From the very beginning of Think Equal in 2016, we have been privileged to have continued support from our high-profile and very supportive Patrons, who are global champions of the Think Equal cause and tireless supporters of Think Equal.
Sir Ken Robinson
Lord Rumi Verjee
President Joyce Banda
Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe
Professor Mark Brackett
SIR KEN ROBINSON, PhD
(Leader in the development of creativity, innovation and HR in education, and business)
Sir Ken is an internationally recognised leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education, and in business. He is Professor Emeritus and was Professor of Education at the University of Warwick and holds honorary degrees from Rhode Island School of Design; the Open University; the Central School of Speech & Drama; Birmingham City University, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and Oklahoma State University. Sir Ken was awarded the Athena Award for services to the arts and education; Peabody Medal for contributions to the arts and culture in the United States; the Arthur C. Clarke Imagination Award; Gordon Parks Award for achievements in education; and the Benjamin Franklin Medal from the Royal Society of Arts. Listed as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity” and ranked among the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thought leaders. Sir Ken works with governments and education systems in Europe, Asia and the USA, and was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland.
(Award winning Actress, Activist & long time supporter of Think Equal)
A long-time environmentalist and advocate for gender and human rights issues, Meryl has championed women’s rights and the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment), and campaigned to end trafficking and violence against women. Meryl has been nominated for an Academy Award an astonishing 21 times, and has won 3 times. She has received 33 Golden Globe nominations, and won 9 (including the Celcil B. DeMille award. She is also the recipient of 3 Emmy Awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festival award, 5 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, 2 BAFTA awards, 5 Grammy Award nominations, and the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, amongst others. She has been named a Commandeur de L’Ordre Des Arts et des Lettres, a Kennedy Center Honoree, and received the National Medal of Arts. In 2014 President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom
LORD RUMI VERJEE
(Founder of The Rumi Foundation, Entreprenuer & Philantropist)
Lord Rumi Verjee is a highly successful multiple entrepreneur. He studied Law at University of Cambridge where he is now an Honorary Fellow. He founded The Rumi Foundation, the goal of which is humanitarian work through education, knowledge building and innovation. Amongst other projects, the Foundation is working with the Clinton Foundation to provide new schools in rural Uganda for thousands of children. He is Chair of Free the Children UK and co-chair of their signature event We Day UK. He is a Member of the World Presidents’ Organisation, the Global Leadership Foundation, and was a member of the Advisory Board of the British Olympic Association. In 2009 he was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for charitable services and was appointed by HM The Queen to the UK House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat Peer in 2013.
(Philanthropist, Author, Speaker & Founder of Indrani’s Light Foundation)
Indrani Goradia is a philanthropist and advocate for women’s health and empowerment. She is the founder of Indrani’s Light Foundation (now Raft Cares), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to ending gender based violence and empowering women around the world with the tools to live healthy and meaningful lives. An author, speaker and certified life coach, Indrani has delivered keynote addresses at conferences and leads workshops around the world.
(Founder and Director of Fundación Escuela Nueva)
Vicky Colbert is the Founder and Director of Fundación Escuela Nueva, and co-creator of the Escuela Nueva pedagogical model, known for its effectiveness in improving the quality and relevance of basic education in underprivileged schools across Colombia and beyond. Escuela Nueva has become a part of Colombia’s national education policy with a significant impact on academic achievement. The model has been recognized by UNESCO and the World Bank as among the most outstanding reforms in developing countries worldwide. She served as Colombia’s Vice-Minister of Education and as UNICEF’s Regional Education Adviser for Latin American and the Caribbean. Vicky is an Ashoka Fellow and was awarded the 2013 WISE Prize for Education, and the 2017 Yidan Prize for Education Development.
FORMER PRESIDENT JOYCE BANDA
(First female President of Malawi in office 2012 – 2014)
Joyce Banda was Malawi’s first female president, and second on the African continent. She served as Minister of Gender, Child Welfare, and Community Services and as Minister of Foreign Affairs. In her various ministerial capacities, she designed the Zero Tolerance Campaign Against Child Abuse and established relations with mainland China. She has been popular in Malawi because of her tough stance against government corruption and her strong campaigns for grassroots development and gender parity. Throughout her career Banda received awards and accolades, including the Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger in 1997 and being named Africa’s third most powerful woman by Forbes magazine in 2011.
(Entrepreneur, Philanthropist & Co-Founder of GMSP Foundation)
Pratibha Sachdev is a philanthropist and entrepreneur. She co-founded GMSP foundation in 2006 which has given away over $10 million to grassroots organisations in India and the UK focussing on those that are vulnerable, marginalised or face discrimination. Pratibha set up a nursing home to give back to the elderly community. Along with her husband, she grew this into a successful nursing home business employing over 10,000 people. She has a degree in Child Development and was Headmistress at the Aga Khan school in Uganda. She was recently awarded Philanthropist of the Year at the 2018 Asian Awards. Pratibha is passionate about meditation, family and giving back to the community.
(Entreprenuer, Change Maker & Founder of World Toilet Organization)
Jack is a social entrepreneur and change-maker at a systems level. He created the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001 as a global network and service platform for toilet associations, academia, government, UN agencies and toilet stakeholders to learn from one another and leverage media and corporate support that in turn influenced governments to promote sound sanitation and public health policies. Amongst many honours, Jack is an Ashoka Global Fellow and was named: Time Magazine Hero of the Environment; Asian Development Bank’s Water Champion; and Reader’s Digest Asian of the Year. He was awarded Channel News Asia’s Asian of the Year, and was Council Member to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Water Security.
DR PONATSHEGO KEDIKILWE
(Former Vice-President of Botswana & Advocate for Early Childhood Development)
Dr. Kedikilwe is a role model for many in Botswana. Treasurer and then Chairman of the Botswana Democratic Party, he took on many ministerial roles including in Education, later receiving the Presidential Order of Honour and an honorary doctorate for his remarkable work. Dr. Kedikilwe has also served as Vice-President of Botswana and founded and leads the Dr. Ponatshego and Elizabeth Kedikilwe Early Childhood Development Foundation, to contribute to the economic and social upliftment of disadvantaged young children in Botswana through Early Childhood development programmes.
PROFESSOR MARC BRACKETT, PhD
(Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence & Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University)
Marc Brackett, Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University. His research focuses on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. Marc is lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based, systemic approach to SEL that has been adopted by over 2,000 schools across the United States and in other countries. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards. He consults regularly with corporations like Facebook and Google on integrating emotional intelligence principles into employee training and product design. Marc is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a corporate learning firm that develops innovative digital learning systems for emotional intelligence and related topics. He also holds a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido.
Kenyan born Rupin Vadera’s sustaining passion, inspired by his family’s philanthropic philosophy, is to support and build transformational education projects. Rupin was the President and Trustee of Chinmaya Mission UK (CM) for nearly 25 years, during which time the charity grew to become a highly regarded institute for the study of Vedanta, Spirituality, Hindu and Indic studies, within the UK. Its message of universal oneness resonates with Think Equal’s philosophy.
Rupin served on the Bank of England Agents’ Committee, is a Trustee at the UK charity Lifelines International Fund for Education, is pursuing the establishment of a digital ‘library’ platform for blind and sensory impaired children (with Sense International), has been an adviser to Sense Romania, sponsored an entire library in the pioneering Indian university dedicated to the study of Vedanta, Sanskrit and Indic Traditions (Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth), and leads adult study classes in Hindu philosophy.