On Thursday, October 13, Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath) President and CEO Elisabeth Babcock presented at the White House Frontiers Conference hosted by President Barack Obama in Pittsburgh, PA. Co-hosted with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Melon University, the event brought together innovators from around the world who are reimagining the boundaries of what’s possible in science and technology.

During the event’s Local Frontiers track, which focused on smart and inclusive communities, Babcock captivated the audience with an impassioned speech on the potential for using new brain science approaches to disrupt the poverty cycle. Babcock’s lightning talk on “Cutting Edge Trends in Economic Mobility” portrayed how non-profits and government agencies across the country are using brain science to help individuals build analytic and emotion-management capacities by practicing problem-solving.

“We are just at the beginning of understanding the true promise of brain science for helping low-income families get ahead,” said Babcock in her talk. “But outcomes data show that we have crossed into a new frontier that’s revolutionizing personal pathways out of poverty.”

Babcock emphasized that new brain science approaches were designed to be shared, describing how EMPath’s Mobility Mentoring practice is being scaled through the Economic Mobility Exchange, a network of more than 50 agencies sharing tools for coaching, personal assessment, goal setting and data collection.

The first-of-its-kind White House Frontiers Conference was inspired by themes from the November issue of WIRED, which will be guest edited by President Obama. More than 700 innovators from across academia, industry, government and civil society participated in the day-long gathering.