• Supernews is evolving and is in the  process of re-modelling. As a result, our news coverage will be intermittent. Please watch this space for exciting new changes. "CHANGE THE HEADLINES, AND YOU CHANGE SOUTH AFRICA." Welcome to Supernews, A Citizen-Generated News Network, and Super Stage, A Live Innovation Campus Platform

By RothkoAgency

Go Getter

rate this article

paradigm shifter

comments0 comments
views0 views
Tick one or all of the boxes if you think this Supernews report is Newsworthy, a Paradigm Shifter and/or Skillful. Once the icons turn green, yellow or red, click RATE NOW. By rating and commenting, you'll help our Citizen Journalists climb the ranks and become eligible for Super Stuff. Check out our Scorecard page for more info on how the point system works. hide

share this article

African innovation set to happen here

UCT Graduate School of Business launches new Solution Space – to stimulate innovation and pioneer workable solutions to Africa’s social and environmental challenges.

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) has created an innovative space at the heart of its campus, to break the mould of a traditional business education in order for more holistic and creative responses to African challenges to emerge.

The Solution Space is dedicated to inventing and testing new business models, products and services, and incubating businesses aligned to African markets. It will act as a collaborative living lab for students, social innovators, entrepreneurs, foundations, government and industry players, who are interested in finding new and creative ways to address complex problems on the continent.

GSB Director Walter Baets says that the space is a manifestation of the business school of the future. “Business schools need to shift to meet the needs of an unpredictable and unequal world. This means we need to move away from just training MBAs towards getting involved in creating new business solutions for the world. We need to be more hands on by turning out real solutions to real problems.”

“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, government, 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 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 R1-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 theoretical 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 that the Solution Space is made up of three main activities:

Learning Lab: A space dedicated to teaching, learning and research, moulding and shaping innovators and entrepreneurs through relevant and scholarly learning processes applied practically to real world problems.

Incubator: A space for corporate and government partners to help develop promising start-ups working on new and inclusive solutions with business models that have commercial potential for African markets.

Exchange: A space for people to meet, network, and build a community committed to working together to enable innovators and entrepreneurs.

The area embodies the GSB’s philosophy of Full Colour Thinking. Moveable desks and chairs, and bright coloured chalkboard walls on which to graffiti ideas create an environment where predefined models are discarded in favour of creative approaches.

Arnold says that the Solution Space is a forerunner to Workshop 17 at the V&A Waterfront, alongside the GSB campus, where construction is currently under way and due to be completed later this year.


This entry was posted in Business, Education and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.