The Lenovo, Ashoka panel discussion for sustainable change

The future just might be in better hands as technology company Lenovo and Ashoka, a global organization dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship continue their partnership to inspire the next set of changemakers in the country.

The collaboration sees a number of passionate fellows of Ashoka inspire communities to carve deeper relationships among community members with the aim of building sustainable development both technologically and societally.

During a round table discussion between Lenovo General Manager Yugen Naidoo, Dadisai Taderera, the Co-director from Ashoka, and the co-founder and CEO of Social Coding SA, Thembiso Magajana, – who is among the latest social entrepreneurs to partner with Lenovo and Ashoka, – said she once had a dream to create a safe space for young girls to learn how to code and is grateful at lessons and the impact she has carved in providing young minds with tools to change their lives.

Magajana who shared her story of how she continues to contribute in bringing digital inclusion to rural communities said she leveraged technological innovation to bridge the digital divide and empower marginalized communities.

She strongly believes that digital literacy is essential for expanding socioeconomic opportunities, particularly for young people in peri-urban and rural areas.

Speaking mainly on the need to promote social entrepreneurship Taderera said there was a strong need to inspire the next generation of change-makers.

She said the partnership between Ashoka and Lenovo was to equip young minds, drive sustainable social impact, and solve some community issues and problems.

Claire Reid a fellow of global organization Ashoka, said her idea to move into the farming and the planting space came at a time when solutions were needed.

The head of Real Gardening, Reid emphasized how pivoting when challenges struck was necessary and how maintaining consistency when challenges appeared was pivotal in inspiring change.

Reid is an innovative architect and entrepreneur known for her work in green spaces and food security. At the age of 16 she invented and patented the groundbreaking process of planting seeds today known as Reel Gardening. The innovative method revolutionized the value chain behind food production in home and school-based gardens.

Reel Gardening today offers simple, cost-effective and convenient way to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed and has impacted more than two million people.

Thanking all stakeholders who attended the panel discussion Naidoo said Lenovo had a simple mantra to do what they can when they can and this ideology aided in making substantial changes such as contributing laptops to young girls who needed them and elevating organizations such as Ashoka to inspire more people going forward.

Over R100 000 was put forward according to Naidoo to assist in making sure there was sufficient ground broken in providing the needed support.

Naidoo said the journey of the partnership with Ashoka transcended boundaries and paved the way for a future where empowerment reigns supreme.

“We are honoured to partner with Ashoka and recognize Social Coding SA, amongst others, as impactful organization. These organizations share our commitment of driving socioeconomic inclusion and creating smarter technology and Kinder Cities for all,” he said.

The collaboration between Ashoka and Lenovo sees two teams partnering together to combine technological expertise with social innovation to foster and bring positive change to a diverse region.

The collaboration also builds on Lenovo’s Kind City initiative, a crowd-sourced vision for a more empathetic and empowering future.

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Marcus Gopolang Moloko


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