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10.1.2019 | Alex Bell |

Reflections From The Yidan Prize Summit

HundrED Ambassador Alex Bell and 2019 Innovator Pero Sardzoski were invited to attend the Yidan Prize Summit in Hong Kong in December 2018. We get the scoop on what happened there and who they met, from a prime minister to a princess, and even an astronaut.

In November, education innovators and HundrED ambassadors from around the globe gathered in Helsinki for the annual HundrED Innovation Summit. Just one month later some of our community were boarding planes once more, this time to Hong Kong, to convene once again with like-minded and passionate changemakers at the Yidan Prize Summit.

Founded in 2016 by philanthropist Dr Charles Chen Yidan, the Yidan Prize invests in creating a better world through education. The Yidan Prize Summit, now in its second year, unites thought leaders in the field of education the world over, sparking ideas to ensure today’s education meets the needs of tomorrow.

HundrED Ambassador Alex Bell and HundrED Global 2019 Innovator Pero Sardzoski headed to Hong Kong to represent our global community. Alex Bell reflects on their unforgettable time there... 


HundrED at the Yidan Prize


Alex Bell and Pero Sardzoski with Sugata Mitra at the Yidan Prize Summit 2018 


HundrED seeks and shares the best innovations in K-12 education. So when Mabel Woo, Program Director for the Yidan Prize spoke at the HundrED summit in Helsinki in November 2018 she was keen to invite representatives from HundrED to the Yidan Prize award ceremony and summit in Hong Kong in December.

It was my absolute privilege and pleasure to represent the HundrED Ambassador community along with Pero Sardzoski, one of HundrED’s selected innovators for 2019, and Keni Simola, Head of Global Partnerships at HundrED.

Dr. Charles Chen Yidan is the founder of Tencent, the runaway success story of e-commerce in China and who has now set his very generous sights on creating what many describe as ‘the Nobel Prize for education’.

The prize researches and recognizes the single most outstanding practitioner in education research globally, and also the single most outstanding practitioner in education development. Now in its second year, former Yidan laureates include Professor Carol Dweck and Vicky Colbert, Founder of Escuela Nueva


L-R: Clive Lee, Pero Sardzoski, Larry Hedges, Charles Chen Yidan, Anant Agarwal, and Alex Bell. 


This year’s very worthy winners were Professor Larry Hedges who is leading meta-research on existing education research, to give our global community the definitive, evidence-based answers as to what education practices are truly the most effective. This research is free from politics, prejudice or personal bias, so Professor Hedges is most definitely a name to watch.

Professor Anant Agarwal, is the founder of, an open source, free to access learning platform partnered with some of the most respected learning establishments in the entire world. edX is set to entirely disrupt how we view and access learning, in the same way that Amazon reframed our expectations and experience of retail.

If that wasn’t enough of a draw for Pero, Keni and I, we engaged in countless conversations about HundrED with educators from all over the world. These people either knew of HundrED and hugely admired and respected our work, or were fascinated by the concept and eager to learn more and connect.


Pero Sardzoski and Alex Bell with HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
Alex Bell speaking with The Rt Hon Gordon Brown 

It’s impossible to single out too many of my personal highlights, whilst there are still dozens of connections and conversations ongoing, that have come out of the visit.

However, if I tell you that in the space of one morning, a former UK Prime Minister gave me advice on how to scale my youth-voice work in Malawi (#MZUZUtalksWORLDlistens); a Princess offered to support Pero and I with HundrED’s Youth Ambassador Programme and a NASA astronaut sent a video message to my kids back in London, then you know I’ll be back again at the Yidan Prize next year, connecting and collecting more support for the wonderful work that the HundrED team, innovators and ambassadors do.

Thank you Yidan Prize. Thank you HundrED.

Anyone interested in education and wants to take it to the next level by helping innovations to spread can become a HundrED Ambassador. Find out how to get involved with our global community here.