Saturday, January 31, 2009

Exciting Week ahead

After a week of making good contacts and meeting interesting people at the Innovation Conference an exciting week is lying ahead. The week starts off with an appearance on national television SABC 2, at 07h35 Monday 2 February. This week will also be the first of its kind where we are hosting all Honours students from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)at the Impact Centre for two weeks. The students will be part of this exciting phase with the launch of the Athlone Living Lab where innovation will emerge that will be used to empower the citizens from the local community.

This is also the week where we will explore the possibilities of linking up with local and provincial government to see how we can roll out the Drug Advice Support initiative. It is also our official 6 month celebration with DAS as we continue using technology to change lives of citizens in Communities in Tension (CiT).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Innovation Systems: Unlocking Potential

Being part of the COFISA Innovation Systems workshop opened the doors for many more opportunities to Technology for Community Empowerment. The African context lend itself to strong Social Innovations not just important for survival but also the possibility to globalisation.

Some of the areas that were discussed during Day 1 at the workshop was the National Implementation Innovation Strategies in both South Africa and Finland, exploring foresight as a tool for innovation, the Triple Helix Collaboration and Science Parks as Regional Development Catalysts.

Day 2 was especially interesting as the core discussions were around Living Labs, Knowledge and Innovation in Rural Development, monitoring and evaluation of Innovation Systems and some of the innovation developments in Sub-Sahara Africa.

The workshop has clearly indicated that there are a need for more innovative strategies in a developing country but also that it should be inclusive of all parties involved in the process of innovation.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Advice Support Network: Screenshots

The Advice Support Network has been taking off nicely and we thought sharing some screenshots to see the technology used by the Advisors accross South Africa to support people in need.

Above the Drug Advice Support (DAS) log in page

Career Advice Support (CAS) log in page

Career Advice Support (CAS) example conversation

Positive Advice Support (PAS) admin page

A Week of Reconstruction using Technology

It has definitely been a different week with a number of meetings, planning and developing strategies for the year ahead. Already the year has started off with a bang with two new projects starting. One of the project is a Youth Citizens Journalism project with schools in the local area and the other being establishing an IT Academy in the Bridgetown Community.

We also discussing collaborations with another major social mobile applications development organisation and talks with a major corporate for possible partnership. Everything seems to be going well and with some of the Reconstructed Team doing a presentation this Thursday about the Reconstruct red project we excited to see our new intake of world changers in the next 2 weeks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Advice Support Services Latest

Today was another successful day with the Advice Support Services. Drug Advice Support (DAS) times were extended to 7pm. We are therefore now online between 3 and 7pm every Tuesday and Thursday. Our first day with the extended hours went well and we've seen an increase in number after 5pm.

Another milestone was achieved today when we reached our 50 subscribers mark with our Career Advice Support (CAS)service. This has been achieved without any marketing or promotion of the service as yet. Positive Advice Support (PAS) also had a good day as we've had a number of requests to the service. We will keep you updated on the progress of the expanded Advice Support services.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Reconstructed Podcast: The Story of Monique Theron

The story of Monique Theron one of the Reconstructed graduates share her story in the Reconstructed Podcast series. Download it here

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Drug Advice Support(DAS) statistics

The success of DAS has not only open doors to many new opportunities using mobile technologies but also granted us the joy of seeing the lives of many people being reconstructed as we were able to be that lifeline to many. To give an indication how effective DAS has been some of the statistics (over a period of 102 hours / 5 months) are found below:

Total conversations: 12,255
Number of Drug conversations: 6921 (56.5%)
• Tik: 1913
• Dagga: 634
• Heroin: 846
• Smoking: 147
• Mandrax: 69
• Alcohol: 588
• Rocks: 30
• Ecstasy: 23
• General Drug queries: 2671

Other conversations:
Pregnancy: 101
Relationship: 297
Sex related: 99
School/Education: 175
Depression: 120
Sickness: 19
Death/Suicide: 106
Employment: 362
Rape: 23
Physical/Emotional Abuse: 236
Religious: 761
General: 2896

Total Messages – 64 921

Average number of conversations per session: 12 255 / 102 hours = 240.3 per session (Max 473, Min 21)
Average number of Messages = 1273 per session (Max 3678, Min 234)
Average number of conversations per Advisor in a session = 37 (Min 4, Maximum 56)

This is the year where DAS along with the other Advice Support services (PAS and CAS) will be expanded into schools, colleges, universities and various communities across the Western Cape, South Africa.

