Social Innovator: Shane Immelman

Social Innovator: Shane Immelman

first_imgCEO: Lapdesk InternationalWhy is Shane a Social Innovator?Faced with the frightening statistic of over 4-million children in South Africa attending school without a desk, Shane took the simple idea of a portable, ergonomically designed lap desk and turned it into a smart business model that can bring companies and communities together in aid of young learners.The model is simple, yet innovative – each Lapdesk is printed with a design and message that is meaningful to the Lapdesk sponsor, turning the desk into a portable media platform that effectively delivers social messages to the most distant rural communities.With plans in the pipeline to take the product into South America and beyond, Lapdesk is a smart African innovation that is helping to address a serious global issue.Fast FactsOver 4-million school children, almost 30% of all students in South Africa, attend school without a school desk.On a global scale, the number of children who attend school without a desk is around 600-million, mostly in Latin America, South-East Asia and the rest of Africa.Without a desk, a person will struggle to write, their handwriting skills will be compromised, and there’s a knock-on effect into every other area of their learning.With a proper writing surface, a person’s concentration levels are improved between 60 and 80%.In the first two years, Lapdesk International provided over 300 000 children with lapdesks.The desk weighs less than 1kg and is completely childproof.Shane was a business and product developer who started Lapdesk as a hobby.Desmond Tutu is the patron of Lapdesk.In his own words…“In the early stages of Lapdesk there were 500 reasons why the project would never work, but over 4-million reasons why it had to.”How can I help?Does your company want to sponsor a primary or secondary school with desks? Perhaps you already have a school in mind? Find out more by visiting Lapdesk International.Contact Lapdesk InternationalTel: 011 466 911Fax: 011 466 7980Story published on SAinfo on 25 April 2008.Source: Brand South Africalast_img

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