29 September 2018
For the 3rd Africa Design Lab we set ourselves the challenge: How might we step-up from hosting a meetup, to running an interactive learning experience, that makes positive social impact?
The answer was a full day Design workshop with members of the meetup community and social enterprise, the Skill Exchange Makerspace, to explore a business concept to create jobs for unemployed young people in South African townships. The day was superbly facilitated by design thinker Asia Issa Sultan.
The outcome of the workshop was two business prototypes that will be tested in the Johannesburg area.
This experience helped bring what a Lab is into better focus: a group of diverse people, self organising around a problem space to which they feel an emotional connection, they make a start in creating a solution, test and learn, and get it ready for the next group that will converge around the problem and move it further, in the process everyone learns. Can a Lab be the blueprint for the learning organisation of the future? A mechanism to bring learning, diverse perspectives, and intrinsic motivation together.