Social media: a driver for Social Change

The past few years have seen an explosion of social media platforms i.e. Linkedin, Facebook, Ning and Twitter. This has provided the opportunity for the social sector to find new ways of organizing our work, expanding our reach globally and collaborating with projects and individuals doing similar work. These platforms are however quite generic and transformative opportunities are often never materialize.

On 28 September, New Ideas for Africa and the GIBS Network for Social Entrepreneurs will be hosting a dialogue focused on using social media to drive social change.Leading the conversation will be Cindy Gallop, who is visiting South Africa for a week to launch IfWeRanTheWorld South Africa, and Garth Japhet, Founder of Soul City andHeartlines, launching ForGood. These online movements create practical avenues for people to begin working with others to make a difference in their communities.

We will also share lessons on using social networking platforms effectively, as well as explore how our projects can best engage with existing platforms.

Event Details:
Date: Tuesday, 28th September 2010
Time: 15h45 for 18h00 to 21h00
Venue: GIBS, Classroom 10, 26 Melville Road, Illovo
Contribution: R50 toward costs of the event (includes light refreshment)
RSVP: Lungelo Mgcina,


September 23, 2010 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

New Ideas for Africa lands in Lagos

The long awaited debut of New Ideas for Africa in Lagos is finally here.

New Ideas for Africa is a monthly event happening in London and Johannesburg since May 2007. At the event, people interested in the positive transformation of the Africa meet to share insights and network around ideas and projects they are working on that benefit people and communities.

In August 2010, New Ideas for Africa arrives in Lagos, Nigeria with the theme “The Leaders Nigeria needs”

Election 2011 is around the corner and the question on everybody’s mind is what we can do to get it right this time. We all hope that this time we can ensure the right leaders are elected into public office across Nigeria.

* But what is the make-up of these right leaders?

* And how do we differentiate them from the many people already throwing their names into the hat to run for public office in 2011?

* How can the public make the right choice on elections day?

* But more importantly, how can we still keep these people in check after they have been elected?

Many projects exist to develop the right leaders for Nigeria and to ensure people’s votes count in 2011. At this month’s New Ideas for Africa, we will have the opportunity to interact with these projects and the people behind them. The session will be very interactive as is our usual practice at these events.

Please extend this invitation to anyone in your network who has an interest in seeing Nigeria led by the right people or just interested in networking with people interested in the social transformation of Nigeria and Africa.

Event details as follows:

Date: 11th August 2010

Time: 18h30 – 21h00

Venue: Quez’ ville, Eko Gym and Spa Complex, 9b Akarigbere Close, Off Idejo, Off Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos

Contribution: N1000 to support the costs of the event (includes light refreshment)

RSVP: Femi at or 08136241976 by 9th August, 2010

We look forward to a fun, inspiring and knowledge sharing evening!

August 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

Session on ‘Realizing innovative ideas for a transforming Joburg’

Our theme for this month’s NIfA session held on 16th March generated a lot of enthusiasm. Attended by change-makers who are both passionate about the future of Johannesburg and have thought through possibilities on how to generate change.

The session was co-hosted by The Hub, a social enterprise with the ambition to inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a better world. The Hub is a global community of people from every profession, background and culture working at ‘new frontiers’ to tackle the world’s most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges.

True to the global reach of both New Ideas for Africa as well as The Hub, this session was attended by a huge international contingent: MBA students from Duke University in the US, quite a number of people from Holland (including a Hub host from Rotterdam) and Switzerland.

Since The Hub aims to be locally relevant, we intend to explore how it can respond to the support requirements of these socially entrepreneurial change-makers.

Some insights and actions from the session:

Joburg is a cosmopolitan home with a soul. It still has gold, but a new kind – it’s people and her willingness to change.


–       to bridge the Sandton/CBD divide – transport connecting the two

–       to influence legislature

–       a common course of action to rally behind

–       social cohesion

–       inspirational, ethical leadership

–       to connect with each other across diversity

–       less competition, more collaboration

–       efficient public transport

–       high level of education in public schools

–       how do we make Joburg more playful?


–       connect people willing to change – bring “all” the voices into the room

–       bring people to a common place/energy

–       broaden personal horizons – exposure beyond the suburbs

–       regular meetings with strangers – possibility of new conversations

–       to create a movement to change mindsets

–       attend social clubs

–       volunteer in public schools

The vibrancy in the room was electric with several people stepping forward to contribute to creating The Hub, Johannesburg as well as starting New Ideas for Africa in their home communities.

March 19, 2010 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

What support is needed to realize socially innovative and entrepreneurial ideas for a transforming Joburg?

Last week saw the launch of funding organisation UnLtd SA in South Africa. Michael Norton, founder of UnLtd, believes that all good things stem from a single thought, that single good idea, followed by the decision to take it forward.

Welcome to the first New Ideas for Africa session for 2010. Our focus for this session is on what happens after the decision to act on a good idea has been taken. We ask:

“what support is needed to realize socially innovative and entrepreneurial ideas for a transforming Joburg?”

