RLabs presentation


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The RLabs journey from 2008 till present. RLabs is a Social Revolution established in 2008 on the Cape Flats in Cape Town.
- It is a movement by people for people
- it is a movement of HOPE
- it is a movement of CHANGE
- it is a movement of OPPORTUNITY
- it is a movement of LEARNING
- it is a movement of INNOVATION
- it is a Social Revolution

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  • The journey of RLabs has always been one of the impossible.
  • In Cape Town we have beautiful beaches, mountains and views…
  • … then just a few km’s away we are faced with problems which lead our community to difficult social circumstances
  • Our community was faced with an impossible environment where the community needed one thing above all else…..
  • Hope. There is nothing worse than looking into someone eyes and seeing no HOPE!
  • Quote by Albert Einstein
  • No. 1. RLabs understood when we started that we worked in an environment where people were vulnerable. We identified local champions who were our change agents in the community. Embracing its context was vital and we are always about doing things in context.
  • The entire journey and our reason for doing what we do is always about …..
  • People
  • We had humble beginnings. This is a pic of our first computer borrowed to us by our local partner Impact Direct. A community based NGO. We used one of their rooms and dial connection in 2007.
  • We partnered with CPUT to use their computer lab. And these are our first group of champions. Most of them are still with RLabs today and make up the management team.
  • After training the first group at CPUT, we then acquired a few more computers and upgraded to ADSL connectivity. The original champions now became the facilitators and trained the women in the community. Called them Mom2.0. The same women they used to disempower they were now empowering.
  • As interest from the community grew so did RLabs. We received a donation of laptops and expanded our training to include Social Media for Teens, Senior Mobile Sessions, Mom3.0, The Reconstructed and Social Media for Social Change courses.
  • Also started training the community in Citizen Journalism and using their mobile phones to access the web.
  • Mobile phones in Africa are a unique part of everyone’s lives. We all have one or have access to one. People want to be connected.
  • Positive change through the use of innovation and technology became a core component. Changing the lives and circumstances of those involved with RLabs and doing that in a positive way. Truly reflecting a Living Lab
  • Brent Williams was one of first champions. He was addicted to drugs for 8 years and was psychotic and thought that his parents were out to kill him. He was also the first ‘tik’ methamphetamine drug dealer in the local community.
  • Positive change is what happened to Brent. Here is helping his mother join the social networks just a few months after holding her and his father hostage at knife point.
  • Today is one of the Board of Directors for RLabs and representing RLabs on an international level. Ensuring that through the innovation process the community is elevated.
  • 6 components in RLabs. Community well being is always in the core of what we do at RLabs.
  • No.2. Since we started we have trained over 2,000 people through the academy and over 4,000 people through other forms of training. All the courses offered are free of charge to the community. They include: Digital and New Media, Geeky Moms, Introduction to Social Media, Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, Project Management, Events Management, Web Development, Online Safety & Security, PR & Marketing, Photography Principles, Photo Editing
  • Empowerment is fundamental in any community driven activity. More so in a living lab context. Enable the community members and champions to empower others and to create their own innovations
  • Equipping the team with the skills needed in the Living Lab environment
  • Dare to be different and not to be afraid of trying something new
  • it is powered by Innovation. Innovation and creativity is what fuels and drives RLabs and its growth.
  • No. 3. Innovation and creativity is what fuels and drives RLabs and its growth.
  • An example of our first innovation that was birthed in RLabs. Because the first group of champions we trained in Social Media for Social Change were all ex-drug addicts, gang members, gang bosses or suffered from some addiction or social ill. When we asked community what is the tension (problem) drugs was high on the priority list. The community then asked if there was a way to use technology and to help their own community at the same time.
  • An online drug advice support platform was formed called: JamiiX is a web-based enterprise platform that allows organisations to engage with their users on various instant messaging and mobile chat platforms. It is currently mostly used by non-profits and development agencies who use JamiIX to provide low-cost communication between people in need and social service organisations.
  • Monique Theron Ross: was an ex-drug addict and suicidal just 4 years ago. So was addicted to substances and now she is addicted to technology and she’s a real geek
  • She ’ s the Geek: A startup by two local women who provides technology tips, reviews, consulting, insights and empowerment from a woman ’ s perspective. A social website is being developed to support the She ’ s The Geek enterprise. Winner of SA blog awards for Best Science and Technology Blog in 2010.
  • Terence Hendricks was unemployed for 5-6 years. When asked what the biggest problem in his community was he said unemployment. And if you know a problem and have 5-6 years experience in industry you will be called an expert and therefore be a consultant. Now he is an Entrepreneur and founder of Uusi.
  • Uusi: An innovative jobs, business and education mobile social network matching people with empowerment opportunities.
  • It has been dubbed “ The Poor-man ’ s LinkedIn ” with a strong focus on the emerging markets. Already have thousands of active users and have a partnership agreement with, Africa ’ s largest mobile social network, Mxit.
  • Scalability is an important component of the RLabs. Therefore all the start-ups should have a social impact, be sustainable/have a business model and show potential for growth (scale).
  • No. 4. Sustainability is key to the work that RLabs does especially when it is work impacting the lives of the community. Sustainability is ensure through a hybrid model of business development and funding (Currently 70% of our income is self generated).
  • Enable the community members and champions to empower others and to create their own innovations.
  • EG. Social Media Coverage, Social Media Policy Development and Consulting Services and Training to organisations, businesses or intitutions
  • No. 5. RLabs currently partners with 18 different universities globally. When researches use our resources they must joint publish and if they have funding they pay for some of our services.
  • 1.       Conducting research through and about Rlabs 2.       Research papers- List of peer reviewed journal and conference papers, and RLabs case studies
  • No. 6. RLabs 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, Innovation Academy, Innovation Incubator, Business Development, Innovation Leadership and Management)
  • South Africa - 2010: From 8 to
  • South Africa - 2011: …28
  • Nigeria
  • Namibia
  • Malaysia
  • All inclusive…our older champions……
  • 6 components in RLabs
  • RLabs presentation

    1. 1. A Social Revolution
    2. 2. “Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors.Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations”
    3. 3. Community
    4. 4. Community WorkAcademy Products & ServicesResearch Social Institute Franchising Innovation Incubator
    5. 5. Academy
    6. 6. Innovation Incubator
    7. 7. Business:Products & Services
    8. 8. SocialMediaEvents
    9. 9. ResearchInstitute
    10. 10. SocialFranchise
    11. 11. Community WorkAcademy Products & ServicesResearch Social Institute Franchising Innovation Incubator
    12. 12. @rlabsinfo@rlabs.orgwww.rlabs.org