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 WED movement?

The World Early Childhood Development (WED) Movement is a global platform that focuses on creating and disseminating knowledge for the advancement of Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and beyond.
WED brings together the world’s leading experts, innovators, and disruptors to focus on key themes for discussion and output through its Breakthrough Working Groups (BWGs). These outputs are created as actionable initiatives to positively impact the lives of children and are intended to empower the collective ECD ecosystem.

Why is WED needed?

Creating a Knowledge Hub

WED Movement's vision is to create a more collaborative, innovative, and effective early childhood development sector. It aims to curate and generate an exchange of insights between experts, educators, and community stakeholders that can be shared globally for all to learn from.

Driving Innovative Solutions

The WED Movement aims to guide parents, caregivers, and other community stakeholders through navigating some of the most common obstacles they are facing in the ECD sector.

Building Bridges

WED focuses on connecting a pluri-disciplinary team of global experts and creating innovative networks for change.​

2021 themes

Tech Humanity for Children

WED Movement strives to equip children to meet the challenges related to technology’s evolution, while leveraging technological advances to their fullest potential. The team proposes to move ''from technology determinism to human determinism'', reversing the relationship between little humans and big technology to grow resilient children.

21st Century Lifestyle

The objective of this theme is to respond to lifestyle-related health problems by re-imagining an energetic 21st-century lifestyle around childhood development. To center ourselves, we firmly believe that the child must become the focus of all decisions we make. The vision of our team is therefore to support the holistic development of healthy, active and happy children.

Social Interaction & Emotional Well-Being

Social interaction is the non-negotiable component of optimal social development and overall well-being in children aged 0-8 years. This theme is devised to tackle aspirational approaches and outputs to create a nurturing environment for children's socio-emotional development and extend the scope of social interaction, ensuring that young children are future-ready.

Constituents of WED

The Platform

The WED Movement provides a vibrant space of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in early childhood development

The Platform

Our Experts

Through the Breakthrough Working Groups (BWGs), WED Movement is harnessing the expertise of a multidisciplinary group of local and global experts that includes academics, healthcare practitioners, policy influencers, children’s entertainment specialists, global business leaders, innovators, and technocrats.

Our Partners

WED Movement works in collaboration with key partners, uniting local, regional, and global entities. Our collective goal is to inspire and contribute to the creation of a movement to overcome current and future challenges within the ECD ecosystem.

Our Partners

The Forum

The WED Forum aims to create an interactive conference experience that positions Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) at the forefront of the field of ECD. The event, which is the first of its kind, will not only be a place to devise creative solutions and uncover new research findings. Our main goal is to inspire our stakeholders to be active-change makers across ECD, rallied around clear objectives and solutions.

The Forum

The Platform

The WED Movement provides a vibrant space of creativity, collaboration, and innovation in early childhood development

The Platform

Our Experts

Through the Breakthrough Working Groups (BWGs), WED Movement is harnessing the expertise of a multidisciplinary group of local and global experts that includes academics, healthcare practitioners, policy influencers, children’s entertainment specialists, global business leaders, innovators, and technocrats.

Our Partners

WED Movement works in collaboration with key partners, uniting local, regional, and global entities. Our collective goal is to inspire and contribute to the creation of a movement to overcome current and future challenges within the ECD ecosystem.

Our Partners

The Forum

The WED Forum aims to create an interactive conference experience that positions Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) at the forefront of the field of ECD. The event, which is the first of its kind, will not only be a place to devise creative solutions and uncover new research findings. Our main goal is to inspire our stakeholders to be active-change makers across ECD, rallied around clear objectives and solutions.

The Forum

Breakthrough Working Groups (BWGs)

BWG members are global experts who come from world-renowned institutions and are tackling the most important initiatives related to early childhood development, grounded in the context of our key themes. Follow us on social media to learn about our progress!

To date, the BWGs...

...have held around 110 BWG Team Meetings, 35 Cross-BWG Sessions, more than 60 Formal Stakeholder Interviews, and 10 Knowledge Transfer Sessions as part of their work towards the creation of a series of innovative solutions that promote the holistic, healthy development of Abu Dhabi’s young children.

Each BWG...

...is focused on a unique and important aspect of how children’s mental, physical, and cognitive abilities develop in the earliest years of life, from pregnancy up to the age of eight.

The BWGs are chaired by...

...Cecilia Vaca Jones, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, alongside His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), Co-Chair of the BWGs.

Dr. Michael Rich

Director, Center on Media ​and Child Health, Boston Children's Hospital​

Marco Guadarrama

User Experience at IKEA Group

Dr. Jenny Radesky​

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School

Steve Horowitz

Partner at Alpha Edison

Dr. Phil McRae

Executive Staff Officer and Associate Coordinator, Government-Research with the Alberta Teachers’ Association​

Dr. Saeed Al Dhaheri

Chairman of the Board, Smartworld ​

Dr. Michael Chia

Professor, Nanyang ​Technological University​

Dr. Syed Shah

Associate Professor, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University​

Dr. Hossam Al Tatari

Director of General Paediatrics And Paediatric Infectious Diseases Services, The Heart Medical Centre​

Cristian Fabbi

​Senior Expert - Early childhood care and Education at UNESCO

Dr.Tet Fatt Chia

Chief Scientist, Eco Build Foods​

Dr. Nawal Al Kaabi

Chief Medical Officer at ​Sheikh Khalifa Medical City

Pablo Stansbery

Ex-UNICEF Regional Adviser​ on Early Childhood Development​

Dominic Richardson

Leads Social Policy and Economic Analysis at UNICEF, Office of Research – Innocenti​

Dr. Suha Al-Hassan​

Associate Professor,​ Hashemite University

Dr. Nikki Martyn

Program Head of Early Childhood Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber​

Dr. Karen Kelly

Faculty Member at ​Walden University

Dr. Justin Thomas

Professor of Experimental Psychology,​ Zayed University

Tamsin Greulich-Smith

Director, School of X at DesignSingapore Council

Alice Cahn

Encore Fellowship at Encore/Paterson Alliance​

Naser Al Riyami

Founding Partner, ChangeWorks

Our Partners

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