The Hein Wagner Academy aims to raise one-million Rand with an exclusive art auction. The funds raised will go towards expanding the world’s first training and certification program enabling blind Academy graduates to become specialists in the field of Cyber Security.
Entitled the Art of Blindness, the Art auction platform will be the first of its kind to celebrate the unique talents of the blind through the medium of art. Cyber Security expertise is currently facing a global skills shortage. “The training programme will develop a world class high performing team to tackle this problem for corporates, the banking sector and more,” says Hein Wagner Academy founder, Hein Wagner.
While the initial focus for this concept is in South Africa, he says there are immediate plans to expand into Europe. The Hein Wagner Academy is based in Worcester, and was founded in January 2019 by Wagner, a blind extreme adventurer and motivational speaker who was born blind and attended the Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester from the age of five. He founded the Vision Trust in 2009 and went on to play a key role in establishing the first-of-its-kind Technology Training Centre for the visually impaired in Africa using Apple technologies in 2016.
Currently this training centre forms part of the Hein Wagner Academy’s training facilities. With a huge push towards data protection, security and IP protection, Wagner says one of the biggest business risks right now is loss of confidential data, online security and protection. The projected international skills shortage in cyber security, is thought to be 3,5 million for 2020. “This presents a great opportunity for the visually impaired community to gain meaningful employment and utilize their unique gifts,” he explains.
The Art of Blindness timed auction will present a range of art sourced from some of the Western Cape’s most successful artists: Derric Van Rensburg, Richard Mcintosh, Michael Waters, David Kuijers, Rick Becker, Wakaba Mutheki, Wilma Du Toit, Pieter Van der Westhuizen and more.
Wagner says that funds from the auction will cover costs of bespoke software, hardware and the very specialized world-class training which will be provided at the Academy. The online timed auction will run until 30 November via www.heinwagneracademy.org
“We are blinded…by possibilities” – Hein Wagner