How digital plays a key role in Social Innovation

Common Good First’s platform for Digital Story Telling launches

Cape Town – A symposium was conducted on 8 – 9 October to launch the much awaited ‘Common Good First Digital Story Telling platform for Social Innovation Project’.

Universities, Corporates and NPOs came together to offer an understanding of the impact of social innovation by providing stats, research and unpacking white paper discussions  on Digital Social Innovation and Economic Empowerment.common -good-first-2-digital

Managed by Glasgow’s Caledonian University, and hosted by University of Western Cape, the project received €1 million of funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ scheme for capacity-building.

Twelve universities partnered to bring the project to life, 6 of which are South African.

The key aim is to create a digital network to identify, showcase and connect social innovation projects in South Africa to each other and to universities around the world. The platform provides content for research as well as place to foster student engagement, learning and teaching.

The common thread with every single story that was presented by key speakers, was that it started with a story.

“I have been deeply changed. South Africa has changed me through their stories”, says Marina Candi, Professor from Reykjavik University’s School of Business.

The audience were further exposed to how critical social innovation is to the development of our government policies, our economy, our education and higher learning institutions but most importantly the community. 

In the end, we noticed, how willing people are to try and make a change in the world. South Africa itself has grown in leaps and bounds. We’re so quick to judge our country but when you look at it from an academic sense with statistics and research, we’re doing okay. We’re actually doing well as a country and we have so many good stories to tell – and how to use digital, to amplify those stories.

For example, the promising trends show;  

SA as an emerging economy:
The entrepreneurial gender ratio: F/M has risen from 60% TO 69%.
Opportunity based entrepreneurship is 50% more relevant than necessity based entrepreneurship. In 2015 this ratio was 10%.

The ICT performance indicates that even though South Africa has moved down position from 88 in 2016, to 92 in 2017, the most recent report concludes that, “South Africa is at the forefront of the region’s technological development with the latest broadband technologies and wide coverage.


The day concluded on an absolute high and the power of networking and collaboration of like-minded individuals all working towards a common goal was witnessed and realised. The event took place at the Welgemeend Manor Farmhouse in the heart of Cape Town, nestled at the foot of Table Mountain. The name translates to “well intentioned”,  a most fitting venue host to the launch of the Common Good First Project Platform.

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