RLabs Rhini’s visit to the LLiSA Conference

RLabs is a partner of the VSA. I work for the VSA and also happen to be the chairperson of the Grahamstown branch of RLabs called RLabs Rhini. RLabs is a living lab that works to rehabilitate ex-gangsters and ex-drug dealers. Here in
Grahamstown we are going to focus on peer pressure because many matriculants end up drinking themselves into a stupor at taverns just because they want to fit.

I had the privilage of representing this branch at a conference run by Living Labs in Southern Africa at the RLabs headquartes in Athlone, Cape Town on 1st & 2nd March 2011. It was a success considering that all present Living Labs shared their information freely in order to grow together.

Present at the conference were: Siyakhula Living Lab from Rhodes University; RLabs, the hosts; RLabs Rhini; North West Living Lab; ENoLL who was representing Open Living Labs and Living Labs Global and LAUREA a member of the Europian  Network of Living Labs.

The first day the different Labs shared how they were established and the kind of challenges they are facing as a Lab. On the second day RLab facilitators shared Social Media information and the importance of the way forward as the LLiSA Network to get maximum publicity using the Social Media Tools.

I spent Thursday and Friday with the RLabs’ team. From that information we are starting our work in a week’s time. RLabs Rhini’s first generation of trainees will work over a period of 28 days which will be broken into fourteen weeks. That is, four months. We will introduce them on the uses of communication websites and I hope my hometown will gain from my trip to Cape Town.

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