If we knew then what we know now: the fast growth of RLabs
The fourth project that we highlight in the ‘if knew then …’ series of articles is the Reconstructed Living Labs Academy, known as RLabs. The main goal of RLabs – implemented in Namibia and Botswana – has been to empower community members to be the change they want to see in their communities by using the tools of technology, innovation, design and entrepreneurship for change.
If you were setting up RLabs regional project all over again, what – if anything – would you do differently?
I think we would definitely have ensured that we established local partners who have infrastructure in place as that would have enabled an easier setup process for RLabs. We also realised that not all of theRLabs model can be replicated in a short space of time and as a consequence we’ve now developed the replication of RLabs in a modular fashion.
What has been the biggest challenge to the success of RLabs and was this anticipated?
The biggest challenge has always been on the human capital side. Despite the success of the programmes implemented we found that there was always a growing need for additional staff and champions. At the same we also needed to ensure development of the staff that was required to ensure critical growth. As with most startups, the additional challenge was cashflow.