Aldo speaks to HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands about why she feels education is in dire need of a radical rethink. A passionate plea to create genuine equality between child & teacher, stepping away from tests & exams and aiming to achieve measurable progress through the process of ‘shared learning’. Guest Introduction:
When my next guest joined the Dutch Royal family through her marriage with Prince Constantijn in 2001, it very soon became apparent to the Dutch people that this Princess was not only here for the ribbon cutting formalities but keen to make a positive difference in any way she possibly could.
From nature & wildlife preservation, circular economies to Education. This ‘Power Princess’ is here to get some work done.
In 2004 she founded the Stichting Lezen & Schrijven (freely translated Foundation for Reading & Writing) to effectively attack the public secret of illiteracy ongoing in her country. 17 years later this organisation has had a tremendous impact notably having supported tens of thousands of people from all corners of the Netherlands to make reading and writing accessible to all.
Her activism to improve the state of education and the environment did not stop there. As a Special Envoy for UNESCO on Literacy and Development and as a Literacy Expert for the High Commission of the European Union to ensure changes could be realised on a top-down level.
But also through starting admirable initiatives like Missing Chapter to specifically help children become more aware of societal problems at hand.
There are simply too many accolades, chairships and patronages to mention so I won’t go through all of them but very worthy of looking at are the series of books Princess Laurentien has written to increase a child’s understanding on sustainability and the environment around the character Mr. Finney, as well as her fairy tale writing skills that she deployed with other renowned Dutch children’s book writers.
Seemingly Princess Laurentien can do it all. Raising awareness, funds and connecting people to find a solution for topics that matter. And that she wasn’t anywhere near done, became clear when she founded the Number Five Foundation in 2017 together with her husband to find an answer to the big questions that require our attention today:
The team at Number 5 are here to make a strategic difference and to create a positive impact way by connecting the right people with each other - they have already worked on many assignments but one project that caught my attention is :
The creation of an Alliance on Digital Togetherness involving key players from both private as well as public world to better understand all the changes that come along as we develop further into this Digital Era.
The Number Five Foundation keeps an open mind in which equality is its highest value and has carefully integrated the UN’s Millennium Development Goals into its DNA.
Lots of work to be done led by a Princess who is more than ready to rumble!
You can check out the website of the Number Five Foundation here: https://www.numberfive.community