Portal:Social entrepreneurship/networking/activities/Advisory Group Meeting 20080917

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Notes on Meeting WBI and Meraka Institute 20080917

Present: Bob, Kim, Mario, Sarah, Thiru

Agenda[edit | edit source]

  1. Welcome to Sarah
  2. Recap on Process
  3. SAFIPA Collaboration
  4. Game and Piloting
  5. Fund Raising
  6. Succession Planning

Welcome to Sarah[edit | edit source]

Sarah will be helping out at WBI for the next few months. Sarah has a history in corporate social investment with a focus on education, and an interest in social entrepreneurship.

Recap on Process[edit | edit source]

We are on the last week of the Curriculum Development process (1st iteration).

We have learned much in this process. Issues which have arisen included:

  • Understanding the differences among Social Entrepreneurship and Service Learning and Community-based Learning.
    • The latter two are more like domain knowledge transafer during a semester, while social entrepreneurship intends to stimulate lateral thinking and generate ideas which may a life of their own beyond the students's study period.
  • The tension between the needs of university professors educating students and the needs of those interested in establishing sustainable entreprises, etc.
  • Ideological bias against terms like "business plan" as an end point in the process towards terms like "sustainability plan" or not specifying an end result as it restricts the thinking.
  • Mobilising the community
  • Managing and inspiring the network.
    • Do we have a critical mass of educators focussed on social entrepreneurship?
      • How can we grow the community?
    • Is the discussion aligned with the needs of the participants?
    • Is there a fear of this open and continuous peer review?
    • NGOs should be highlighted and drawn in more pro-actively.
    • Is there real buy-in from the public sector?
    • Are the technical barriers to using the wiki too high?

Some of the issues are tracked on the Issues Tracker.

We also considered running a competition for the best contributions to the wiki curriculum. So far, there have been insufficient entries and contributions from the collaborating institutions for the competition to be viable (i.e. there is no worthy winner yet).

Now that we have a curriculum outline, the competition could go ahead and be run systematically, or we could come up with other ways to use funds set aside for curriculum development activities.

Game and Piloting[edit | edit source]

The pilot will be smaller than initally expected. Need to develop the look and feel, the evaluation matrix.

Fund Raising[edit | edit source]

Collaborative sourcing of finds.

Korean Trust Fund[edit | edit source]

WBI should have an answer by the end of the month. This is the first round. More lobbying may be required to be successful in the second round.

SAFIPA Collaboration[edit | edit source]

SAFIPA is taking a pragmatic approach towards replication and community benefit. There seems to be some skepticism around social entrepreneurship.

There will be several calls starting at the end of September (earliest) - so, let's get some quality ideas together.

They key thing is to determine how all the collaborating parties will gain mutual benefit via synergies.

  • co-funding
  • intellectual exchange and enhancement
  • OER and sharing of educational resources
  • community engagement
  • innovation from students
  • innovation, incubation
  • etc.

Other Sources[edit | edit source]

WBI has been in contact with various other possible co-funders.

Succession Planning[edit | edit source]

Sarah will be Kim's successor.

For the Meraka Institute in general, three options were suggested:

  1. Stop and capture the learning to date. Meet at the end of October for this option.
  2. Integrate with multiple ongoing initiatives at the Meraka Institute.
  3. Collaboratively source funds to continue. The WBI, sor example, could bring in more resources too. Strenghten the DST conection.

Actions[edit | edit source]

  1. Design a short (maximum 10 questions) survey to determine the reasons for lack of engagement with the process.
    • Deploy the survey on (e.g. Survey Monkey).
      • Follow up on survey responses by phone to selected individuals.
  2. Send out a final e-mail regarding the 8 week curriculum development process.
  3. Consider a workshop with students who have been through a social entrepreneurship course to go through the wiki and comment its usefulness.
  4. Send out a final e-mail to close the Curriculum Development process.
    • Take a break of 2 - 3 weeks but leave the discussion open, then start a new discussion. Perhaps on OER and Wiki Learning, or on some of the outstanding curriculum issues - see Issues Tracker.
  5. Re fund raising: Meraka Institute to consolidate possible synergies (Wireless Africa, Digital Doorway, WISP, ... and determine their role(s)).
    • Research - innovation - link between domains and technologists - etc.