On March 5th 2013 we organized a full day working meeting for the living labs and living lab initiatives that we have been working with. Idea of the session was to share experiences and challenges, and come up with ideas for developing the activities and collaboration. Marlon Parker, the founder of RLabs, was working with us this week, so he could also mentor the participants and share the RLabs experience of becoming largest living lab network in Africa.
As most participants hadn’t met before this meeting, we started the day with an introduction where each organization had to tell in 6 minutes their background, current activities, challenges and one success story. All the presentations are on our YouTube channel so you can also get to know them:
- Iringa Living Lab in less than 6 minutes, Yusuf Ssessanga and Sanna Nevala
- Elimu Academy / Sengerema Living Lab in 6 minutes, Karol Novat
- LAB Africa in 6 minutes, Richard Gorvett
- Arusha EcoLab at NM-AIST in 3 minutes, Joshua Jacobs Mushi
- Meru Primary School Deaf ICT Education Project in 1 minute, Johanna Ylinen
- Mbeya Living Lab / Gushit in less than 6 minutes, Geofrey Francis Mdee
- CHAVITA (Tanzania Association for the Deaf) in 9 minutes, Stadius Kongoka
- Kigamboni Community Center in 8 minutes, Festo Chengula and Simon Flamand
- Story of RLabs for starting living labs in 30 minutes, Marlon Parker
After the presentations we started to look for interlinking and common topics by writing our thoughts about the ecosystems and surroundings we work in, our challenges, our goals and what opportunities we see. Most important issues to be discussed were selected by voting stickers and thematic grouping as follows:
- Funds, money, financial sustainability, social business
- Working with people with disabilities
- ICT, science & technology, “academies”, training, entrepreneurship
Discussions evolved into action plans on social media training for the deaf by CHAVITA, Business Model Canvases for living labs and community centers to better describe and quantify the value they generate, and into communication and collaboration between the different living labs in Tanzania.
We collected all the raw ideas and outputs into a summary document (pdf), which we have shared with the participants. Maybe reading the document will also give you some insight into what is currently happening in living labs in Tanzania?