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Nelson Mandela Day 2015 – Brains For Brawn Swap: A Job Well Done

Press Release - Johannesburg, 20 July 2015

67 Minds, an initiative launched by The Lonely Road Foundation to utilise Gauteng’s business acumen on Nelson Mandela Day 2015, was well worth the effort as it highlighted several factors which would benefit its community outreach programmes as well as assist other community development organisations.

The Lonely Road Foundation is an NPO that capacitates impoverished communities in South Africa to not only manage but improve the health and wellbeing of orphaned and vulnerable children.

It asked Gauteng businessmen and women to ‘donate’ their brains not their brawn on Nelson Mandela Day 2015 so that it would gain access to intellectual capital it ordinarily cannot afford, to get a new perspective on  community development and sustainability issues that confound it on a daily basis. 

According to marketing and communications manager, Karabo Tledima, the Saturday morning think-tank went very well. The – more than – 67 minds who accepted the challenge were divided into five groups. Each group was led by a facilitator from SynNovation and asked to suggest how they would tackle one of five specific problems experienced by the Lonely Road Foundation in the Ga-Dikgale community, one of the communities within which The Foundation works.  

The five problems were:

• The ‘Leaky Bucket’ syndrome – how to stop funds leaving Dikgale as soon as they come in?

• Changing focus – research shows that ages 0-9 are vital for a child’s development, but what about the children aged 11-18 in Dikgale that are older?

• Sustainability – how can The Lonely Road Foundation shift away from having to rely on donations to survive?

• The value of community living – how can The Lonely Road Foundation encourage the community members of rural Dikgale to value their community and lifestyle so that they want to live there?

• Rural health – how can we facilitate the improvement of the health of Dikgale community members, assuming that  public healthcare resources will remain limited?

“There were amazing ideas about how to use games, renewable energy sources, alternative technology and tourism to name a few, to upskill and inspire the Dikgale community,” said Tledima.

“Another suggestion was to look at what is already there to be used, instead of wishing for what is not there. That’s an important mind shift for organisations such as ours. 

“The outcomes will be published in the near future for the perusal of any development organisation that may want to use the information. We hope that our brainstorms will spark action for other organisations, too,” she said.

Those who shared their intellectual capital on Saturday in Sandton included:

• Brett Morris, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of South Africa’s oldest and arguably most creative agency group, FCB South Africa

• Chris Bradford, CEO of the African Leadership Academy

• Dineo Skwambane, Senior Analyst at the IDC 

• Francie Shonhiwa, head of CSI at PPC

• Mametja Moshe, founder and CEO of Moshe Capital 

• Tebogo Skwambane, strategist at McKinsey

• Warren Moss, founder and CEO of Demographica, South Africa's most progressive data driven direct marketing agency