Monthly Archives: May 2016

Curiosita Discussion Forum: 31 May 2016

Graeme Butchart talks about “Conscious Leadership and Recovery of Intuition and Creativity” at Da Vinci Hotel, Sandton ‪#‎Curiosita2016‬

Butchart was born in London to Scottish parents. He grew up in and around London and during the 1960’s. He left school at 15 with little to show for it other than a minor skill in drawing and a passion for football. In 1969 at age 16 half the family immigrated to South Africa.

He studied as an artist and sculptor at the Johannesburg School of Art and with his drawing skill began a career in advertising in the early 1970’s.

As an Art Director in the international agency world, he quickly moved up the ranks to become an award-winning Creative Director, opening his own advertising agency in 1980. Through his career, he worked on accounts such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Nissan, Opel, 702 Radio, Kreepy Krauly, Xerox, Black & Decker, L’Oreal and many more.

Graeme won London International, New York, Clio and Lorie Awards for his creative work and innovative thinking. After selling his agency shares, Graeme worked as a freelancer for a few years before joining one of the early pioneering black agencies, The Agency (for Advertising and Marketing). Here he worked on a number of transformational accounts in the early to mid-1990’s.

During this period, Graeme was responsible for award-winning repositioning campaigns of such accounts as Eskom, SABC, SA Airways, Telkom, SA Post Office and ABSA bank. Graeme was one of the early advertising industry champions developing and fast tracking black creative talent through the ‘Abekwetha Programme’.

Known for his fluid management style where he allowed people to develop, to explore creative avenues and innovative ideas, whilst providing a nurturing yet disciplined environment – Graeme has a reputation for getting the best out of people.

His management and people skills saw him move from Creative Director to Managing Director at The Agency. In 2000 after almost 30 years in advertising – Graeme switched from the advertising world to becoming a life/business coach and educator.

In this role, he is able to help individuals that recognise and choose to achieve meaningful and lasting change in their lives. A quick view of his testimonials page on his website ( will support this claim.

Graeme has written and developed content for institutions such as the AAA School of Advertising, Vega Brand School, IMM, Bond University, Henley Business School and GIBS. He has lectured in ‘Art Direction’, ‘Creative Development’ and ‘Communication’. He also lectures in ‘Creativity and Innovation’ as well as ‘Self Mastery’.

Graeme also ‘gives way’ a great of his expertise to NGO’S and community organisations. He has been involved in promoting democracy through Freedom House (USAID) in the whole sub-Saharan region. Using his experience in political communications.

He also mentors the headmasters and teachers at two township primary schools; Walter Sisulu Primary School in Olievenhoutbosch and Lotus Gardens Primary School Atteridgeville.

Today Graeme is an innovation coach, lecturer, facilitator and speaker and thrives on helping people rediscover the intuitive, creative and communication abilities that he believes are in everyone.

In 2013 Graeme published The Genius Programme a unique workbook that is designed to innovate individuals and business. By freeing old thinking habits individuals can reinvent themselves and begin to achieve the goals and dreams that have evaded them.

The Genius Programme is a practical programme that when engaged successfully shifts the negative and uninspiring habits of thinking that are responsible for the ‘same old’ outcomes. The programme introduces new and empowering behaviours that re-ignite the intuitive creative genius, which resides in everyone. Once these new behaviours are introduced and practised – they become the new operating method – delivering the chosen and desired outcomes for life and business.

The Genius Programme is beginning to be recognised as a very useful, logical and a practical innovation intervention for businesses. Standard Bank has begun incorporating the work into their ‘champions’ development programme. Other corporate and smaller businesses are doing so as well.

Graeme is a member of the National Speakers Association of South Africa conducting talks on innovation and creativity, coaching for success and self-mastery.

He also enjoys accredited memberships with COMENSA South Africa’s Coaching Association.


Da Vinci PhD student, Nqobile Tshabangu, in action at the Curiosita discussion Forum!

His topic of his research is titled “Local labour content policy and the effect on employment relations: A Rudolph and Van Vuuren (Pty) Ltd case study.”

Tshabangu’s research serves to understand the effect that the labour content policy has on various stakeholders, including the employee, employer and community.

Engagement of Academics in the Learning Process Utilising Technology

It is no doubt that technology, over recent years, has transformed the world in which we live. From the seamless integration of technology into our homes with smart television sets and smart mobile phones, to the optimisation of various technologies in improving organisational performance for companies globally.

The world has become more connected than ever before. Organisations now speak the language of globalisation. The limitations created by country borders does not inhibit the forging of business relationships like it used to.

The technology age has not only influenced the way organisations do business or the way people connect with one another. It has also influenced the way in which people learn about and understand the world.

