The Project

Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 report is a code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable…Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.

Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General (2021)

Lego is launching a £100m competition to find solutions that will make a positive impact on the lives of children in response to what the toymaker said was a “global early childhood emergency”…the foundation’s new prize was “audacious philanthropy”

Lego offers £100m to find innovations tackling ‘global childhood crisis’

Build 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.

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.[1] 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:

  1. 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;
  2. Identify the national and international philanthropic foundations which would fund such innovations, which would engage in ‘audacious philanthropy’;
  3. Identify the possible collaborators –intergovernmental agencies, governments, businesses, NGOs, communities – to work in partnership to deliver the program;
  4. 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

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


The Code Red for Humanity Report has been prepared to identify and highlight the ways in which a range of the most important intergovernmental or ‘supranational’ global organisations and agencies conceive of and imagine the ways earth systems crises, including those related to climate change and global capitalism, impact the lives and futures of children and young people. 

The Audacious Philanthropy Report is prepared with the Lego Foundation’s Build a World of Play Challenge, and Sherrie Rollins Westin’s suggestion that the Challenge is ‘audacious philanthropy’, as its two key points of reference.

The report seeks to do a number of things:

  • Define the character of philanthropic activity in its various forms;
  • Address concerns about the grant giving practices in the philanthropic eco-system;
  • Provide case studies of a number of significant Foundations in this eco-system;
  • Suggest ways in which universities and researchers might engage with these foundations.


Important info:

September 15th and 16th, 2022

The University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, SPAIN

Project Lead