Skip to content

Leslee Udwin

Human Rights Advocate and Filmmaker

Think Equal

Keynote address

A vaccination of values – a vaccination against violence: an early years intervention and prevention program

The Think Equal initiative was first launched in 2016 as a direct response to issues of gender-based discrimination and increasing incidences of violence, across the world. It works towards a world in which all children of all genders, ethnicities, religions and other backgrounds have optimal opportunities to develop their full potential, to freely express themselves and have their views respected, to respect one another, to live free of discrimination and violence, to become youth leaders and active participants and proponents of a free and equal world. It is conceived as a model programme for the 2030 development agenda.

Social and Emotional Learning is ‘the missing subject’, and must be brought front and centre as the core purpose of early years education, ideally as a compulsory 3rd dimension additional to numeracy and literacy. How can we, who have a duty of care to our youngest citizens, deem numeracy and literacy to be mandatory and yet see it as optional for a child to learn how to how to lead healthy relationships and value others?


How to create system change in education through Social Emotional Learning at early years

The purpose of the workshop is to hold an interactive discussion to discuss the relevance of the Think Equal Programme and the importance of Social and Emotional Learning as a compulsory new subject. Leslee Udwin, founder and CEO of Think Equal will provide the background of the programme including the objectives and aspirations. Participants will explore Think Equal´s framework, tenets, lesson plans and books to understand how these are curated and designed to help children reach their full potential and achieve a better life outcome. The workshop will involve group exercises and activities.

About Leslee Udwin

Leslee Udwin is a former filmmaker and now an activist who was voted by the NY Times as the Second Most Impactful Woman (after Hillary Clinton) of 2015 and is fighting for a system change in education. The multi-award-winning documentary “India’s Daughter” which she made about a brutal gang rape in India sparked a global movement to end violence against women and girls. The profound insights from the film led Leslee to leave filmmaking and found an NGO called Think Equal which demands that the “missing subject” of Social and Emotional Learning become the core purpose of Early Childhood Education. THINK EQUAL, both a movement and a holistic early year’s intervention programme is currently impacting 38,000 children in 14 countries. Its vision is to create a safe, peaceful, sustainable and equal world. Leslee has been awarded several prestigious awards including Swedish Anna Lindh Human Rights Prize (previously won by Madeleine Albright), UN Women for Peace Activist Award, Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award and UN Association