The LEGO® Prize

Since 1985, the LEGO® Prize has been awarded to individuals or organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of children and are champions of learning through play. The prize is accompanied by a cash award of USD 100,000 to support the further development of the work of the award-winning individual or organisation.

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D

The Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Graduate School of Education; Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital; and Director of Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child.

Awarded for his outstanding achievement in deepening the world’s understanding of the importance of the early years. He has raised awareness about how young children’s brains develop and about the critical role that parents and caregivers play in supporting and nurturing their children’s growth and learning. He has educated, inspired and motivated the world to think differently about young children and what they need to thrive.

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed

Founder and Chairperson of BRAC, the world’s largest NGO operating in 11 countries across Asia and Africa. Established in 1972, BRAC has always been dedicated to alleviating poverty and empowering the poor. Awarded for his tireless efforts to positively impact the lives of children and ensure they grow, learn and develop the skills needed to thrive and reach their full potential.

Pasi Sahlberg
Winner 2016

Finnish educator, author and scholar. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland and has studied education systems and reforms around the world.  Awarded for his many years of dedication to improve the lives of children around the world through rigorous studies and actively championing educational improvements. Pasi Sahlberg’s tireless efforts and thought leadership has undoubtedly impacted the way the world thinks about quality education today.

Carla Rinaldi
Winner 2015

President of Reggio Children and Professor at the Modena-Reggio University, Faculty of Education. Awarded for her ability to effectively communicate the importance of child-centred early learning over several decades. In 1971, Carla Rinaldi started working as a pedagogista with the municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools of Reggio Emilia. She has been a pedagogical consultant for Reggio Children since 1994, supporting all Reggio Children initiatives.

Johann Koss
Winner 2013

President and CEO, Right To Play International. Awarded for the impact he has had on children’s lives through sport and play. Founded in 2000, Right To Play reaches one million children through weekly play activities across more than 20 countries. The organization’s programs are designed to respond to the needs of the communities where it operates, and use specially-designed games and play-based learning activities to help children build the essential life skills that will help them better their futures and drive lasting social change.

Sir Ken Robinson
Winner 2011

Author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies. Awarded for his strong opinions on creativity, innovation and education. Through the years Sir Ken Robinson has advocated that schools and teachers throughout the world should inspire creativity in children and his mission is: to change the way the world’s children are taught. Partly by urging schools and teachers to recognise to an increasing degree a multitude of intelligences and skills among children and to ensure that the focus in education is on creativity, not rote learning.

Recipients before 2011

  • 2010 | Nicolas Negroponte, USA
    for his One Laptop per Child project
  • 2008 | Dean Kamen, USA
    for his passionate commitment to the non‑profit organisation FIRST
  • 1997 | Papalote – Museo del Niño, MEX
    for expanding the Papalote activities outside Mexico City
  • 1996 | Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, USA
    for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for incurably ill children, in Conneticut
  • 1995 | Su-Nam Kin and SaekDong Organisation, Korea
    for popularizing recitals and story-telling in Korea
  • 1994 | Norbert Radermacher, D
    for their work with children’s theater
  • 1994 | Folker Tegtthoff, A
    for using fairy tales in teaching
  • 1993 | Jean-Claude Brès, CH
    for “Ecole Active de Malagnou”, their work on education and development
  • 1993 | Vekerdy Tamás, H
    for establishing an independent school, teaching Rudolf Steiner
  • 1992 | Loris Malaguzzi, I
    for the Reggio Emilia educational methods for pre-school children
  • 1992 | “luventa”, SK
    for a children´s farm and an outdoor play area
  • 1991 | “Children’s Centre of Rest and Sport”, P
    for a holiday camp for children escaping polluted urban air
  • 1991 | John Feierabend, USA
    for providing scholarships for students at the Hartt School of Music, Hartford University
  • 1990 | “Assiciacão Santa Teresinha”, BRA
    for rebuilding and improving a boarding school for orphaned children in São Paulo
  • 1990 | Julemærke Kommiteen, DK
    for maintenance and improvements of the four “Julemærkehjem”
  • 1989 | Mario Lodi, I
    for pioneer and educationalist to establish “Casa della Arti e del Gioco” in Padana
  • 1989 | Rafael and Alla Goldin, N
    for equipping the top floor of Barnkunstmuseum in Oslo.
  • 1989 | “Aktion Friedensdorf”, G
    for establishing a workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan manufacturing artificial arms and legs to children, injured in the war
    1988 | Ecole d´Humanité, CH
  • for rebuilding of international educational centr
  • 1988 | Alberto Muñíz Sánchez, S
    for artist, circus expert and educationalist to extend his school town (CEMU)
  • 1987 | Børns Vilkår, DK
    for setting up a children’s telephone – a free hotline
  • 1987 | Francoise Dolto, F
    for the centre for deaf children and a project for families near Paris
  • 1987 | Werner Otto Institute, D
    for equipment to be used in its work with children suffering from epilepsy
  • 1986 | Astrid Lindgren Foundation “Solkatten”, S
    for a complete catalogue of children´s literature of the past 400 years
  • 1986 | Bruno Munari, I
    Italian designer and educator to buy video equipment to support research on children´s creativity
  • 1985 | Save the Children, UK
    for the School for handicapped in Khemisset in Marocco and “Trinity House” Family Centre, Manchester