For these changemakers on Asia’s Most Influential list, changing the world starts with education. And so they have devoted their lives to making education more equitable and improving its systems. Through a global prize, an online edtech platform and a gamification system, students are given more ways to chase after big and bright dreams.
Charles Chen Yidan, Hong Kong
Charles Chen Yidan, co-founder of Chinese technology company Tencent, has dedicated his life to transforming education. In 2016, he established the Yidan Prize, the global award that recognizes individuals or teams who have made positive contributions in two education categories: research and development. Aside from a gold medal, the winners receive a HK$30 million prize (around US$3.9 million)—half in cash and the rest as a fund to expand their initiatives.
“I wanted to set up a platform that would allow the global community to share new ideas and discuss issues related to the current and future development of education and its effect on future generations,” he told Tatler.
Last year’s Yidan Prize laureates include Professor Eric A. Hanushek, whose research has influenced education policy, and Dr Rukmini Banerji, CEO of Pratham Education Foundation. Pratham has partnered with India’s state governments for the Teaching at the Right Level program.
This month, Yidan Prize Foundation, together with Brookings Center for Universal Education, is holding a three-part online series, which will explore emerging topics in education such as the metaverse, refugee education and post-Covid education.