Iringa Living Lab status update: “Busy but loving it”

It’s been a while since we last wrote about what is happening at the Iringa Living Lab, so it’s time to catch up!

We facilitated a 2-day workshop for Iringa Living Lab at the end of November 2012. The objectives were to create partnerships between the different stakeholders and to create a platform for further cooperation, as well as come up with new social innovations which will benefit the Iringa community. Iringa Living Lab invited stakeholders from the government, the community, universities and different organisations for the workshop.

The workshop was opened by Regional Commissioner Dr. Christine Ishengoma expressing the regional government’s appreciation and interest in Iringa Living Labs’ efforts. Participants from 12 different local organizations and some individual community members took part in whole workshop, and everyone’s active involvement and contribution was needed. The process started with participants defining issues and problems facing Iringa community and after an iterative process, coming up with four solutions addressing the issues and leveraging the Iringa Living Lab as a platform.

Having fun and brainstorming in the Iringa Living Lab workshop, click to see all photos!

Having fun and brainstorming in the Iringa Living Lab workshop, click to see all photos!

The key challenges that participants selected for further discussion were:

  1. How to create more new businesses and help small businesses grow?
  2. How to help people to find, access and create job opportunities?
  3. How to make science and technology more appealing in society?
  4. How to transform Iringa into a green city?

To find out what the envisioned solutions were, have a look the great summary Iringa Living Lab wrote in their blog, or the even more extensive report (pdf)!

But the workshop was already more than month ago. We asked Iringa Living Lab what is happening right now or coming up soon – and this is what they answered:

  • They just met yesterday with the four groups formed in the workshop to see where they were in taking forward their solutions.
  • New social media training is about to start for Neema Crafts’ staff.
  • Next week they are starting a social media training for deaf girls’ group in Iringa Girls middle school in a space provided by Global Outreach NGO.
  • They just had a meeting with Tumaini University IT faculty and are planning start doing more specific ICT trainings in a way that Tumaini students would be training different community groups and teachers, and producing some digital learning materials for primary school pupils. Who just said the best way to learn is to teach?
  • Iringa Living Lab is training some girls who just finished middle school to be social media trainers, and they will be assisting ILL in the training for the deaf girls’ group. Tumaini’s Journalism faculty has promised to give them also some training in journalism.
  • In a couple of months ILL is planning to organize the first basic entrepreneurship training, possibly in collaboration with RLabs. Training in entrepreneurship skills has been the most sought after training in the Iringa community.

“Busy but loving it.”

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