Margaret Hepworth is an author and peace educator. Founder of The Gandhi Experiment, author of The Gandhi Experiment: Teaching Our Teenagers How to Become Global Citizens and creator of Collaborative Debating, Margaret believes in unravelling hate, fear and marginalisation, thus building better futures for our teenagers. Her expertise lies in teenager motivations and behaviours, having thirty years’ experience in secondary teaching. She is also a loving mother of two young adults, James and Darcy.
Margaret became inspired to found The Gandhi Experiment whilst on a trip through India. Whilst meditating in the same place as Gandhi once did at Sabarmati, she was able to consolidate some ideas. She came to realise that she didn’t need to start a new movement, but rather encourage and expand an idea that already exists – teaching global non-violence and mindful global citizenship.
The Gandhi Experiment aims to create peace through Values Education. Her vision of world peace through education is enacted through student conferences, teacher workshops and parent seminars to implement change. Margaret aims to empower teenagers to create better lives for themselves and others by giving them the tools and strategies for non-violence, social cohesion and altruism.
Having put together the ‘Global Citizenship – it starts with us!’ student conference in Melbourne, Margaret, perhaps for the first time, saw a real impact of her work when a student who attended the peace-building workshop wrote her an email. In that email, the student said how in just the span of one day, she was able to change her concept of revenge; she no longer wanted to seek revenge. It showed Margaret, just through that email, how valuable this program is in opening the minds of children. However, Margaret knows that her work has the potential to impact more than just the teenagers she educates. Her ambition would be to see Collaborative Debating, a new framework taking the adversarial nature out of the debate, being embraced by our politicians!
As a mother, Margaret describes her relationship with her children as open and honest, where they discuss everything from the good to the bad. She believes that having humour and being able to create and share those moments of laughter with your kids is a bonding glue in a family. She tells her children, no matter what, you can come and tell me anything! I love you!
For more information about The Gandhi Experiment, head over to Margaret’s website http://www.thegandhiexperiment.com