Children’s participation in business decision-making

WEBINAR II: Children’s participation in business decision-making: Safeguarding aspects

On Monday May 4, Global Child Forum held a free Zoom webinar on how to address children´s participation in business decision making.

Business impacts children and young people in many ways but seldom do businesses directly engage with them on the issues that impact them the most. Children and young people have a right to participate in decisions that affect them. Yet, they are often relegated to the side-lines and excluded from having a say in decisions that will affect them.

Imagine how listening and learning from children could inform better business decision-making. Ethical product development. Safer and smarter services. Healthier communities.

Children’s views can inform how businesses work with their suppliers, how they structure their operations and how they develop their products and services. They are critical thinkers, change makers, communicators, innovators and future leaders. Shouldn’t we be listening?

The webinar offered real-life examples from companies that have involved children in decision-making and their lessons learned. It also provided a particular focus on safeguarding; how to ensure children’s well-being when engaging in these activities?

This webinar was the second in a series of webinars on children’s participation, where we continue to explore the topic together with companies. 

The webinar covered:

  • A brief update from the children’s participation research project
  • Real-life examples from companies that have incorporated children’s participation in their business; what were the challenges and lessons learned?
  • Key considerations in regard to safeguarding; how to ensure children’s well-being when engaging in these activities?



Tara M. Collins

Associate Professor in the School of Child & Youth Care at Ryerson University in Canada

Tara M. Collins is Associate Professor in the School of Child & Youth Care at Ryerson University in Canada. She is also faculty with Ryerson’s graduate programs on Immigration & Settlement Studies, Early Childhood Studies, and Policy Studies. She is Honorary Associate Professor, Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town. She has a Ph.D. from the University of London. Her professional experience includes work for: universities in Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and Ireland; Canadian federal government (Department of Foreign Affairs and CIDA) and Parliament; and a non-governmental organization. Research interests include child and youth participation, protection, play, business, and rights-based approaches. For more details, see

Maryse Hazelzet

Sustainability and CSR Advisor, the Dutch Banking Association

Maryse Hazelzet is an advisor on sustainability and CSR for the Dutch Banking Association. She works on human rights, climate change, and the Sustainable Development Goals. She coordinates the secretariat of the Dutch Climate Commitment Financial Sector and the banks in the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement regarding human rights. Maryse Hazelzet holds a LL.M degree in Public International Law from Leiden University. She has previous experience in researching children’s rights and used to work for the Child Law department of Leiden University.

Dr Christina McMellon

Senior Research Fellow at University of Edinburgh

Dr Christina McMellon is a Senior Research Fellow working at both University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow, specialising in participatory research with young people, families and communities. Christina has a professional background in Community Education and a PhD in Social Policy from University of Edinburgh.

Heddy Ring

Sustainability manager, Children’s Rights lead, Telia Company

Heddy Ring is responsible for the Children’s Rights responsible business focus area for Telia Company. She coordinates, develops and reports on the Children’s Rights focus area across Telia’s footprint in Nordics and Baltics to protect and empower children. This includes continuously assessing impacts on children’s rights in relevant business activities, providing tools for customers and employees to support children’s rights as well as actively contributing to relevant organisations and initiatives related to supporting children’s rights. She also leads the Children’s Advisory Panel, a Telia Company initiative that has engaged about 3,000 children in 7 countries, in order to better under­stand children’s own perspectives of online and digital aspects of life by listening to them through qualitative co-creative methods. Heddy Ring has more than 20 years experience from telecommunications, energy and banking sectors working on sustainability, diversity and equal rights as well as communication and sponsorships.

Kay Tisdall

Professor of Childhood Policy, MHSES University of Edinburgh

Kay Tisdall is Professor of Childhood Policy, MHSES University of Edinburgh. She is part of the Childhood & Youth Studies Research Group, with a background in law and the social sciences. She has policy and academic interests in promoting children and young people’s participation rights, working across such fields as sports, data citizenship, family law and education on this topic. In collaboration with children, young people and adults, she has undertaken this work within the UK and with cross-national partners in such countries as Brazil, Canada, Columbia, India and South Africa. For more information, please see

Nina Vollmer

Research Manager, Global Child Forum (Moderator)

As Research Manager, Nina’s main area of responsibility is to lead and develop the work on the Corporate Benchmark Studies on children’s rights that Global Child Forum produces in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group. In addition to this work, she also takes on other research projects and works on developing the content/inviting speakers for Forums and events. She has previously worked at the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, the Swedish Teacher’s Union, the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation – SweFOR in Colombia and SonyEricsson. She has also held the voluntary position of group secretary for Amnesty Business Group Sweden and been a member of the Board of Directors at Amnesty Sweden. She has a Master’s Degree in Political Science with a focus on human rights and development from Lund University in Sweden. Nina joined Global Child Forum in 2015.

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