Rlabs: Empowering Unlikely Innovators

Rlabs: Empowering Unlikely Innovators

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Abstract

The Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs) is a non-profit social entrepreneurship venture based in Bridgetown, South Africa. It uses technology as a means to rehabilitate and educate community members – often recovering drug addicts, ex-gang members, and single mothers – and help set them on a path towards social re-integration. The case examines the operational, strategic and cultural choices which enabled RLabs to create and sustain a significant amount of innovation within an economically and socially disadvantaged community.Since its inception in 2007, RLabs has experienced rapid growth and expansion. Much of RLabs’ growth has occurred organically in the absence of a definitive strategic plan. In 2013, the founder Marlon Parker was trying to decide how best to ensure sustainable growth without placing further strain on RLabs’ ...

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