Advice Support expansions

This year we are starting with a bang and expanding Advice Support services with the launch of 2 new additions to DAS (Drug Advice Support). PAS (Positive Advice Support), advice and support for people impacted by HIV or AIDS, and CAS (Career Advice Support), offering youth advice on studies,career and general tips, has been launched today and is available to the public.

How to add PAS:
- Add contact
- Select Google Talk
- Google ID: pasdirect , Nickname: PAS
- Accept Contact

How to add CAS:
- Add contact
- Select Google Talk
- Google ID: casdirect , Nickname: CAS
- Accept Contact

These services will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays 3 - 5pm. With these expansions we hope to reach and start reconstructing as many people using technology.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reconstructed Radio Interview

This evening we had the privilege to share more about the Reconstructed project on a late night show on Radio CCFM 107.5FM. This year we intend to increase the amount of work to empower communities in tension (CiT) with many new additions to the Reconstructed project.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Youth Mobile Trends for 2009 by Graham Brown

With youth making up a large number of Mobile and web users accross the world its important to know the trends in Mobile marketing for youth. The same applies using technology for social change, the social application developers and social entrepreneurs should know what the latest mobile trends are for young people. Find 2 presentations by Graham Brown ( that gives youth mobile trends for 2009:

Are you ready to Pooosh?

Well just when you think that you have got the range of mobile applications that's required to stay connected, a Pooosh comes along that helps saving money. So Pooosh was conceived 2 years ago and it combines all the main features of telephony, messaging, and mobile entertainment into one mobile software application. This is possibly the future of mobile applications where the user finds all they want in one destination. Not only will Pooosh give the user access to common features but also at a much cheaper rates than many of the service providers.

So as I'm getting more familiar with this technology and exploring it for Community Empowerment, lets hope that this technology will give citizens in need a "Pooosh" in the right direction.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Drug Advice Support(DAS) expansion for 2009

After breaking the 50,000 message barrier on DAS we are planning our expansion plan for 2009. This will include taking the advice support service to schools in the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa.

With the continuous development of the DAS system we are also looking forward to the expansion of the number of advisers. The team also welcomed Mrs. Lucille Aanhuizen, Masters Social Science, who will be advancing her research in this project. Technological enhancements planned for DAS 2009 will be improvement on our remote accessibility, special users for professional counselors, increase chat application list and introduction of intelligent advisor.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What is a Living Lab?

With a number of exciting projects lying ahead for 2009 on of the big ones is the official launch of the Athlone "Living Lab". First it is important that you understand what a Living Labs represent.

A Living Lab is a user-centric research methodology for sensing, prototyping, validating and refining complex solutions in multiple and evolving real life contexts. It is a human-centric Research and Development approach to ICT solutions and innovations.

In Wikipedia it defines a Living Lab as a new research paradigm integrating both:
* a user centred multidisciplinary research approach
* a user community driven innovation based on real life experiments
It is intended to:
* increase the understanding of occurring phenomena
* explore and evaluate new ideas, concepts and related ICT artifacts
* confront new ideas, concepts and related ICT artifacts with users' value model
* enable re-usable experiments (i.e. dataset, research protocols and methods,..)
* result in more accurate and reliable products and services
* speed-up concepts to market and promote viral adoption
* contribute to initiate potential lead markets
* contribute to bring science and innovation closer to the citizen

The Drug Advice Support Technology is one of the solutions that emerged from the Athlone Living Lab/ CiT Living Lab late last year. ALL will officially be launched this year and there are a number of exciting projects ahead of us. We will be discussing Living Labs in more detail in later posts.
We are doing a session at DCI on Digital Voices to Reconstruct Communities

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Year with Brent Williams

Hope you are having a wonderful New Year and today is Episode 4 of the Reconstructed Podcast series. You can download the story of Brent Williams here