Exciting news! The University of Cape Town has developed a free six-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for anyone who wants to become a changemaker and find solutions to complex societal problems. The course “Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation” is not only designed for the “newbies” of social innovation, but also for people already working in the field wondering how to increase their impact. The course starts on July 25, 2016.

What can participants expect from the course?

The course will take participants on a journey of RLabs, one of the most remarkable social impact organisations in South Africa, and other examples of social innovations in Africa and other parts of the world.

At the beginning of each week Marlon Parker, RLabs founder, will introduce the participants to a chapter in the story of RLabs. Dr. Francois, Dr. Warren and guest lecturers will introduce an important related aspect of social innovation through lectures, reflections and activities. Once you have chosen your problem in week 1, the rest of the course will be build on.

“This course will take you on a journey of exploring the complex problems that surround us and how to start thinking about solutions. We will debunk common assumptions around what resources are needed to begin acting as a social innovator.”

Because data costs still remain high in South Africa and could prevent interested people to join the course, it was decided to offer the course also offline in communities, halls, homes and schools by RLabs.

In order to give you a better idea of the content of the course, I recommend to have a look at the promo video of the MOOC “Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation”.

Course overview

Level Beginner
Commitment 6 weeks of study, 2-3 hour per week
Language English
How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course

Financial Aid is available for learners who cannot afford the fee to earn Course certificates. The course is free of charge for those who do not wish a course certificate.

Who was involved in developing the MOOC?

Involved in designing this Social Innovation MOOC was Ashoka Fellow and RLabs founder Marlon Parker together with the Bertha Centre of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) through the University of Cape Town (UCT).

RLabs is a social movement ‘born-and-bred’ in Bridgetown, Cape Town empowering youth through innovative and disruptive technology by teaching them vital skills and providing much-needed support and a sense of community. RLabs was founded in 2008 and it now active in 22 countries.

The Bertha Centre of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a specialised unit at the UCT Graduate School of Business. They uncover, pioneer, connect innovators and entrepreneurs to generate inclusive opportunities and advance social justice in Africa. Established in partnership with the Bertha Foundation in 2011, it has become a leading academic centre dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship. Since then we have integrated social innovation into the GSB’s curriculum, established a wide community of practitioners and awarded over R4 million in scholarships to African students.

The Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), founded in 2014 within UCT, is committed to a higher education environment that fosters transformative and reflexive practices in learning and teaching.

Enroll here

Coursera is also available for Android (Google Play) and Apple (App Store), which means the course can also be completed mobile with a smart phone, tablet or iPad.