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6 February 2018

Setting up social innovation labs

Over the past three years, we have been implementing a programme called EmployAble, which aims to get youth with disabilities into vocational training and employment. Over the course of the years, we faced various challenges in how to include youth with different types of impairments.

To work on these challenges we chose to set up three social innovation labs – which each address a different question. A social lab is a place where organisations come together to analyze social problems and develop and test solutions in short sprints.

In Ethiopia the challenge was: ‘How can blind youth be included in vocational training?’ In the first design sprint we developed a program for vocational teachers: coaching the teachers to find solutions in their own classroom. The first test was promising. At first the teachers expressed their hesitation, but soon after that they were coming up with ideas to teach blind youth in electronics, wood work, leather work and other vocations. Check this PowerPoint for a description of the solution developed in the Ethiopia lab.

For more information on the social lab approach, have a look at this brochure. If you are interested in setting up a social Lab to tackle problems dealing with exclusion and promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities, contact Matthijs Nederveen.

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