Our purpose at the DaVinci Institute is to grow agile, aligned, and engaged managerial leaders who co-create innovative ecosystems. We dream of influencing the co-creation of humane sustainable societies. There are multiple ways we attempt to do this through varied community engagement initiatives, ensuring that the knowledge within is shared with surrounding communities.
The DaVinci Institute considers the quadruple helix model of innovation, as an important framework when considering our community engagement strategy. This model is focused on the interaction and co-creation between government, academia, industry, and community that would then foster economic and social development.
The DaVinci Institute's community engagement initiatives, aim to focus on engagements with institutions and projects that afford a level of integration between government, industry, various communities and DaVinci as the academic partner. The DaVinci Managerial Leadership Framework (termed TIPS™) has a focus on cooperative engagement and thus the implementation and use of TIPS™ is central to the DaVinci Institute working constructively and cooperatively with communities.
In alignment with best practice in the sector, community engagement at DaVinci is not only in alignment with the Quadruple Helix model but is also integrated with teaching and learning and research. Thus, contributing not only to the communities it serves but also to disciplinary knowledge within the field of Business and Managerial Leadership, as well as the leveraging and co-sharing of expertise from within.
The core areas of community engagement at the DaVinci Institute are:
Partnering with tt100 business innovation awards programme
tt100 is a non-profit company that runs a business innovation awards programme, for organisations and individuals that operate within developing socio-economic contexts, recognising organisations and individual leaders that have successfully managed their technology, innovation and people in a systemic way www.tt100.org
Each year, the DaVinci Institute takes the case studies from the tt100 entrants and infuses these real-world business cases back into learning, teaching and research. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), through tt100 sponsors numerous unemployed youth on various programmes at DaVinci, in order to enhance their skills and pursue entrepreneurial endeavours or find work.
Community engagement initiatives with selected rural schools
The DaVinci Institute co-creates with two rural schools, one at primary school level and one at high school level. DaVinci co-operatively engages with these schools to enhance their ability to use technology and innovate within socio-economic constraints. The Institute also engages with learners and the teaching teams.
Funded Learning Opportunities
The DaVinci Institute garners, where possible, external funding from various sources, to provide the opportunity to youth from challenging socio-economic circumstances the opportunity to do entreprenurial programmes that include a formal qualification. Some partnerships include those with the Gauteng City Regional Academy (GCRA) and the FoodBev Manufacturing Sector.
Masterclasses and business clinics
The outreach masterclasses are where the DaVinci Institute provides masterclasses on a topic to an identified group in need of specific business and/or management orientated skills.
The integration of Return on Investment (ROI) and the Social Return on Investment (SROI) of student research.
The DaVinci Institute ensures that students conduct quality research, which seeks to be relevant and beneficial to them personally, their organisations and society at large within their assessments and research-based modules. Applying Return on Investment (ROI) and Social Return on Investment (SROI) requires that students attempt to explain the monetary and social values of implementing processes aligned to organisational strategy.
The DaVinci approach to ROI places stakeholders at the heart of the measurement and monitoring processes. The continued investment in upskilling, development and learning has prompted us to account for the benefits and impact of activities as an innovation partner of choice for our students, ensuring learning for the real-world. The DaVinci Institute is a value-driven organisation, and it is imperative to understand, measure and promote awareness of the impact on students, partner organisations and the broader societies. ROI is defined for the undergraduate research as the benefits accrued to students’ workplaces through the implementation of their research, quantified over time. At postgraduate level students are required in their dissertations and theses to illustrate the ROI and SROI of their research endeavours.