Technology continues to remain disruptive as many higher education institutions strive to be innovative primarily in terms of distance education. (Glen, 2008)

Henderson (2008) highlights this very importance by stating “Technology allows students to become much more engaged in constructing their own knowledge, and cognitive studies show that this/that ability is key to learning success,”

This is further confirmed by Purdue University (2016) “Technology is a powerful tool that can support and transform education in many ways, from making it easier for teachers to create instructional materials to enabling new ways for people to learn and work together.”

The Da Vinci Institute as a private provider of higher education focusses on the cultivation of managerial leaders through business-driven action learning. One of the key attributes of a Da Vinci student is reflected in the 2016 milestone document which reflects that 76% of Da Vinci students are over the age of 35. (Da Vinci Profile, 2016)

These factors, which include the combination of adult learners and distance education, contribute toward the effective integration and implementation of technology in the learners’ learning journey.  

As such, The Da Vinci Institute has leveraged on what already exists and has updated its e-learning management system, Moodle. The upgrade has been of great benefit to Da Vinci students by improving communication, functionality and navigation and overall aesthetic design of the system.

The e-learning management system allows Da Vinci staff to distribute a Short Message Service (SMS) to students relaying important communication such as reminders for assignment submissions and workshop days (Moodle guide, 2015).

Further to these improvements, is the inclusion of Faculty on the e-learning management system which serves to promote ongoing engagement between the facilitator and the respective cohort which they have facilitated.

Facilitators introduce themselves to the cohort of learners via Moodle and provide relevant articles pertaining to the subject matter, prior to the workshop taking place.
This engagement is two-fold in terms of benefit, as it invites the learner to engage with the subject matter in order to receive some understanding before the workshop.

The facilitator then engages with the learners again after the workshop sending them further articles related to their workshop discussions. These articles are often aligned in terms of the learning outcomes of the assignment deliverables.

The engagement between the facilitator and learner becomes one of a closer relationship as the learner now feels supported and recognised in an individual capacity.

Pat Roper, a Faculty member of Da Vinci, in referring to her facilitating experience utilising technology stated “I think it is a great idea that we are engaging with students via technology.”

Roper further added to her statement “I found the system is easy and user friendly. I didn’t have any challenges.  It keeps us up to date with technology, have information at our finger tips and it can save on unnecessary printing.”

Contrary to this statement, Biddie Biddulph, facilitator at Da Vinci offered his view in utilising Moodle as a communication tool to students. “These new platforms will disrupt the higher education system as Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. So, in this context, one has to view what Moodle brings to students and faculty at Da Vinci.”

Biddulph further added “I found that I did not get responses from students on Moodle, maybe which is not what they are supposed to do. I rather get students sending me WhatsApp messages, and this maybe shows how prevalent the social media applications are with the younger generation.

Biddulph concluded his thoughts by saying “I think Moodle does what it is supposed to do, but it may be wise for Da Vinci to research very diligently the new platforms in this space.”

This statement was supported by another Da Vinci facilitator, Mark Fuller, who also engaged with students via Moodle however felt that there was a lack of two-way communication received from the students.

Fuller also stated that WhatsApp communication amongst students creates open communication, with students sharing pictures of diagrams and relevant links to their peers.

A study in 2015 conducted by Walters, Hanekom, Strydom, Simons (2015) highlights that “learning is inherently social, and that even if clear rules of engagement are set up, the formal is embedded and supported in the social learning process. WhatsApp has the potential to create collective, supportive, collaborative communities of practice.”
In addition to Moodle as a technology learning tool, Da Vinci has also started utilising Smart Boards. A Smart Board is an interactive white board that, through innovative software, allows the facilitator to engage with the learner through collaboration.

Greg Tosen, Head of Department for the Management of Technology, provided feedback on his experience “Overall a great tool for Da Vinci and I cannot understand why it has not been used earlier. It is certainly an asset and I would suggest that the Smart Board becomes the norm for all modules.”

The Da Vinci Institute is progressing increasingly toward achieving its ambition statements, which is to protect what we have, leverage our strengths and dabble in the future.

In conclusion, Da Vinci is protecting what we have which is our students. The strengths of The Institute is in managing technology and innovation in the cultivation of managerial leaders.

The culmination of these factors are made easier through the exploration into the future and providing a technological experience for both faculty and learners to assist them in co-creating new workplace realities.

Whilst Da Vinci has shown great progression in this regard, the question one needs to ask is what is the future of higher education in the context of trending technology, and how can Da Vinci leverage on this technology?
Storm Thomas
Communications Manager: The Da Vinci Institute
12 May 2016

Author unknown. 2016. How Has Technology Changed Education? | Purdue University Online. How Has Technology Changed Education? | Purdue University Online. [ONLINE] Available at:
[Accessed 13 May 2016].
Author unknown. 2008. The future of higher education: How technology will shape learning. [ONLINE] Available at: 
[Accessed 13 May 2016].
Author unknown. 2016. E-Learning Challenges Faced by Academics in Higher Education. [ONLINE] Available at: 
[Accessed 16 May 2016].
Walters, S., Hanekom, P., Strydom, S., Simons, S. – 2016.  Crossing Boundaries: Lecturers’ Perspectives On The Use Of Whatsapp To Support Teaching And Learning In Higher Education. [ONLINE] Available at:

[Accessed 13 May 2016].

