About us

We are an independent charity that empowers young people to have high-quality discussions about current affairs.

The Economist Educational Foundation was set up from inside The Economist newspaper by staff with a passion for education. 

  • We give teachers resources and training to facilitate inspiring topical discussions in their classrooms.
  • Young people use our innovative online platform to join discussions with peers in different communities, with input from leading topic experts.

These discussions are a powerful way to develop young people’s critical thinking and communication skills, and teach them to apply these to complex real-world issues.

The Economist has been committed to promoting well-informed, open-minded discussions since 1843, but this has never been more important. That’s why we combine The Economist’s 175 years of journalistic expertise with the expertise of teachers. While The Economist always takes a position on the issues it covers, The Economist Educational Foundation does not. We present young people with balanced arguments, diverse perspectives and a range of voices, and we give young people the skills to make up their own minds.

The Foundation started by running exciting one-off news-themed events for children in partnership with Punchdrunk theatre company, but our work soon evolved into more direct work with schools. Our first flagship programme, the Burnet News Club, saw us partner 113 UK state schools and in 2020 we launched a series of free weekly resources and piloted a teacher training course. 

Now, we’re reaching global audiences with our new programme, Topical Talk. It brings together everything we’ve learnt and developed over the past 8 years - robust pedagogy, first-class teacher training and high quality, practical resources. It’s our most flexible and affordable programme yet, allowing us to make an impact on as many young people’s lives as possible.

We’ve grown into an eight-strong team (half of whom are teachers), dedicated to giving ever more young people the skills to think and speak for themselves about the news.

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