About Us












  • Contextual approach to education
  • Co-creating experiences
  • Integration of constructs into workable options
  • Bespoke learning and personalised engagement
  • Meeting of the minds



The Institute’s guiding principles are a co-selection of some of the broad principles often associated with the visionary leadership of Nelson Mandela and the innovative approaches to knowledge creation and dissemination of Leonardo DaVinci, contextualised to represent the lived principles of The Institute. In addition, part of The Institute’s dream is to further both the objectives expressed in the South African National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) and to align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals within the context of the 5th Industrial Revolution (5IR) and African Union’s Agenda 2063. Thus, it is the aim of The Institute to contribute to a human-centred approach to further the creation of just, humane, inclusive, and sustainable transformational societies. The guiding principles towards remarkability are:

  • Being authentic, grounded, and true to oneself
  • Being socially accountable, relevant, and dynamic
  • Actively promoting diversity and heterogeneity
  • Advocating and managing quality in meaningful ways
  • Acknowledging the world as a set of interconnected systems
  • Awakening the senses
  • Embracing holism and living harmoniously
  • Appreciating the shadow
  • Mastering balance with integrity
  • Having a distinctive voice.



The Da Vinci Institute was founded at the behest of the honourable Nelson Mandela, connected to Madiba’s dream of widening access to education and his vision that “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.”

To this end, The Institute was conceptualised in 2004 with the vision of offering education solutions focusing on the management of technology and innovation. The vision was to educate future leaders who would emulate the teachings of Nelson Mandela and Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Institute’s guiding principles are a co-creation of some of the broad principles often associated with the visionary leadership of Leonardo Da Vinci and Nelson Mandela, reconceptualised to represent the lived principles of The Institute.

Underpinning our guiding principles is the concept of remarkability, which is impressed upon, and recognised in all of our staff, students, alumni, partners and associates.

DREAM (This is The Institute’s vision)

Influencing the co-creation of humane sustainable societies

PURPOSE (This is The Institute’s mission)

Strengthening the growth of agile, aligned and engaged managerial leaders, who co-create innovative eco-systems


Co-creating realities


To reach our dream and purpose we ensure the Institute remains focused on being relevant and visible both at work and within society at large in the following ways:

 Being an intellectual place of belonging, offering distance education that is relevant and business and community driven by means of a seamless online integration of education offerings across the higher education landscape


Recognising the unique and personal journey each student undertakes and working towards strengthening the evolvement of their own voice


Utilising education products and services, affording students the opportunity to create alternative Industrial frameworks for future-fit skills and holistic performance outcomes


Promoting business-based action learning


Facilitating co-operative engagements spanning our network of stakeholders locally, regionally, and internationally 


Ensuring a focus on research, the provision of quality offerings and the power of systemic reach as an integral part of the student journey.



Our insatiable curiosity manifests through our teaching, learning, research, community engagement and other scholarly activities which advances the Institute’s dream, purpose, and strategic intent. We acknowledge the multi-faceted relationship between curiosity and the production, discovery, and dissemination of diverse knowledges in advancing learning and innovation. By being curious, we become lifelong learners who are willing to challenge the status quo with open-mindedness and deep questioning.


We place great value on and strive towards, just, diverse, transformational, and inclusive societies where the rights, differences, and dignity of others are respected. DaVincians are encouraged to find their own voice, use their voices for the greater good, engage in open inquiry and infuse honesty and integrity into all dealings. On the road to responsible citizenship, we strive towards yielding a return on investment through research that seeks to address social, economic, and environmental imperatives.


We value our role in influencing the co-creation of sustainable societies by contributing towards the growth of agile, aligned and engaged managerial leaders. These leaders are responsible for probing business- and community-based problems, collaborative innovation and advancing knowledge that contributes towards sustainable, inclusive, and transformative ecosystems. In our endeavours, we strive with commitment, purpose, and integrity to co-create relevant knowledge. All DaVincians are further expected to be accountable for their actions and conduct in their communities and have a responsibility to contribute towards a community and society where people grow and develop through learning from one another.


The Institute encourages the production of knowledge that is transdisciplinary in nature, socially relevant and actively promotes diversity and heterogeneity. In doing so, we apply situated learning, problem-probing, and decision-making as critical constructs to address business- and community-based problems. Complimentary to this, we strive towards the creation of new conceptual and theoretical frameworks, as well as methodological and translational innovations that integrate and move beyond discipline-specific approaches.