||Dr Taddy Blecher
CEO of the Community and Individual Development Association and CEO of the Maharishi Institute, South Africa
Taddy is the pioneer of the free education movement in South Africa. His focus is the provision of mass-scale, low-cost, high-quality, effective and enlightened education for the historically disadvantaged, which directly brings youth from poverty to a position of self-sufficiency.
He has helped found several free educational institutions in South Africa. As a direct result of his work: more than R 400 million in cash, property, and equity, has been raised to support free access to education; more than 4,500 Southern Africans have been educated, found employment, and moved from poverty to the middle-class; and more than 600 000 young South Africans in schools have been reached with one-week education and life-skills training courses.
He is the founder or co-founder of: the Maharishi Institute – established to provide open access to education from Grade 11 through to MBA as well as intensive industry vocational programmes; CIDA City Campus - the first free university in South Africa; CIDA Empowerment Fund – a R 150 million education endowment; and the Branson School of Entrepreneurship.