Portal:Social entrepreneurship/networking/activities/Advisory Group Meeting 20080521

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Present[edit | edit source]

Participants included representatives of the University of Johannesburg, North West University, Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa, independent entrepreneurs, the Win Win Group, Sulaco New Media, World Bank Institute, Meraka Institute, Young Engineers of South Africa, Umsobumvu Youth Fund, DST, etc.

Agenda[edit | edit source]

  • Presentation on the World Bank Institute's Student Social Entrepreneurship Project.
  • Presentation and Discussion on the development of a collaborative online game to support the initiative.

WBI in SA[edit | edit source]

    • WB does not have a lending relationship with SA
  1. WBI Foci include
    • Knowledge society
    • Urban development
    • Infrastructure
    • Land reform
    • Environment
    • Service delivery
    • Science and technology for development
    • Capacity building
    • Institutional partnerships
    • Innovation, pilots, incubation, ...
    • Regional Hub

Background on the World Bank Institute's Student Social Entrepreneurship Project[edit | edit source]

Development Imperative[edit | edit source]

2006 Conference involving Finland and the DST in SA - identified the following priorities:

  • Education is fundamental to the success in the knowledge economy
  • Key role of youth
    • how to better engage
    • facilitate/enable youth to build their own capacity
    • orientation of youth towards development goals
  • Technology, particularly ICT
  • Innovation to drive growth
  • Community Innovation and Indigenous Knowledge.

Economic Imperative (competitiveness)[edit | edit source]

  • Speed
  • Networking
  • How to learn and adapt
  • Reliable, competent, competitive
  • Appropriate skills and knowledge
  • Business sense

Demands of the new economy:[edit | edit source]

  • Inclusion
    • being able to use knowledge effectively
  • education linked to the real world
  • creative thinkers
  • problem solvers
  • collaborative
  • technical literacy
  • global citizens
  • entrepreneurship.

Challenges and Opportunties[edit | edit source]

South Africa has one of the highest Gini coeficients in the world. 57% of the population lives on less than R3,000/year (c. $437/year). Depending on definitions, 25 - 40% of the population have no "proper" job.

Education is not responding to the market needs.

South Africa is often described as a world in one country: the learning in South Africa may be transferable (to other countries, regions, continents, etc.).

Innovation Response Gap[edit | edit source]

Market needs and required innovation change rapidly. The educational systems are reactive and slow to adapt and change as required.

The idea of the sole researcher innovating for society is outdated at best.

This (and other related) initiatives strive to teach/research collaboratively (researchers and communities) to elicit ideas which may become ventures towards sustainable commercial enterprises.

Networked innovation, community innovation, users as innovators, ....

This requires free/libre and open source underpinning.

(See Libre Knowledge vision: Knowledge for all, freedom to learn, towards collective wisdom: enabling communities to empower themselves with knowledge).

Engagements to Date[edit | edit source]

  • Gauteng universities: a series of interactions since December 2006 leading to

These build on previous engagements around "Service Learning" and "Community-based Learning" extending these approaches to include sustainability and social impact.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Update so far (done - above)
  • Share:
    • Gartner input to this early conceptual level.
    • Our own experiences
    • How the initiative could benefit our own constituencies
  • Brainstorm system(s) in support of the initiative.

Comments and Discussion[edit | edit source]

Neoliberal Tone[edit | edit source]


  • dialect: "new economies" v "social knowledge society"
    • different drivers
  • Globalisation and impact
    • Many countries, including South Africa, are removing neo-liberal components of their economic policies.


New opportunities: e.g. call centres in India - possible now that they are ICT-enabled. Some neo-liberal policies are taking root - in industries and in both private and public sectors.

There are new opportunties for NGOs and individuals (etc.) to tackle development challenges that were previously left to governments (which did not succeed).

NGOs are developing new operational models from donor-dependent to sefl sustaining. New and different business models, hybrid models. Organisation principles are changing. Mision-driven towards social causes, and becoming morer sustainable (as a result (i.e. serving needs)).

