Wedu began with a simple belief – that half of all leaders around the world should be women. To start this journey, our co-founders Mario and Mari asked two questions:
“Where can we find women leaders, and what do they need?”
In 2011, the pair traveled to Southeast Asia where they connected with a host of partners and like-minded organisations. Together, they invested in building a future of gender-equal leadership by taking those first symbolic steps. They organised a number of workshops and were greeted by rooms full of enthusiastic women. These women came from unassuming backgrounds, yet they each saw past their immediate circumstances and worked hard towards their visions for self-growth and social change.
Many of the ideas that were explored in these initial workshops were new to the participants, yet there was an undeniable intensity in their hunger for personal and professional development. From dreams of being the first woman from her community to complete a university degree, to combating cultural and societal norms at the highest levels – some of these future changemakers became our very first Rising Stars.