un[convention]al - A playful look at social innovation
un[convention]al is a laboratory that exposes young people to creative and innovative ways in which people are leading and improving communities. It is a full day, with sessions during which selected presenters showcase exciting ideas, initiatives and inventions that have addressed some of the challenges facing South African communities, and may be considered excellent examples of social innovation. Last year, 75 youth and 55 adults from across Cape Town and Stellenbosch attended the laboratory.
The theme for un[convention]al is Playful. The entire event is designed to carry across the message that a spirit of playfulness can contribute to the development of creative solutions to even the gravest social problems. We should not discourage fun and play because these can be important motivators; tools that make innovation easier.
The 2012 laboratory investigated the following topics:
• The Design Carnival– examples of art and design for development, along with ingenious inventions and innovative uses for old technologies
• The Social Playground – unusual organisations exploring new ways of sustaining our environment and societies
• The Thought Circus – opinions on what lies ahead in the realm of social innovation and what role young people should play
Within the various workspaces there were crazy interactive displays and installations that allowed for actual play between and after the structured sessions. The program also included a Sacred Slam workshop in partnership with a Californian based NPO and Talk Tanks (facilitated dialogue sessions) where presenters and participants had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations.
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