Identifying Social Issues[edit | edit source]

Q (DD): How are social issues identified?

A (RH): via exisitng CBOs and NGOs already grappling with community issues, and linking them to budding social entrepreneurs.

Nature of Education[edit | edit source]

Story (AA): re a young person "diagnosed" with ADHD (i.e. distracted, not doing well in school and given Ritalin): teachers asked students if they would like to learn about real problems ... Yes ... Whole community involved (identified issues, co-developing solutions): parents took the kids to these problem areas. The young person in question was inspired and became an organiser/coordinator ... highly valued contributer ... so, people come out of themselves in context. Education is about helping people find their space, or niche, in the world.

Educational Gaming: Stay Close to the Reality[edit | edit source]


  • Gaming community: building maths games (Mindset involved).
    • Learners learning maths designing games to help.
    • Grade 11 learner earning money doing this.
    • Discovery method.
  • Farm out the task to people actually there (learning maths).


ThinkQuest example of students producing as good or even better learning resources than educators. Peer-to-peer learning Student input to the learning resources and process.


  • Mentioned an example of students using Internet, e-mail, ...
    • appeal to International Student Programme,
      • students present their findings
        • (Australian example).

Mobile Access and New Technologies[edit | edit source]


  • Look at new tools and mobile access
    • e.g. MXit, etc. ...
      • rather than assume access to PCs


  • Time constraints in the project
    • Many users under-priviledged
      • So, not too much focus on new technologies and tools
        • Protoype not for large scale deployment.


  • The idea is to pilot the system with c 500 social entrepreneurship or service learning students to evaluate the system concept.

Gaming Approach[edit | edit source]


  • Gaming is a good approach
    • rewards easy to build in
    • user interface can be very intuitive
    • learning occurs as playing is fun.


The aim is to produce a collaborative web site for students studying social entrepreneurship and operating in disadvantaged communities.

Features include: ( other participants chipped in))

  • Identify projects, mobile access, blogging, sharing media chips,etc.
  • Gaming: set tasks, challenges and assessments, ...
  • User-driven market system
  • Player share trading
  • Assessments
  • etc.

Process[edit | edit source]

  • Register
  • Identify project(s)
  • Form teams
  • Invest virtual capital
  • Start a company
  • Engage with communities
  • Game starts.
    • Weekly challenges
    • Points
      • Monetary reward
      • Ratings
      • Influence in the game
    • Virtual stock market
    • Use wiki, blogs, etc.

Other Ideas[edit | edit source]

  • Company has
    • Employers
    • Employees
  • Company may
    • contract advisors, etc.
    • buy a franchise, etc.


  • Registration
  • Profiles
  • Groups
  • Global discussion forum
  • Pool of projects

Basis: market driven[edit | edit source]

  • How to run a business
    • Set company goals
    • Project goals and tasks

Assessments[edit | edit source]

  • How educators and peers see what you are doing
    • Challenge: how to make this interactive

DD: if you structure the game correctly, then users can set up their own assessments,

FH: e.g. suppose the issue is water pollution: develop proposal and set ratings therein ....

DD: instead of the standard approach, make it easy for students to act and the system and other players can provide feedback.

Output: business plan (rather than the business plan being the end of a planning process which then start off the game).

FH: the business plan will be an output in the process.

Mobile Access[edit | edit source]

MF: phone friendly?

FH: No.

MF: can be done ...

(FH should contact Meraka Institute for details and/or work with them to implement the solution).

Focus: over-emphasis of Financial Matters?[edit | edit source]

AK: Too much on financial motivators:

  • Health
    • moral development
      • sharing
      • what moral values are underpinning the game?
  • In the real world there is often no money involved but trading and exchange of goods and services.


  • For the game: goodwill points, kindness, positiveness, altruism, karma points, etc.
    • community developed values.

RH: details of the game to be worked out later.

Mentorship[edit | edit source]

Q. Mentorship?

RH: via DST activities, CSI, etc. An issue to be explored later.

Balance of Virtual and Real Activities[edit | edit source]

P: How much of the game is learning and pre-action, and how much is during community engagement and implementation?


