Laidlaw Conference 2022

​A room for useful documents and relevant discussions about the 2020 Laidlaw Conference at LSE and Tufts.
Oct 17, 2022

Mental Health and Anxiety - Group LiA Proposal

Background  Mental Health is a global matter affecting each and every one of us. So why is it that none of the LiA projects focus on such an important topic? We wish to break down the barriers and make talking about one's mental health and wellbeing, a common conversation for all. With it recently being Mental Health Awareness week, there's never been a better time to start the discussion. We believe that this project would not only have a positive impact on those receiving the education but allow for Laidlaw Scholars to gain a deeper understanding of how to look after their own mental health. We discussed how early education about emotional intelligence, self-care techniques and the importance of opening up should be a priority. By impacting the younger generation, they will have a reduced likelihood of developing future mental health conditions by being aware of this from an early age. We discussed regarding which population group we could have the greatest impact on and identified that this was school children and their parents. As we found that the younger generation are more open to new ideas and change, being more likely to create the conversation with their friends and family. Why should we wait till adulthood for the discussion to be started when people could have accessed the help and treatment they needed at an earlier stage? Problem  The problem we wish to address is 'Increasing accessibility to mental health resources for children and their parents/carers within secondary school (around ages 11-18)'. Why is it important? It is important to educate children at a younger age on mental health problems and address the generational barrier by including parents within the project. We wish to encourage them to practice introspection and empower them to communicate their needs. The Perfect LiA Laidlaw Scholars as project managers in creating educational resources and workshops and delivering them with support from the NGO/Charity selected. We believe this can be implemented within the UK and any other country worldwide (in agreement with a charity found suitable). Dependent upon the school location, this project could be implemented within June/July time due to the time period of summer holidays (if within the UK). Or the project could be created within the UK alongside the NGO for the first 2 weeks of the LiA period and then implemented within an international country (similar to the make_sense approach of 2 weeks in one's home country (online/in-person), 4 weeks in the country implementing programme).  Week 1: Researching and Training  RESEARCHING: - Scholar discussion of programme ideas - Discussion regarding engagement techniques for younger students  - Creating material that is accessible to all (Equality and Diversity -> disabilities, LGBTQ+, cultural aspects) TRAINING: - Design thinking training/technique adopted by make_sense -> example - Mental Health Training for the Scholars provided by professionals from the NGOs/Charities Week 2: Building the Program and Training  - Putting the research into action - testing prototypes, looking to see if these projects have worked in the past and if not, how can we adapt it before implementing within schools. Week 3-5: Implementing Project  - Interactive Workshops with school and parents - Even workshops for teachers to enable them to continue this practice within their PSHE lessons (Personal, social, health and economic education) * ideas scholars could think about* Week 6: Continue Implementation, Close the Project & Evaluate  - Close the project for the scholars, celebration event for their achievements  - Pass on the materials to the NGO to continue this programme through their organisation and for future years of the LiA - Evaluate progress made, improvements, how can continue involvement (if wish to) Potential to be a volunteering scheme that once created by the scholars could be carried on within their NGO and done on a montly basis within different regions across a company in collaboration with volunteers (e.g. could be university students and shared within nearby universities to encourage involvement) Partnerships Some of the partners we had in mind included: - Laidlaw Schools Trust  - NGOs/Charities -> Mind/Young Minds/SANE/PAPYRUS/Nightline/Rethink Mental Illness/Mermaids [This will vary dependent upon location chosen] Proposal Our proposal to these organisations is to host a selection of scholars (amount dependent upon discussion with NGO) for the six-week Leadership in Action period, providing students with mental health training and teaching training to support them during the project delivery.  Laidlaw Scholars will  be paired with an NGO to create material and deliver within schools across a region - could be a different school each week etc. Who could/should own this from a university/scholar perspective? We believe that it should be either owned by the Laidlaw Team (if in collaboration with Laidlaw Schools Trust) or the NGO directly. What is the ask of the foundation? To build a partnership with potential NGOs to carry out this project - emphasising what skills scholars could bring to the NGO to encourage collaboration. (International charities for UK scholars. Two schemes e.g. UK based NGO and an international one) Funding for international travel if needed/Covered by the stipend. I am happy to collaborate within this project creation further, if this is selected. If you have any comments/questions regarding our proposal, feel free to email me at

