RLabs, Bertha Centre launch free online course on social innovation


Youth empowerment organisation RLabs and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a specialised unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB), have launched a free online course on social innovation.

RLabs, born in Bridgetown, Cape Town and now active in 22 countries, and the Bertha Centre have partnered for with UCT’s Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (UCT CILT) to launch the free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), entitled Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation.

The six-week course was co-created by the Bertha Centre and RLabs, and is designed to debunk common assumptions around what resources are needed to become a social entrepreneur and encourage people to begin acting as social innovators and changemakers.

Participants will follow the journey of RLabs and other examples of social innovations in Africa and across the world, with the MOOC challenging them to get out of their comfort zones and start engaging with the diverse spaces, people, challenges and opportunities around them.

MOOCs are free online courses and have no entry requirements. Only an internet connection is required to access the courses, though RLabs will be pushing to make this one even more accessible.

“While internet access is increasing, data costs still remain high, especially in South Africa. Therefore RLabs U will be taking the new MOOC ‘offline’ to deliver it in communities, halls, homes, schools,” said RLabs founder Marlon Parker.

“As RLabs we are really excited to partner with the Bertha Centre, who have been pioneering work and research in social innovation. This collaboration also enables us to fulfill a broader mandate to see more changemakers driving social change globally.”.

UCT became the first African university to offer MOOCs on international MOOC platforms in early 2015, joining many leading international universities. Through Coursera, the world’s largest MOOC platform, and FutureLearn, a smaller UK-based platform, UCT aims to reach thousands of learners worldwide.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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