RLabs makes a local impact but is a global movement that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems.It creates an environment where people are empowered to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Journey ofRLabsThe journey of RLabs hasalways been one of theimpossible.
• The entire journey and our reason for doing what we do is always about …..
The LandscapeIn Cape Town we havebeautiful beaches,mountains and views…
The Landscape… then just a few km’saway we are faced withproblems which lead ourcommunity to difficultsocial circumstances.
The LandscapeOur community was facedwith an impossibleenvironment where thecommunity needed onething above all else…..
The LandscapeHope. There is nothingworse than looking intosomeone eyes and seeingno HOPE!
“A Community in Tension is where the wellbeing of Citizens are being threatened”
CommunityRLabs understood when we started that we worked in an environment wherepeople were vulnerable. We identified local champions who were our changeagents in the community. Embracing its context was vital and we are alwaysabout doing things in context.
Humble Beginnings– 1st PartnerThis is a pic of our firstcomputer borrowed to us byour local partner ImpactDirect. A community basedNGO. We used one of theirrooms and dial-up connectionin 2007.
First Champions –2nd PartnerWe partnered with CPUTto use their computer lab.And these are our firstgroup of champions. Mostof them are still with RLabstoday and make up themanagement team.
ReconstructedYoung people who havebeen involved in drugs,gangsterism or any othersocial ills .
Birth of Mom2.0After training the firstgroup at CPUT, we thenacquired a few morecomputers and upgradedto ADSL connectivity. Theoriginal champions nowbecame the facilitatorsand trained the women inthe community. Calledthem Mom2.0. The samewomen they used todisempower they werenow empowering.
More courses…As interest from thecommunity grew so didRLabs. We received adonation of laptops andexpanded our training toinclude Social Media forTeens, Senior MobileSessions, Mom3.0, TheReconstructed and SocialMedia for Social Changecourses.
RLabs components6 components of RLabs.Community well-being isalways in the core of whatwe do at RLabs.
AcademySince we started we have trained over 7,000 people in our academy and over4,000 people through other forms of training. All the courses offered are freeof charge to the community. They include: Digital and New Media, GeekyMoms, Introduction to Social Media, Entrepreneurship, SocialEntrepreneurship, Project Management, Events Management, WebDevelopment, Online Safety & Security, PR & Marketing, PhotographyPrinciples, Photo Editing
AcademyEmpowerment isfundamental in anycommunity driven activity.More so in a living labcontext.Enable the communitymembers and championsto empower others and tocreate their owninnovations
Play & LearnApproachEquipping the team withthe skills needed in theLiving Lab environment
Don’t be afraidDare to be different andnot to be afraid of tryingsomething new. Stand outfrom the rest and don’t beafraid to be the first to trysomething.
# Social Media Trainers: +2,000 # Trained in Social Media: +7,000# of Mobile Subscribers: +2,900,000 # of Interactions: +35,000,000
Economic Development 57 jobs direct and 168 indirect,226 families reached and 1100+ lives impacted. 10 startup businesses created with community members
Education Offer 5 bursaries per year for tertiaryeducation, 93% of RLABS team who were school leavers returned to complete matric, 100+ accessed University certificates, 7044 community members trained through academy (unemployed,single moms, youth, elderly), partner with 18 universities
Social Development2.9mil people reached through mobile support services in SA, areas such assubstance abuse, HIV/AIDS, Family, life skills, career guidance. Also work with variety of NGOs and schools doing capacity building
PartnersWorld Bank University of DFID Southampton Mxit Vodacom Cell-Life Foundation UCT DGMT CPUT BNP Paribas DST WHO DSD UWC
Partners Johannesburg Amsterdam Univeristy University NMMU KHAYENET Aalto University City Mission Finnish Foreign CMES Ministry BCAPlan International 1% Club Getsmarter GivenGain
Using innovation totransform communitiesRLabs is powered byInnovation.
Innovation IncubatorInnovation and creativity is what fuels and drives RLabs and its growth.
Using InnovationAn example of our firstinnovation that was birthed inRLabs. Because the first groupof champions we trained inSocial Media for Social Changewere all ex-drug addicts, gangmembers, gang bosses whosuffered from some addictionor social ill. When we asked thecommunity what is the tension(problem) drugs was high onthe priority list. The communitythen asked if there was a way touse technology and to helptheir own community at thesame time.
JamiiXAn online drug advicesupport platform was formedcalled: JamiiX is a web-basedenterprise platform thatallows organisations toengage with their users onvarious instant messagingand mobile chat platforms. Itis currently mostly used bynon-profits and developmentagencies who use JamiIX toprovide low-costcommunication betweenpeople in need and socialservice organisations.
She’s the GeekMonique Theron Ross: wasan ex-drug addict andsuicidal just 4 years ago.She was addicted tosubstances and now she isaddicted to technologyand she’s a real geek
She’s the GeekShe’s the Geek: A startupby two local women whoprovides technology tips,reviews, consulting,insights andempowerment from awoman’s perspective. Asocial website is beingdeveloped to support theShe’s The Geek enterprise.Winner of SA blog awardsfor Best Science andTechnology Blog in 2010.
Terence HendricksTerence Hendricks wasunemployed for 5-6 years.When asked what thebiggest problem in hiscommunity was he saidunemployment. And if youknow a problem and have5-6 years experience inindustry you will be calledan expert and therefore bea consultant. Now he is anEntrepreneur and founderof Uusi.
Uusi – Your NewBeginningUusi: An innovative jobs,business and educationmobile social networkmatching people withempowermentopportunities.
Uusi – Your NewBeginningIt has been dubbed “ThePoor-man’s LinkedIn” witha strong focus on theemerging markets. Alreadyhave thousands of activeusers and have apartnership agreementwith, Africa’s largestmobile social network,Mxit. And signed up itsfirst international partner:Nigeria’s largest job portal.
ScalingScalability is an importantcomponent of the RLabs.Therefore all the start-upsshould have a socialimpact, besustainable/have abusiness model and showpotential for growth(scale).
Business DevelopmentSustainability is key to the work that RLabs does especially when itsimpacting the lives of the community. Sustainability is to ensure through ahybrid model of business development and funding (Currently 70% of ourincome is self generated).
SustainabilityEnable the communitymembers and championsto empower others and tocreate their owninnovations.
Sustainability Social MediaEG. Social Media Coverage, EventsSocial Media PolicyDevelopment andConsulting Services andTraining to organisations,businesses or institutions
Research InstituteRLabs currently works with 18 different universities globally. Whenresearches use our resources they must joint publish and if they have fundingthey pay for some of our services.
Research InstituteResearch –1. Conducting researchthrough and about Rlabs2. Research papers- Listof peer reviewed journaland conference papers,and RLabs case studies
Social FranchisingRLabs offer franchisees the following: Eg.Be part of an award winning brand with international reputation,Opportunity to be part of growing and global network, Training in its Multi-Dimension approach to Innovation (Social Reconstruction, Mentorship,Capacity Building, Research & Development, Champion Breeding, InnovationAcademy, Innovation Incubator, Business Development, InnovationLeadership and Management)
RLabs South Africa - 2010: Grown from 8 to …South Africa