Part of the design detail. The institutions have different ways of working, of structuring courses, phasing, and offer SE at different levels.

Idealogical Underpinnings[edit | edit source]

AA: Ideological underpinnings ... important to consider.

  • Ideology built in post-modernity
    • e.g. medical profession has many medical systems

How do we solve a problem in South Africa?

  • text (documents in the broad multi-media sense)
  • political ideology and meaning are context-specific and context-sensitive

We are starting at the wrong place!

A problem to solve?

Learners to make the games themselves. e.g. SecondLife ... books, cards, board games, etc. ... appropriate for the age group.

Purpose of the System?[edit | edit source]

RH: managing the dynamic between students, youth and communities:

  • Help students to understand their context
    • before coming in with their own ideas
      • how to teach students not to impose their ideas, but to work with communities.
  • Users will be initally at tertiary educational institutions
    • but engage youth.

The game will include the corporation concept, private and public collaboration on addressing issues such as environment, water, energy, social issues, etc.

Value proposition of the system: help drive the development of ideas:

  • build something from scratch to a viable, useful and sustainable operation with life beyond the intervention or prototype
  • reward structure in the game.

So, although the game might seem business-oriented and entreprenerial, the underlying ideas are more ideological.

Types of Educational Gaming Software[edit | edit source]


There are different types of educational games which can help develop certain types of skills.


  • Championship Manager can instill an understanding of advanced management concepts
  • A Soccer game will not teach anyone how to kick a ball.

For educational effect the game needs to be as close to reality as possible.

Ethics and Moral development in Games[edit | edit source]

AK: reminder re ethics and moral values underpinning the game.


  • Interactive web game:
    • game collects points on actions
      • e.g. train employees, etc.
      • attaching value ratings/scores on actions

For the pilot:

  • test that this web game approach works
  • develop a framework which enables users to create the models



  • points
  • money
  • social impact


In the game, money is a decoupled object which could assume different forms and be handled in different ways:

  • trading shares
  • confidence shares
  • digg ratings
  • etc.

Game Design[edit | edit source]


  1. Actions: with startup resources the user can do (e.g.) 100 things: spend, invest, ...
  2. Trading: another assessment tool.
    • one teacher assessing student activities is not scalable.
      • i.e. a peer review model.

DD: outcomes may be determined by the model (developed by the players)

AK: develop a model of the long term programme: its portfolio of projects and impact.

RH: e.g. focus on secondary education:

  • define a hierarchy of needs
  • define a development path
  • engage students to get it done.

The Game of Life[edit | edit source]


  • Life is a collaborative game.
    • Provide tools to help the learners make sense of the contexts they find themselves in.
      • Mapping tools (spatial view)
      • Mind mapping
      • Modelling and simulation environments
      • Social software, Web 2.0 facilities: wikis, blogs, discussion forums, networking, etc.
        • cf FaceBook, SecondLife, Wordpress, LinkedIn, MySpace, WikiSpaces, Pounce, ....
    • Students also learn to use available Internet facilities for professional and social life in the 21st century.

AA: drew a simplified diagram depicting the structure of human activity (sensu Vygotsky)

(found a relevant page on the Internet)

Aim/Outcome of the Game Process?[edit | edit source]

SG: What is the outcome?

  • game component
  • unconscious incompetence --> conscious
  • support tools to make it happen.

Go in and solve problems?

Empower the learners to solve problems ... play ... learn ... experiment ... act ... real world outcome.

WinWin: money cannot be eaten. WBI et al can help people connect with this.

Indigenous Games[edit | edit source]

Lucky (teleconferencing):

  • Creating online games will not reach many people - accessibility, no power, under-privileged.
    • Consider Indigenous Games and what ca be learned with them:
      • Morabaraba - teaches how to invest and trade.
        • accessible by rural people.

RH: excellent point - a challenge.

BH: Social impact of games?


  • For Social Entrrepreneurship: organisations are formed to address social issues
    • Morabaraba is about investment and trading towards a sustainable business
      • e.g. if the homeless people in Gauteng learn this they will not be homeless for long.