A few of us in the NIfA network have joined hands to open The Hub Johannesburg this year. Its core business is to provide people who have enterprising ideas for the world with access to the resources, connections, knowledge, capital, experience and markets they need in order to thrive. See:

We invite all who are interested in addressing the above question to join us on Tuesday, 16th May at 18h30. The output of this dialogue will provide input for the Joburg model for Hub creation as well as for other similar initiatives.

Event Details:
Date:                      Tuesday, 16th March 2010
Time:                     18h30 – 21h00
Venue:                  GIBS, Classroom 10, 26 Melville Road, Illovo
Contribution:    R45 toward costs of the event (includes light refreshment)
RSVP:            by 12th March

March 9, 2010 at 1:06 am Leave a comment

Best of Youth Development & Mentorship Programmes

Last night’s well-attended Joburg New Ideas for Africa session brought together a diverse group of participants who work in the area of youth development and mentorship. Busi Dlamini was facilitator of our session and supported by the experience of Olifele Masangane from Heartlines, Julian Hewitt from Allan Grey Orbis Foundation, Phyllis Byars-Ameguide from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Glen Steyn, Conquest for Life.

From the session, we have collectively defined the conditions for effective youth development and mentorship programmes as the following:

  • Lessons are rooted through travel and experience. Provide opportunities for first-hand experience
  • Break down the traditional authority structures, let youth take ownership of the programme and move into a relationship of mutual exchange
  • The roles of teacher/learner are often interchanged between the mentor and mentee
  • Responsibility is the role of both mentor and mentee
  • Instill in kids that someone believes in them; that they’re worth something
  • The roles of coach, mentor and councillor are different but overlap
  • Sometimes good intentions have unwanted ramifications so create the right frameworks. Have defined measurement tools in place for progress and set goal posts for your journey
  • Engage several stakeholders for optimal design
  • Diversity of kids provides the highest impact, not merely for the ‘high potentials’ but have a mix of personalities, backgrounds etc. This allows leadership to emerge through cross-sharing
  • The extent to which you listen to someone directly affects the degree to which they intellectually engage
  • Listen with a view to understanding!
  • Learning often occurs under pressure
  • Same-sex groupings of mentor/mentee keeps the relationship clear
  • Allow your mentee to keep you accountable to your values
  • It is often beneficial to use ‘ordinary people’ from the community to be mentors and make use if existing relationships. This may however limit the ability of the mentee to be open
  • The criteria and selection of your mentors should depend on the context/community
  • Involve parents through workshops/training
  • Psycho-social support is often lacking for the child, incorporate this as far as possible
  • The child is also a resource to the rest of the family once mentored
  • Provide locally-relevant resources
  • Have regular meetings with your mentee
  • Peer to peer mentorship is highly effective when youth have the appropriate conditions to dialogue (create shared experiences and a trust-base)

November 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

London event: Going beyond words to bring about change in Africa

Dear friends,

A big thank you to everyone who joined us at the last meeting

Our upcoming New Ideas for Africa in London will be the last one for 2009. Already the year is at an end. As we all shift our eyes to 2010, the focus of this meeting will be “Next step – going beyond our words: What are we prepared to do now and in 2010 to bring about change in Africa?”

The meeting will be a chance to explore ways to take actions and leverage on others who have already begun to create change in Africa that combine good financial and social benefits. If you or anyone in your network has such opportunities and experiences, feel free to come share.

As is our usual approach, we will start the evening with a discussion on the theme after which we’ll have the ideas workshop.

We welcome practical initiatives, business ideas and social projects that look to creatively ride the current climate while addressing an issue of need for communities in Africa.

Please extend this invitation to other people in your network who have similar interests, need an idea of how to make the best of the current climate or have something to contribute.

Venue: Mustard Bar and Lounge, 2 Old Change Court, The City, London, EC4M 8EN (The downstairs bar)

Map: (nearest tube – St Paul, Mansion House and Barbican)

For any enquiries, call or text Lillian on 07958300168 or send an email to

We look forward to a fun, inspiring and knowledge sharing evening!

This event is jointly organised by Africa++ and Vivid Occasions

November 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

The Best of Mentorship & Youth Development Programmes

youth pic

It seems that several of us have either participated in or developed a youth development or mentorship programme at some point or the other. At this final 2009 Joburg New Ideas for Africa session we question the benchmarks of success that point to effective youth and mentorship programmes.

We invite participants of various programmes, programme initiators and community leaders to share in conversation as we define for ourselves what best practice means in this field. Supporting this session is Quinton Pretorius from Heartlines, Julian Hewitt from the Allan Grey Orbis Foundation and Phyllis Byars-Ameguide from the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Event details as follows:
Date:                     Tuesday, 17th November 2009
Time:                    18h30 – 21h00
Venue:                  GIBS, Classroom 10, 26 Melville Road, Illovo
Contribution:   R45 toward costs of the event (includes light refreshment)
RSVP:           by 13th November


November 4, 2009 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

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