Louise van Rhyn ~ Supplied
Fin24 user Louise van Rhyn, founder of Symphonia for South Africa, explains what it is like to be a social entrepreneur:
Symphonia is a registered not-for-profit organisation committed to the sustainable transformation of people, teams, organisations and communities.
I believe the worlds' huge intractable problems can be solved through cross-sector collaboration and a solid understanding of complex social change.
Symphonia wants to strengthen the fabric of South African society by initiating and leading projects that engage South Africans in processes of nation building.
My approach to change is shaped by 20 years of working as an organisational change practitioner.
I hold a doctorate in complex social change and have founded a few entrepreneurial organisations.
I encourage all citizens to take responsibility to create a South Africa that works for all.
Let’s start thinking like co-owners of this country and get actively involved in creating our future. We can’t wait for government or others to do this.
In 2009, in a process known as the Dinokeng Scenarios, top South African thought leaders came together to explore possible futures for South Africa.
Of the three scenarios they outlined, the “walk together” scenario called on business, government and civil society to work together to build a united South Africa and to address the significant challenges facing the country.
It was this scenario that inspired the vision of Symphonia for South Africa.
We know for certain that no sector can do this alone. We need to work together, agree on shared goals and objectives and then each one of us must do what we can to achieve these goals.
I believe passionately that raising children and preparing them for active citizenship is a societal and communal responsibility.
For this reason Symphonia for South Africa has chosen to do most of its work in the education sector. Its aim is to mobilise citizens and communities to reclaim responsibility for educating ‘our’ children, rather than abdicating responsibility to the government.
To this end we have launched the School at the Centre of Community (S@CC) project, a large-scale change process to radically transform education in South Africa.
The S@CC project incorporates the innovative Partner for Possibility leadership development programme in which business leaders and school principals develop their leadership skills in a co-learning and co-action partnership.
The project engages students, teachers, parents and the broader community and has resulted in schools experiencing an upward spiral of real change and a sense of possibility.
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