Research Program

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Audacious Philanthropy

In early 2022 the Lego Foundation – the philanthropic foundation of the Lego children’s toy company – announced a call to provide 100 million UK pounds to fund 5 projects that would change the research and programmatic ‘conversations’ about what the Foundation identified as the global early childhood crisis –

In an article in The Guardian newspaper, the president of the Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street is quoted as saying that the foundation’s new prize was “audacious philanthropy”. She added: “In the humanitarian space, the attention of Lego’s investment will attract other investment – highlighting the void, and creating an opportunity to make a real difference.” (

Building on a 2019 conference Young people, well-being, resilience and enterprise: critical perspectives for the Anthropocene, and the forthcoming edited collections – Young People and Thinking Technologies in/for the Anthropocene, and Young People and Stories of/for the Anthropocene, the organisingCommittee will conduct an intensive workshop to imagine a multi-stakeholder, multi-country, multi-community, multi-organisational, multi-year (long term) program of applied research, ethical innovation, transformative and disruptive research, policy and practice for futures that are sustainable and just for all.

Children and young people – now and in the future – will be the key fulcrum for this program, while we remain open to their current and possible entanglements with/in more-than-human worlds.

The workshop will explore the following:

       i.         What theories, methodologies, and stories promise to drive disruptive, ethical innovation in changing local, national, and global conversations about the challenges and opportunities faced by children and young people in different contexts in times of planetary crisis;

      ii.         Identify the national and international philanthropic foundations which would fund such innovations, which would engage in ‘audacious philanthropy’;

     iii.         Identify the possible collaborators –intergovernmental agencies, governments, businesses, NGOs, communities – to work in partnership to deliver the program; 

     iv.         Develop a strategic plan for developing, ‘pitching’, and implementing the program in the short, medium and longer term.

You can find out more about this project in this brief video

Introduction made by Prof Peter Kelly

This project is supported by a grant from the centre for Research for Educational Impact (REDI)

Outcomes and Working Documents

For the first outcomes of this project check “Audacious Philanthropy” and “CODE RED for humanity” tabs.