development. Turn everyday moments into fun, brain building opportunities and download the free Bright Tomorrows app today. Find out more about the Bright Tomorrows app.


Project members

Jay Weatherill
Jay Weatherill
Director, Thrive by Five
Melissa Teo
Program Designer
David Ohana
Communications Director
Angus Ingham
Head of Brands and Campaigns
Nathanael Foo
Digital Product Manager
Alex Massey
Communications Specialist
Madeline Arnold
Social Media Manager