Case study: CcHub
By: Hanna Kannelmae
In this post I will introduce Co-Creation Hub Nigeria or CcHub – a Hub based in Lagos – the most populous city in Nigeria with 13 400 000 inhabitants. Based on the materials collected from the Hub’s website, I will introduce different functions of the hub and suggest which practices, models and focal points could be adapted to the GESCI-AKE education and business model in order to achieve successful results.
CcHub shortly describe themselves as Nigeria’s first open living lab and pre-incubation space designed to be a multi-functional, multi-purpose space where work to catalyze creative social tech ventures take place. The Hub facilitates projects which yield technological products or services that are aimed at finding solutions to the many social problems in Nigeria. As stakeholders it welcomes technologists, social entrepreneurs, government, tech companies, impact investors and hackers while making a point that stakeholders from diverse walks of life are included in solution-finding processes. In other words, they harness resources and imagination across society not just within public service professions and institutions. CcHub emphasizes the importance of collaborative problem solving. They introduce collaborative processes and help people organise around purposeful actions. Stakeholders’ are brought together for knowledge partnership events, meet-ups, focus groups, hackathons, competitions, workshops, and talks from guest speakers.
The Hub also serves as a living lab where the design and prototype testing of social innovations in ICT4D (information and communication technologies for development) takes place through partnership between citizens, social entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, businesses and public authorities. CcHub considers this collaboration and integration of ideas to increase the projects’ chances of success. Of course, relevant research is of importance at the living lab, which they state to increase the return on investments. They also value the integration of technological innovation in society, but most of all they emphasize the importance of involving the end-users of new services, products and societal infrastructures, already in the early stages of the development process. The living lab brings stakeholders together for idea mapping sessions, code parties, challenges/competitions and co-creation camps.
Thereafter, social technology products or ventures that show potential in solving real local market problems and issues, are supported by the hub’s Pre-incubation program that provides idea teams with mentoring, pre-seed funding, project planning, usability testing and customer validation for their solutions.
Once the solutions start gaining traction and start monetizing, teams ‘graduate’ to the Incubation program where they receive mentoring, business development, administrative and funding support to test their models and focus on execution.
CcHub is in partnership with Nokia, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Oracle, Tecno and other organisations.
The CcHub example provides several good examples for GESCI-AKE education and business model. CcHub targets a large scope of stakeholders. Although the focus of their end products or services is directed to decreasing social problems, they aim to include a variety of participants with different background, among them the end-users of the final product. This dedication of keeping an open mind regarding potential stakeholders, is one of the factors that would help also the GESCI team to tackle the challenge that we mention in our SWOT analysis: targeting and attracting only highly educated participants, in stead of offering opportunities for the less privileged members of the society or for applicants without required work qualifications but with potential for retraining. Finally, it would help avoid only focusing on ICT and mobile innovations while neglecting culture, because participants from at least those two spheres would be deliberately included and their input equally valued through collaborative processes.
CcHub also presents an excellent example for increasing sustainability by empowering the product creators with mentoring and counselling as well as financial support in Pre-incubation program and Incubation program. Arranging mentoring as well as inviting experts for talks is a good way of increasing visibility for the projects that are in development, which might also facilitate finding opportunities for funding and angel investors.