On Wednesday, 4 March 2020, OpenUp were invited to participate in a Youth Innovation Workshop hosted by the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Lucha Lunako. The workshop was held at the Philippi Village business centre, a venue that due to its position and facilities has the potential to host something like a Codebridge Youth Hub.
The workshop’s aims were to:
- Share existing strategies that are working in “Youth Development” and explore innovative ideas to address youth development challenges in South Africa
- Create an outline/approach to a youth development framework
- Start a support network for civil society actors working in the youth development space to share lessons, avoid duplication efforts and multiply impact through collective efforts
The workshop was roughly divided into two main parts. First, we heard from young South African’s from the Philippi area. Three inspiring young women spoke about their perspectives and lived experiences, especially as a participant in youth development interventions.
The second part was an expose of civil society programmes and tools currently making a difference in youth development. One of the tools was OpenUp’s Youth Explorer, the others being the Youth ‘Have It’ Framework by Lucha Lunako, Youth Capital by the DG Murray Trust, and the work being done by Naspers Labs/RLabs.
While there were no hard outputs for the workshop it was interesting and inspiring to see what was happening in the youth development space and to build relationships with like-minded organisations. What set this workshop apart was the inclusion of the youth voice in the event, as so often civil society events exclude the very people that are at the heart of social problems being addressed.
From a civic tech perspective, there are many opportunities within the youth development sector of civil society and its good to see that our work is already making a difference. Moving forward, OpenUp projects that directly involve the youth should continue to strengthen relationships with the other organisations at the workshop, and possibly collaborate on some exciting new innovations.