Accessibility of Laidlaw Scholars Leadership and Research Programme

The problem we are looking at is the lack of accessibility for the (central) Leadership in Action projects Why is this issue the most important? It's important to be inclusive towards the scholars as well as the community we help. If a person cannot be included in a project then it is unlikely to be challenging them in the right way. People need to feel comfortable and supported in their new environment; it's the idea of practising what you preach. Everyone should be given the same opportunity to experience their Laidlaw Scholarship to the full. What would the perfect Leadership in Action project look like? Firstly, the accessibility needs and skills of every scholar needs to be assessed. By this, we mean that scholars should be listened to when they disclose their access needs and LiAs should be respected and accommodated. The issues of Human Rights, safety, security, and legal compliance should be thoroughly researched before and during LiAs.  Secondly, thorough supervision is vital to the success of an LiA. A supervisor should: 1. Provide welfare support 2. Provide technical project support 3. Provide local, contextual, and cultural guidance Thirdly, the necessity to travel abroad should be removed and instead broaden the requirement to moving to a new environment instead. Therefore, it would make sense to provide more UK-based opportunities to utilise the local expertise of scholars and address the needs of the local community. These can be more relevant to the scholars. Fourthly, we need to make sure that LiAs are financial accessibility for all scholars. This should be implemented in the following ways: 1. Provide transparent outline of additional costs for the LiAs 2. Provide a fund for additional costs 3. Provide opportunity to rent equipment instead of buying new and expensive equipment.  Finally, the definition leadership should allow to explore multiple facets of leadership to foster discovery of personal leadership definition and identity.  We also need to make sure that all projects are sustainable and the environmental impacts of LiAs. This should be implemented across the Foundation. It is much easier to implement these to existing projects rather than creating new projects.
Oct 16, 2022

Individualism and Tribalism: Group LiA Proposal

Laidlaw Scholars UK Conference Group LiA Proposal: Individualism and Tribalism Sunday, October 16 Background Our discussions focused on the innate tensions between the terms ‘tribalism’ and ‘individualism.’ Yet, we also came to the conclusion that they are not mutually exclusive ideas: one can be an individual within a tribe, and a tribe is composed of individuals. As such, our project focuses on bridging the gap between groups that may be excluded from society, finding ways for communities to work together through any perceived differences. Proposal The Leadership in Action project that we chose to create is a community-oriented sports program that brings together excluded or potentially opposing groups in society. Although our discussions focused on issues facing refugees in communities, other potential groups could be certain ethnic communities, youth groups, sex workers, and others. Why is it the most important one to address? This is something we can have an impact on on a small scale, which can both make a tangible impact in a specific community while also having a ripple effect on the broader community – individuals’ families, cultures, and networks. As such, it is manageable to do as an individual and would be an educational opportunity for the individual scholar. A more stable community creates a more stable world order. Finally, this project does not aim to change a culture but rather to work with an existing organization as a liaison between communities. What would a good LiA look like? The goal is bringing together distinct groups together through sports, despite their tensions. A strong Leadership in Action project to address these issues would provide an avenue for sports teams to be created and to play matches against each other in good spirit. Who is already in the space with whom we might partner? We believe such a project would be most effective if the scholar works with an existing organization, whether this be with youth, refugees, sex workers, or any other marginalized or excluded groups. With this flexibility, the scholar could choose to work with an organization in any location they are interested in, have ties to, or want to get involved: from their hometown or school to across the world. This proposal allows for scholars to find an organization to partner with, but several suggestions we have come up with are:  Integration of Refugees Through Sport, an international networking platform for various groups that work with refugees. Windle International Kenya, an organization in Kenya that works with communities Peace Players What is our proposal to them? Our proposal to these organizations is to host one or several scholars for the six-week Leadership in Action period, providing students with training and mentorship to support them during the project. It should be noted that the student should, themselves, be committed to the project and to researching and understanding the communities they entered. What is the ask of the Foundation? We would ask for the Foundation to partner with several existing organizations and to provide the following resources for scholars: individual materials for football matches training funding cultural background research coach, if needed

About this room

Thank you very much for attending the 2022 Laidlaw Conference at London School of Economics and Tufts University! Please check this room for useful documents, such as the conference programme, and relevant updates. 

See you there!