Since the visit to Malaysia and Singapore a month ago it is with great excitement to see how the RLabs Champions have taken to task in making a difference in the lives of other. One of the projects by RLabs Asia is creating programmes for Non-profits, NGOs and Social Organisations who can benefit from the use of Social Media for Social Change.
Each group of Champions will be working closely with a organisation doing work on the ground in a local community in Asia and provide support in how Social Media and Mobile Technology can be used to enhance the work these organisations are doing. To read more about the RLabs Asia team visit their blog and we will keep you updated about this exciting initiative where we see young people impacting their communities using the technology tools and skills they use daily.
A famous quote states that “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” and that is what the journey of RLabs have been over the last few years. A global movement where technology and innovation are used to address local problems and bring about social transformation has been such a journey.
This past week I had the privilege sharing the RLabs story with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Graphic Design students and what an interesting response I had. It was also a wonderful opportunity to learn what some of the students were doing to make a social difference in their community. The question that was asked on a number of occasions was how do you grow a sustainable project in a community without being reliant on only donor funding? That in itself is another interesting post for sustainable models for social projects but I wanted to share the following three points in how we’ve managed to sustain our projects in RLabs:
1) You need human resources (PEOPLE) and we’ve done that successfully by gathering a group of champions from all over the world who are passionate about the Social Revolution.
2) We maximize our resources and skills available to us in order to grow the movement and the work we are doing in communities.
3) Use the power of Social Media to engage with people who are willing to provide their support (skills or finances) to your project. Do not use the tools to ask for money or resources but rather use it as a means to have more meaningful engagement.
The above points are just some of the lessons we’ve learned to grow a sustainable movement for Social Transformation and this could also be used in your social project in making a difference in the lives of others.
I’ve now been in Asia for two weeks and lots of exciting things are happening with the launch of RLabs as well as JamiiX and amazing to see how people are maximising the use of technology in their lives. However, for me personally there has a massive transition and change that took place and my life will never be the same again. It is while on this exciting journey with young people and great minds alike that led me to this new journey of longing to reach at least 1 third of the World’s population in my lifetime and leaving a positive footprint through the work of RLabs and other initiatives that I am involved in.
This journey is not a solo journey but one of people reaching out to others in need and I do see technology playing a big role in this. This is the reason for the change in title of this blog and new “feel” to keep you updated on what is happening on this journey. You can still expect technology insights, interviews, research and all things fun related to innovation and technology. For now this pursuit of a dream has begun and I am excited to have shared it with you as we together strive to reach that 2 Billion people in 1 Lifetime.
It has been 12 months since we’ve launched our Innovation Incubator and it has been a very interesting year as we increased our Incubation Start-ups from 1 to 7 and starting to see growth in making those innovation ideas a reality. What makes the RLabs Innovation Incubator different is that it has a very strong Social Entrepreneurship focus with all the start-ups having to meet at least these criteria:
1. The product or service should have a Social Impact
2. There should be a sustainable or business model
3. It should be scalable
It is important to note that RLabs do not offer business incubation services but more incubating the idea from concept to reality. We then connect those start-ups who wishes with Business Incubators or business mentors. RLabs also successfully managed to have its first start-up (JamiiX) being formed into a company and with the support by SAFIPA got to commercialise the product locally in South Africa and also move it into the global market.
Other products or Projects currently being incubated in RLabs are:
An interesting infographic by Vision Mobile highlighted the increase of competition by handset manufacturers for being the industry leader in this growing mobile market. It also confirms the research report done by RLabs that Nokia have been a dominating force in the mobile handset market. But with a huge influx of smartphones and with so many options for users the question still remains if Nokia will be leading the pack 10 years from now. What is your thoughts?
As a young boy I would never have anticipated that I will ever have the opportunity to visit places outside of Cape Town due to circumstances that prevented it. But as with most young people I had a dream to travel and to make a difference. The journey of that dream started 3 years ago when I was divinely inspired to use my talents and story to impact the life of another person through providing hope. It was there on the Cape Flats in Bridgetown that we started a movement with a few community champions, with little resources, people who mostly had no formal education, were the least qualified by world standards but had so much passion for change in their communities and their stories of hope that started this Social Revolution.
Fast forward three years and the movement is in 5 other countries and now for the next chapter RLabs being launched in Asia. This trip to Asia was one of so much excitement and being my first time here was something that I did not expect. Although only here for a few days I managed to adopt Singapore as my new home country, learned some Singlish “Singaporean English” and to eat with chopsticks as well as meet the most amazing and talented group of people.
It was when the realisation kicked in after a few hours what has just transpired at the RLabs Asia launch that one of my dreams has just come true. It was not about the travelling or seeing new places that impacted me, but most of all it was seeing a group of young people in another part of the world being empowered and being hopeful of their future that really got me going. Through this movement and Social Revolution it is seeing a generation who are so in tune with the latest technologies and yet have a heart for change that will ensure the reconstruction of nations through Innovation.
This weekend the JamiiX team launched the latest version of JamiiX and it is packed with the following new changes:
We’ve changed the layout and design for a much richer user experience:
1. Manage all your eXchanges from the Home Tab.
2. Easy chat management with your contacts, for a list of supported IM’s you can use JamiiX on click here
3. Group Chat, to help facilitate conversations between your eXchange Pro’s, Members and Guests.
There is also a new Welcome Screen that gives you the latest updates, help and management of your eXchanges:
1. Welcome Screen now have your JamiiX News and Latest Updates.
2. Quick start, your guide to JamiiX and how to get the Maximum of your eXchange (Creating an eXchange; Managing your eXchange; etc).
3. JamiiX Support, where our Help desk is only 1 message away.
Another new addition to JamiiX is its reporting system allowing you to see the real time activity on your eXchange.
1. eXchange Stats, where you can find the number of messages that has been sent to your eXchange.
2. We also have a tab Number of Users showing who is new and total number of users accessing your eXchange.
3. You can also access Number of Conversations allowing you to track growth of your eXchange.
4. Real Time Graph using date ranges.
Last week we’ve had an exciting time at the launch of the RLabs Social Innovation Space. The space will be used for the RLabs Academy, Research Institute, Community Work, Developing of new products and services as well as an Innovation Incubator that will allow the growth of community ideas into products. It was at the end of the launch that the space was opened to the public and the Social Revolution has officially begun…
Today the new RLabs Space was buzzing with excitement as we did the registration with the Mom 4.0, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Social Media for Teens courses. Below is some of the images and a video of how excited all the women from the community were to be part of the Social Revolution. We will upload more images and updates on how the day went.