Vanessa is a design thinker and entrepreneur with 20 years in advertising and 10 years of patient experience in the private and public health sector in South Africa due to a face reconstruction. She is an international ePatient speaker and a digital health activist. She is the founder of #hcsmSA (Health Care Social Media South Africa), which is a geographic community she hopes will connect all aspects of healthcare on one central database. Connecting health virtually can improve networking, genomics data, education, access to treatment, online participation, problem solving and innovation.
Vanessa was a creative director for Artext, a branding company which she established in 1997. Artext were nominated in the top 25 entrepreneurs at the National Small Business Chamber of Commerce (NSBC) in 2013. Vanessa believes that small business shouldn't be underestimated in the growth of the economy and that an "underdog" driven by passion and vision can accomplish anything. She was awarded the Woman of Substance, Woman of the Year Award in 2015 for her commitment to female entrepreneurship, community work and digital health activism.