We are a 'glocal' Early Childhood Development (ECD) Movement, preparing children for a better future.

The WED Movement promotes innovation through its work with ECD experts from around the world, uniting their focus on the children of Abu Dhabi and its early childhood development ecosystem.

What is World Early Childhood Development (WED) Movement?

WED is a visionary movement that unites the UAE with global multi-disciplinary experts, partners and disruptors driving innovation and advocacy, to catalyze cross sectoral collaboration for early childhood development (ECD).

Future challenges and opportunities faced by young children in Abu Dhabi and around the world are tackled through the creation and implementation of innovative outputs and knowledge co-creation led by WED’s multi-disciplinary experts.

HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of International Cooperation is the official WED Chair. Her Excellency’s influence and capability to spearhead actionable outcomes will pave the way for a narrative shift, placing early childhood development at the forefront of local and international agendas. Her appointment signifies a crucial step in the movement towards securing a brighter, more equitable future for all young children.

Why is WED needed?

Tackle Pressing Challenges

Children face challenges related to their cultural identity, health and interpersonal relationships. For example, in 2022, 17% of UAE children between 5-17-years old were considered obese, while all Emirati children are being exposed to high air pollution levels over 18 times the WHO guideline value. WED in its second edition aims to create innovative outputs across all these areas.

Fostering Advocacy and Collaboration

The best outputs come from acting with common purpose. WED Movement facilitates dialogue, knowledge exchange, and action, bringing together thought leaders and stakeholders who can turn ideas into outputs while also advocating for the creation of better policies and greater financial support for child centric ECD.

Create and Disseminate Knowledge

ECD initiatives must be based on evidence and real-life circumstances to be effective. Better data gathering and dissemination across the ecosystem strengthens the entire ECD sector, and WED is dedicated to creating the right conditions for the co-creation of knowledge for cross sectoral impact.

2024 Themes

Intentional Parenting

Intentional Parenting theme aims to empower parents in their journey of raising young children by fostering their holistic development. This theme provides support that spans across all stages of a child's growth. It delves into the creation of positive parenting and caregiving behaviors while prioritizing the well-being of children in both online and offline environments.

Culture and Identity

Culture and Identity theme aims to empower children to preserve and celebrate the rich culture and identity of the UAE. It emphasizes the importance of fostering social cohesion and nurturing a strong sense of belonging among children. This theme places emphasis on shared values, embracing cultural diversity, and promoting the Emirati identity on a global scale.

Sustainable and Family Friendly Cities

Theme of Sustainable and Family-friendly Cities seeks to revolutionize the approach to urban planning and design by placing children at the center, thereby fostering healthy development and promoting social cohesion. Its aims include connecting children with nature, integrating technology harmoniously within the environment, cultivating sustainable habits to minimize carbon footprint, and building resilience to climate change.

Constituents of WED

The Mission

WED movement aims to unite multi-disciplinary experts from across the UAE and the globe. The goal is to envision a world where young children can flourish in healthy, safe, and stimulating environments.

The Mission

Our Experts

In collaboration with our multi-disciplinary experts, partners and disruptors, WED aims to drive collaborative, innovative, and effective work in the Early Childhood Development sector in the UAE and globally.

Our Experts

Our Partners

Alongside multi-disciplinary experts, WED works with partners who share our passion for integrating ECD into every element of society. These include local, regional and global entities whose ideals align with WED Movement, lending their influence and resources for faster, more strategic implementations.

Our Partners

WED Forum

The bi-annual WED Forum serves as a platform for policymakers, experts, practitioners, and stakeholders from across sectors to explore ECD trends. It also showcases its innovative outcomes, detailing current and upcoming strategies, policies, pilots and outputs, increasing transparency and driving meaningful impacts.

WED Forum

The Mission

WED movement aims to unite multi-disciplinary experts from across the UAE and the globe. The goal is to envision a world where young children can flourish in healthy, safe, and stimulating environments.

The Mission

Our Experts

In collaboration with our multi-disciplinary experts, partners and disruptors, WED aims to drive collaborative, innovative, and effective work in the Early Childhood Development sector in the UAE and globally.

Our Experts

Our Partners

Alongside multi-disciplinary experts, WED works with partners who share our passion for integrating ECD into every element of society. These include local, regional and global entities whose ideals align with WED Movement, lending their influence and resources for faster, more strategic implementations.

Our Partners

WED Forum

The bi-annual WED Forum serves as a platform for policymakers, experts, practitioners, and stakeholders from across sectors to explore ECD trends. It also showcases its innovative outcomes, detailing current and upcoming strategies, policies, pilots and outputs, increasing transparency and driving meaningful impacts.

WED Forum

Multi-Disciplinary Experts

WED engages multi-disciplinary experts in furtherance of its mission. Comprising tech innovators, entrepreneurs, creatives, and early childhood development specialists, this diverse group of individuals employ an unconventional approach, enabling us to innovate and confront the most important challenges facing children today.

WED Chair

HE Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and Chairperson of Dubai Cares.

Cecilia Vaca Jones

ECD Senior Counsel and Chair Focal Point (Ecuador)

Dr. Mary Young

ECD Senior Counsel (China)

Ondine Bullot

Intentional Parenting Expert (France)

Tina Sweis

Founder of Troytopia (Jordan)

Parc Sen Loke

Head of Programmes & Development at the Centre for Fathering (Singapore)

Sridevi Raghavan

Intentional Parenting Expert (France)

Alessandra Schneider

Intentional Parenting Expert (Brazil)

Dr. Michele Borba

Intentional Parenting Expert and Special Guest (USA)

Hanan Aldarmaki

Culture and Identity Expert (UAE)

Nancy Marheb

Senior ECD Expert at Early Childhood Authority (UAE)

Marcela Sabino

Culture and Identity Expert (Brazil)

Taghrid Al Saeed

Sustainable and Family Friendly Cities Expert (UAE)

Samuel Veissiere

Anthropologist and Psychosocial Clinician at CIUSSS West-Central Montreal (Canada)

Anieke Lamers

Founder and CEO of Amsterdam-based Peekabond (Netherlands)

Dr. Sara Candiracci

Sustainable and Family Friendly Cities Expert (Itay)

Reem Al Mansouri

Partner at Bani and AI Culture (UAE)

Safeya Al Jaafari

Sustainable and Family Friendly Cities Expert (UAE)

Natalia Krysiak

Founder of Cities for Play and Associate Architect at Hayball (Australia)

Fatima Al Awadhi

Urban Design Specialist at Department of Municipalities & Transport (UAE)

Sophia Schuff

Urban Anthropologist and Team Director at Gehl (Denmark)

Carmel McConnell MBE

Invited Guest (UK)

Andre Shearer

Invited Guest (South Africa)

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