International Celebration of Dyslexia Event where Sir Richard Branson is the "Bell Cow"
1. What is the need?
The need in the market is for dyslexic people – especially dyslexic children - to appreciate that they have a gift, and to be exposed to programmes that nurtures this gift. This will open opportunities that are not currently available to them. To bring about change for this significant proportion of society we need to raise awareness that dyslexia could be viewed as a “gift” as opposed to a “curse”, and for methods that will help dyslexic people cope in today’s world (as far as we are aware there are no reliable statistics to confirm what percentage of our society has dyslexia. Guesstimates range from 5 % to 15%).
2.0 Planned intervention
Create an event called the “International Celebration of Dyslexia” in Dublin, Ireland during the first week of August each year to celebrate the “gift” of dyslexia
The main purpose of the event is to help dyslexic people and parents of dyslexic people to appreciate that they or their child have a gift
Please see a letter from one of Ireland’s social entrepreneurs, Sister Antoinette, in support of the event (Annexure A)
3.0 Date and programme
We propose 1 August 2019 as the date of the first event. But, the date will very much depend on your availability. However, we are very keen to have it during the first week of August 2019 as it is the only week when all schools in the US and Europe are on vacation (for this reason, we’d like to have future events taking place during the same week)
The venue will be the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD), Ireland (www.theccd.ie). It is a state-of-the-art building, completed in 2011
The first event will target 2,000 parents and dyslexic children and individuals, 8 years and older from a worldwide audience. On your acceptance, we will book the Auditorium, which has space for 2 000 people. Ticket prices will be €130 per person
The first gathering will be a one-day event, made up of 5 sessions. We will record the event and produce a DVD that will be sold
Currently, the programme is envisaged as follows:
As a compere, we will invite Whoopi Goldberg
(09:00 to 10:30): Dr John Demartini. (Annexure B)
Dr Demartini is a dyslexic person and an internationally renowned motivational speaker. The purpose of his presentation will be inspirational: It will focus on the concept that dyslexia is a gift, tell the story of his life, and explain how he overcame the challenges posed by dyslexia
(11:00 to 12:30): Yet to be agreed
Trevor Ncube’s 20-minute video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0ss5LW6D_4&feature=youtu.be
(14:00 to 14:30:
Karl de Leeuw
(14:30 to 15:30): Sir Richard Branson – Question & Answer session.
(16:00 to 17:00) : Cher to be invited to perform at the event in order to create a “party atmosphere”
The idea is that dyslexic participants will leave the event, punching the air and saying “Thank you Creator I am dyslexic”
4.0 First year’s sponsorship to get things moving
To change dyslexic person’s lives and to start providing what is currently missing we will require sponsorship funds
We invite the Virgin group to be the main sponsor for the first event. Please let us know what you feel this event is worth sponsoring in year one and we will accept
We have a clear view of what we want to use the sponsorship funds for and would welcome a discussion on this to ensure you are of same mind
5.0 How will we market the event?
Step one is to get you on board as we believe that we can then have an event that will be able to attract 2,000 people
We will contact the media to get maximum exposure and will promote the event via speaker websites. It would be much appreciated if you could promote the event in the media as well
In order to attract participants to the event we will start a dedicated Facebook page called “International Celebration of Dyslexia” event, and will place Facebook advertisements that will target dyslexic people who included “dyslexia” in their profiles
We hope to run a competition where 12 people could win a flight to the event from anywhere in the world. We invite Virgin Airlines to sponsor the cost of such flights. The entry question could be “Name the world’s best airline”
We will appoint an event management company (should you accept our invitation), who will also design and implement a complementary marketing campaign
We will involve technical advisors when required
6.0 How we see the event in years to come
We see the event taking place yearly during the first week of August in Dublin, (in essence, a dyslexic festival) and have it broadcast worldwide. The venue will be the Convention Centre Dublin or the 14,000 seater O2 arena www.theo2.ie
Our keynote speakers will be the top dyslexic experts in the world. In time,”mini “conferences on a variety of topics are envisaged
In due course, we plan to have the northern hemisphere dyslexic people play sports and socialise against the southern hemisphere dyslexic people, at venues such as Croke Park or Aviva Stadium
The event will in future not only cater for dyslexic people, but for others in the so-called “autism range”; people in wheelchairs; illiteracy, etc
My daughter, Alice, a dyslexic child, made a drawing about the vision for the event. See Annexure C
Dyslexia Associations worldwide appear to have yearly conferences. As far as we are aware our event will be the first event in the world that will promote the gift of dyslexia. Especially in years to come, we see the event as a festival and we are not aware of any such festival anywhere in the world
A recent study by Cass Base Business School showed that entrepreneurs are five times more likely to be dyslexic. It was also shown that approximately 50% of the London prison population are dyslexic people. We see the main risk of not proceeding with our proposal being that this disparity will be perpetuated. We would like to increase the number of entrepreneurs/creative people within the ranks of dyslexic people by helping them to understand that they have a gift, and by empowering them to make successes of their lives
The second risk is that we will not be able to run a smooth event. We have kept things as simple as possible such as refraining from getting involved in catering; sales of tickets etc. (these functions are all outsourced). Upon you accepting our invitation, we will hire an event organiser
9.0 What commitments are we requesting from you?
Give 1 day of your time for free during the first week of August 2019 and assist with a media launch
10.0 What will the benefits of association be for you?
15.1 Positioning of yourself as a champion for dyslexic people
15.2 Inspiring entrepreneurs: As mentioned above, a recent study by the Cass Base Business School in London showed that entrepreneurs are five times more likely to be dyslexic than non-dyslexic people
15.3 Redressing imbalances: The same study also highlighted that approximately 50% of the London prison population displayed signs of dyslexia. You can be instrumental in reversing this trend
15.4 Worldwide change: You will be involved in the start of something big in the dyslexia world and making a real difference to dyslexic people. The purpose would be to allow dyslexic people to know they have a gift
15.5 Becoming the “voice” for dyslexic persons: We believe that you can act as a change agent to give dyslexic people a “voice”. For example, my daughter Alice was very upset at school as other children were discussing her dyslexia and making fun of her. She used to be regularly taken out of class to be taught by the learning support teacher, resulting in wholly inaccurate perceptions that she is “not bright”. We need to change this misconception
I sincerely hope that you’d be as inspired as I am, and that you’d take me up on these invites. We really need you,
Karl de Leeuw