As SA's leading private provider, The Independent Institute of Education's (The IIE) Vega School invests heavily in action learning, most notably during its annual Vega Brand Challenge for final-year students. We do so by roping in the country's top industry professionals along with our Vega navigators; subjecting the results of real-life briefs and business challenges to exhaustive and demanding review panels across the country.
Of course, our students gain real-time and real-world exposure, developing their minds and skill sets during the early programme years. The annual Vega Brand Challenge really represents the pinnacle of this practice, and it will be no different this year as we continue to simulate the working models of our times, even with the new reliance on online collaboration and virtual coaching.
This is the extra challenge of 2020 - Veganites will execute these projects working in virtual consultancy teams with fellow students from the four campuses, from all specialisations and working together nationally to develop and create fully-fledged strategic and creative solutions following briefs from a range of real-life clients.
Students will be encouraged to investigate brand situations from a zero base and to address issues by the development of original and meaningful brand and business strategies supported with comprehensive communication. Virtual meetups will support the learning journey. Students benefit enormously from the best practices of our top industry professionals, and our clients gain a national market footprint, a collaborative working model and a set of fresh and innovative solutions to review and implement.
Educational institutions around the world are repurposing curriculum and training environments to develop young minds and skill sets able to perform and succeed in times of rapid acceleration, flux and complexity. What may have taken many of us years to mature personally and professionally in our careers now needs to be rapidly assimilated in practice by young career starters in a multiplicity of modalities and in real-time.
As we continue to pursue academic excellence, we remain committed to the promise to graduate students able to design and create original strategic solutions for brand challenges in business and society. Our driving force as a school of brand building, business and design is to remain creative solution-seekers, original and brave in thinking and doing and proudly positioned on the African continent.
We say our purpose informs our practice. We believe that the development and nurturing of strategic thinking, creativity and innovation benefits from guidance rather than top-down direction and conveying knowledge by decree. We refer to our teaching professionals as navigators precisely for this reason. This outlook also guides how we go about supporting students to become productive partners in multi-disciplinary teams in multi-modalities. From this, flows deep-seated values and behaviours developed as members of a team, passion for particular disciplines and the conviction that your contributions make a difference.
It requires a certain level of emotional regard and sensibility to be able to think and reflect usefully as co-creators about complex conditions, help shape informed opinion and take meaningful actions. These valuable qualities and conditions need to be nurtured and practised in all manner of situations – with on- and offline collaborative practices, working on a small and large scale, with local stakeholders and with players physically distanced elsewhere on our continent or even the globe.
Vega regards brand building as a primary strategic activity, involving and defining the entire organisation and its stakeholder community, right from ideation to the design of business models and the implementation of creative communication strategies. To design and create original and meaningful strategic solutions for challenges IIE-Vega students should develop the ability to respectfully engage with and make sense of diverse ways of thinking and doing across business departments, collective units and geographies.
Vega Brand Challenges run from the 8 October to 6 November 2020
Any brand that would like to participate in this exciting annual project by introducing a current challenge, taking on three student teams and contributing to our student grant fund, can contact the head of our Vega Johannesburg campus Francois Barnardo at moc.loohcsagev@odranrabf.