Digital lab launch

Digital lab launch

October 23, 2018

As part of the roll-out of digital labs amongst Common Good First’s South African partners, a celebration was held at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth to launch the first lab on their Bird Street campus.  These will be used to encourage community groups to add their profiles to the CGF network, to tell digital stories and to increase their e-skills. The event was attended by the senior leadership team of NMU  – Chancellor, Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Vice Chancellor, Professor Sibonile Muthwa and Chair of Council, Ambassador Nozipho January-Bardill.   GCU’s Vice-Chancellor – and originator of the Common Good First concept – Professor Pamela Gillies was guest of honour and, in situating the value of the initiative, said the world needed social innovation to build trust and increase social capital in communities.

GCU and Nelson Mandela University VIPs at the lab launch
GCU and Nelson Mandela University VIPs at the lab launch

NMU vice-chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa said this was the first of a series of digital creative spaces to be launched at universities in SA.

“The stories we will aim to tell will highlight challenges in communities so that those who can help would be able to respond,” Muthwa said.

NMU chancellor Dr Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said she was honoured to be part of this historic occasion.

Quoting former president Nelson Mandela, she said those who strove for a common good “dare not linger”.

The chair of the NMU council, Nozipho January-Bardill, noted the number of women speakers at the event.

“I feel very proud,” she said. “It is wonderful to see women changing the world. This is a new narrative.”

The award-winning Nelson Mandela University Choir serenaded the guests with several numbers, including their spectacular rendition of Asimbonanga.

Meanwhile, Chancellor of GCU, musician and social activist, Annie Lennox, pledged her support in a video message commemorating the anniversary of the birth of the late President, Nelson Mandela.

More Common Good First-funded digital labs will be launched at Rhodes University, University of the Free State and University of the Western Cape between now and May 2019.