Our Founders & Guide

Our Founders

Sir Richard Butler Sir Richard became a social entrepreneur following a distinguished career in international banking with The First Boston Corporation and Blyth, Eastman Dilon, processor US banks of Credit Suisse and the UBS. After learning about the transforming power of the Pestalozzi approach for children from the world’s neediest regions, he led the creation of the PestalozziWorld Villages in Africa and Asia. Over the past five years, he has worked with the founder of Edulution to bring tablet-based education to thousands of rural children and refugees in southern Africa.

Sir and Lady Butler

Lady Diana Butler Lady Butler, the mother of four children and grandmother of seven grandchildren, is a founding Trustee of PetalozziWorld and a mother figure to hundreds of PestalozziWorld children. She founded and for nearly two decades managed the Knightsbridge Nursery School in London.

Our Guide

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746 -1827) was the founder of several educational institutions in Switzerland and wrote many works explaining his revolutionary modern principles of education. He believed in both the ability of every individual human being to learn and in the right of every individual to education.

Pestalozzi was particularly focused on the power of education to help the poor. He was concerned when children in poor communities did not go to school. When they did, the education was often useless for their needs. Pestalozzi sought to provide them with an education that would make them independent and able to improve their own lives.

Pestalozzi believed that such education should develop the powers of ‘Head’, ‘Heart’ and ‘Hands’. In other words, we help children best by putting equal emphasis on character, practical life skills, and cognitive development. He believed that this would help develop independent individuals who know what is right and what is wrong, and who live accordingly.


Thanks to Pestalozzi, illiteracy in 18th-century Switzerland was overcome almost completely by 1830. The Pestalozzi Method was used by a school that Albert Einstein attended. Einstein said, "It made me clearly realize how much superior an education based on free action and personal responsibility is to one relying on outward authority."