In order to support and grow the emerging South African social innovation sector, we will create a digital network – Common Good First – to capture and showcase social impact projects in South Africa, connecting them to each other, academics and HEIs around the world.
We will actively promote and support University/Enterprise cooperation, based on deep knowledge of the digital landscape in SA, so as to promote take-up of web and mobile technologies in the region, in line with government objectives.We will create an online directory of innovative social projects for learning and teaching, as well as offering opportunities for community engagement to students in South Africa and EU. In doing so, we will also address the issue of the ‘digital divide’, as identified by the country’s National Development Plan 2030 (2013), by supporting the growth of e-skills among community groups; including innovative digital storytelling modules which will be co-designed and taught by young people in our partners HEIs and community projects. Based on the high usage of mobile technology in South Africa, we will ensure that these platforms are at the heart of our content and application development and this resource will also connect our community projects to potential funders and sponsors.We will create modules in digital storytelling for both student engagement with the wider community, and community projects themselves, and roll these out in mobile labs in three SA provinces, focusing on rural, peri-urban and urban locations.
Co-operation and collaboration will be developed between universities in the northern and southern hemispheres around social innovation, digital literacy and community engagement.
The ultimate vision for Common Good First is to roll out the platform (and associated teaching modules and social innovation resources) more widely within Africa, Europe and beyond.