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South Africa: African Innovation Set to Happen at the University of Cape Town
Source: Google Alert
Source Date: Friday, March 14, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Mar 14, 2014

"The Solution Space is an opportunity to experiment in a real space with real people," Baets says. "And because complex challenges demand collaboration and partnership, the Space will be a nexus between industry, governments, academia and civil society." The multi-million rand initiative, which forms part of the Workshop 17 project (a joint initiative of the V&A Waterfront and UCT GSB), received funding from the UCT Vice Chancellor's Strategic Fund and The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The SAB Foundation has also partnered with UCT GSB with a funding commitment of N$1 million as seed capital for promising social entrepreneurs.
Sarah-Anne Arnold, Solution Space manager, says the area will provide a home to GSB students of innovation and entrepreneurship. The school already runs several programmes with a focus on innovation, including an MPhil specialising in inclusive innovation and the Social Innovation Lab - a stream on the MBA, which immerses students both practically and theoretically in the field of social innovation. The Space will be attractive both to start-up companies in search of 'hot desk' space at a nominal fee and also to entrepreneurs in need of advice and funding. Arnold explains that the school plans to run an entrepreneurial development programme from the Space. "The Space is a dynamic, intellectually stimulating yet informal environment. Here, multiple and potentially divergent action-learning experiments will be piloted. The aim is to learn how best to shift increasingly interconnected social, political, economic, and environmental challenges in Africa," said Arnold. "These unorthodox and applied experiments will revolve around the themes of values-based leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability, inclusive innovation, and business model innovation."
Arnold says the Solution Space is made up of three main activities, namely a Learning Lab, which is a space dedicated to teaching, learning and research, an
Incubator, which is a space for corporate and government partners to help develop promising start-ups working on new and inclusive and an Exchange where people can meet, network, and build a community committed to working together to enable innovators and entrepreneurs.
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