Change the world


Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Academic Developer and Project Leader of Mandela University’s Open Education Influencers, Gino Fransman, along with a team of collaborators across four continents, have won two global awards for their innovative new children’s book, Together.

Gino, an acclaimed Open Advocacy champion, co-authored this story with the team.

Together, and the team, have won an Open Innovation Award for Excellence from the Open Education Global organisation, for sharing the values of Open Education. They have also won a UNESCO Open Education Resources Implementation Award.

The team are committed to creating a socially just world where education is available to all. Values such as sharing, collaborating and helping others are central to this mission of what is called open education and will help towards achieving the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goal 4, “Quality Education for All”.

To this end, the book was written and illustrated to help share the values of Open and Sharing Knowledge, and the team received permission to use rare artworks from the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands in the illustrations.

Together has been placed onto the British National Teaching Repository, and has already been translated into 32 languages, including four from South Africa. The book was written and illustrated collaboratively over a period of six months during the heart of the pandemic, exclusively using the open web and digital tools.

Throughout the project, the international team communicated and collaborated via several online meetings on Skype, Zoom and MS Teams as well as through emails, Twitter direct messages and Google Drive. During the course of 2021, the team presented at several international events with great success and their individual and collective journeys and milestones were captured in great detail through publicly available blog posts, which form the data for a published case-study.

They will present their story of collaborating and lessons learned at the upcoming #OpenEdColloquium21 @MandelaUni on 17 November, hosted by Chester Missing, the outspoken political analyst and puppet of acclaimed ventriloquist Conrad Koch.

Watch and listen to a narrated version of Together at:

The global team who published childrens' book Together

Contact information
Mr Gino Fransman
Project Leader Open Education Influencers Academic Literacies Professional
Tel: 041 504 2729