Starting to Wrap Up[edit | edit source]

Questions around the table:


Aim[edit | edit source]

  • facilitate, enable and catalyse connection - reducing isolation (of social entrepreneurship educators and learners)
  • enhance their knowledge and understanding towards effective action.

Most of the ideas generated will be academic. Most would fail. But how do we identify the few really powerful ideas and take them to realisation and fruition?

Evaluation[edit | edit source]

Evaluation needs to be holistic: triple bottom line (assessing sustainability).

We have discussed the role of the pilot.

Key steps:

e.g. identify issues and activities at health clinics - what could students do?

Gaming Model/Metaphor[edit | edit source]

  • Peer-to-peer learning.
  • Balance online and realworld benefits.

Next[edit | edit source]

  • Define concretely what students do ...

Assessment will have to be discussed later.

  • Ongoing wiki and mailing list.

Sulaco NM[edit | edit source]


  • lots of good info shared
  • will respond by e-mail
    • now we can develop a good conceptual proposal. Thanks all.

Academics[edit | edit source]


Q to academics:

  • will this help?
    • save time?
      • in a 1-year or 6-month module?


For post-graduate health science it will be useful for developing business plans - but only if the moral issues in our country are addressed. The initiative as a whole should help - not sure about the gaming approach.


Yes - a good initiative. Pay attention to continuity. Keep it simple.


Students focus on social entrepreneurship, businesses focus on profit - and create jobs. This will not add time - social entrepreneurship is already built into the programme.

Once the game is running, keep it simple. continue off-line - for rural communities (not connected).

Assessment: apply a standard approach.

For incubation - CIDA can help.

Technology[edit | edit source]

MF: on the technology side, think out of the box wrt accessibility: mobile phones, SMSs, etc.

RB: game vs model.

Sustainability and Services for the Game of Life[edit | edit source]


  • Sustainability requires simultaneous consideration of all three of social, economic and environmental sustainability (otherwise not sustainable).
  • Focus on services for students to be more effective in the collaborative game of life (including social entrepreneurship)
    • modelling and other thought and colaboration tools.

Gaming Approach and Design[edit | edit source]


  1. Community - on-line
    • social framework
      • blog, forum, etc.
  2. Game approach for (e.g.) farming ideas
    • unconscious ignorance
    • the initial game can inform and influence the shape future games.
  3. Sculpture an environment for people to create their own games
    • and scenarios.

Expert Input[edit | edit source]

WinWin (wearing look and feel hat):

  • ensure access by experts to student discussions.


Agree with AA: game concept as facilitator:

  • the problem is not known yet
    • learning how to collaborate with the communities.

Curriculum: Sustainability[edit | edit source]


Curriculum needs to include:

  • What is sustainability
    • How to model it - tools to be included among:

Curriculum: Using the Services[edit | edit source]

  • Services for students (modelling and thought tools)
  • and ultimately, the communties themselves.

Protecting Ideas[edit | edit source]


Q. re protection of ideas in an open environment.

KT: "free" and "open" does not mean no protection. Knowledge shared on the wiki: via GNU Free Documentation License, on WikiEducator: CC-BY-SA., etc.

MF: Cannot patent an idea - only the implementation. Ideas are plentiful. Successful implementations are scarce. Focus on the services that people provide.

DD: the best and most successful games were developed collaboratively.

BH: but when people start competing for funds ... problem of sharing ideas.

Lucky: support this concern wrt student assessment - who's idea was it? How much credit for which student(s)?

Community Impact (of new ideas)[edit | edit source]

Implementing an idea: as soon as the student (outsider) is introduced to the community, the values of the community and the student change.

RH: part of assessment. Localisation. Innovation. Assess degree of collaboration, sharing, cooperation, community engagement, ....

Close[edit | edit source]


  • The broad challenge is clear, the devil is in the details.
  • Evolving process
  • Sulaco NM to digest and come back with an updated concept
  • End of June or early July: demo and pilot.