Dr Moeketsi Letseka, Educational Specialist on Da Vinci Council obtains his Doctorate

With only a year and few months shy of my 60th birthday, I recently graduated with a Doctor of Education (D.Ed.) degree in Philosophy of Education at UNISA on Wednesday 11 May 2016. What makes this Doctorate special is that I published thirteen (13) articles from the thesis over a period of three years.

But there’s more. I submitted a 16-chapter [300+ pages] book manuscript I’m editing at Nova Science Publishers in New York at the end of January. Five days later on 5 February 2016 I submitted my 315-page doctoral thesis for external examination.

As I write this short message to Da Vinci I’m busy polishing proofs of the above-mentioned book, my second volume in the trilogy on open distance learning (ODL) to which I’m contracted to Nova. This second volume is titled Open Distance Learning (ODL) through the Philosophy of Ubuntu (Nova Science Publishers: New York). The book is slated for publication during June-July 2016.

At the end of this month – May 2016 I’ll be submitting the manuscript for the third and final volume of the trilogy on ODL – Assuring Institutional Quality in Open Distance Learning (ODL) in the Developing Contexts ( Nova Science Publishers: New York), which I’m editing with Prof Victor Pitsoe (UNSA) and Dr Ruth Aluko (University of Pretoria).

The book is scheduled to be out of the press in September 2016. The two books above are a sequel to the first volume, Open Distance Learning (ODL) in South Africa (Nova Science Publishers: New York, 2015), which was launched in June 2015 at UNISA. Prof Bennie Anderson and Mr Storm Thomas of Da Vinci were invited guests for the launch.

People around me are curious as to how I’m able to do all these things. They ask whether I’m married? On 8 May 2016 my wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary. Others wonder whether I actually have a life? Whether I have time for family – my wife, our two sons, and grandchildren? My answer is a simple and unequivocal ‘Yes’. I have a rich and rewarding life. I spend a lot of quality time with my wife, our two sons aged 34 and 31. But most importantly with our two grandchildren.

The difference is, I’m passionate about my scholarship – as a National Research Foundation (NRF) grant holder and Principal Investigator of the study on Ubuntu that spans Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and in six (6) provinces in South Africa (Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West).

I’m highly driven in my endeavors as a scholar who travels widely to present research papers at international conferences and publish my work in international peer reviewed scholarly journals; as a writer (author) of books; as a Director and Executive Manager of UNISA Press, and as a mentor of young, black, women and emergent scholars at UNISA and in Southern Africa.

I manage all these through detailed and meticulous planning and time management. But I also surround myself with teams of people who share my vision and aspire to be a part of the footprints, or legacy I want to leave behind – from my personal assistant (PA), my team of administrators, my team of scholars and researchers, and the most important person of all, my lovely wife, who is also my dearest friend and research fellow.

Dr Moeketsi Letseka, Prof RMH Moeketsi, Prof Benjamin Anderson
at the Unisa Graduation (11 May 2016)

Copy of Dr Moeketsi’s book: Open Distance Learning (ODL) through the Philosophy of Ubuntu

Do you know what qualifications Da Vinci offer?

Da Vinci’s academic programme offerings 

PhD programme

In the PhD programme (NQF Level 10), aimed at senior managers and executives, candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to develop new concepts that will significantly improve their organisations and the social system at large.
Masters programme
The MSc programme (NQF Level 9), is based both on modular work and a dissertation. Candidates are expected to utilise their newly acquired knowledge and skills related to the Management of Technology, Innovation, People and Systems to solve a work-related challenge.
Bachelor’s programme
The Bachelor of Commerce (Business Management) degree (NQF Level 7), expects candidates to gain an understanding of their own working environment and identify performance challenges facing their own organisations and create solutions to solve these challenges.
Diploma programme
The Diploma programme (NQF Level 6), is aimed at developing people who have been earmarked for middle management positions within their organisation. Candidates are provided with the basic concepts relating to the Management of Technology, Innovation, People and Systems. They are also required to complete a research project as part of their programme.
Certificate programme
The Certificate programme (NQF Level 5), is aimed at developing people who have been earmarked for junior management positions within their organisation. Candidates are provided with the basic concepts relating to the Management of Technology, Innovation, People and Systems.
For more information on any of these programmes, email or phone 011 608 1331