At Da Vinci, we believe that action learning comes in many shapes and facets and we do not believe in binding down any form of management that can be developed, albeit in a workshop or on a stage and we place great value on artistic expression as much as we do on business science. Despite having faced adverse operating conditions during the economic downturn, the Gauteng Opera, an opera production company, formally known as The Black Tie Ensemble, founded in 1999 by legendary soprano diva, Mimi Coertse, continues to develop performers from disadvantaged communities and showcasing them on both South African and international stages. Such an organisation cannot rely on its performing talent alone and the running of the production company is met with organisational challenges as any other business. Da Vinci also looks at the balanced needs of its students and in light of this we are proud sponsors of not only two very talented GAUTENG OPERA Tenors but we have also provided a bursary for a Master’s Programme (MOTI) to Gauteng Opera’ artistic director. The approach remains in an action learning framework in that this qualification will require the student to apply his knowledge in the Gauteng Opera Production Company.
The Institute is proud to be involved with the ‘I Was Shot in Johannesburg’ Initiative that provides a platform for youth at risk to learn skills and generate an income. The Iwasshot FOUNDATION is a direct assault on homelessness. The Iwasshot FOUNDATION provides Skills Development Programmes, with photography as the medium, to children living on the streets of our Urban Centres. The Foundation is a non-profit, non-government organisation aimed at strengthening the potential of individual lives – educating, recognising and caring for children who hold on to the smallest light of hope for a better future. The Foundation stands independent of discrimination of religion, race, culture and gender boundaries. ‘IWasShot’ operates in close collaboration with shelters that provides a safe environment for these children. The Foundation makes use of existing infrastructures as far as possible and builds upon them. The programmes are implemented by Bernard Viljoen, registered architect, and professional photographer, through direct contact with the children. The Iwasshot Foundation initiates community-based projects that focus on the personal development and enrichment of children who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to explore their creativity. The focus of the project lies within the inner cities where children are constantly exposed to the darker side of humanity. Iwasshot Foundation works within communities affected by homelessness and highlights the vibrancy, paradoxes, multiplicity, and talents of children who should be at play. The aim is to change the perspective of street children and re-empower them through innovative programs within their communities, to educate and enhance positive awareness. The Da Vinci Institute provides master classes from a business leadership perspective.
Three Little Words that could Change the World!
Little Green Number is an award winning company who turn ads into bags! Each one of their bags, made from recycled billboards, is funky and unique. They are passionate about creating jobs AND saving the planet. One billboard at a time!
Their Buy 1 Give 1 philosophy means that for every Little Green Number bag one buys they donate a Little Green Number to a school child that needs it.
More sales equal more jobs. And more jobs mean that hard working, talented South Africans have hope. A chance, an opportunity to feel successful, great at what they do. Little Green Number has community based micro manufacturing franchises all over Gauteng, and they intend to take this national. They are passionate about wiping out poverty, through social business principles: doing good, whilst doing good business. One Little Green Number at a time.
Billboards have nowhere to go. There’s no billboard heaven (or hell!) when they die. They just stick around forever and ever and ever. By participating in their upcycling process they have taken them off the streets and the garbage heaps and given them a new lease on life.
No one else has a Number exactly like anyone elses! Everyone’s number is funky, sexy and unique. Made with love. To be worn with joy! Their products are all upcycled, they have character, a story to tell, so pardon the few scratches and scuff marks.
The Da Vinci Institute supports this initiative by presenting each new student with their very own Little Green Number.