HUB ISSUE SERIES 2: RETHINKING THE ROLE OF THE HUB USER

HUB ISSUE SERIES 2: RETHINKING THE ROLE OF THE HUB USER

In a similar format to the first episode of the Hub Issue Series held with hub managers the previous week, an excited and somewhat jittery group of local hub users flocked into the DeMoyo workshop space for an open canvas session on the potential of the Zimbabwean hub ecosystem.

Pineapple Creative Studio, Enthuse Afrika, Simuka Comedy, DeMoyo, Mabvazuva Hub, Voices of Fashion, Builders Hub, Page Poetry Alive, B2C and Impact Hub users participated in the session, making for an interesting mix of designers, performing artists, comedians, digital storytellers, architects, and innovators.

One of the facilitators, William Tsuma speaks to the participants of the series

With Lego bricks and stationery in tow, resident facilitators William Tsuma and Rutendo Kambarami tasked the users to imagine and produce constructs of their ideal hub space.

This culminated into concepts of safe spaces designed to guide and nurture hub users’ talents in preparation for the more cutthroat business world, a distinction clearly denoted with bold blocks. Their ideal hub depictions also included networks, opportunities and functional resources such as Internet facilities. Additionally, ideal hubs provided a sense of community that allows for collaboration and co-creation.

Honing in on the main message of the day, William directed hub users to reflect on the reality of how the current ecosystem is servicing their needs.

Mixed perceptions ensued from the hub users, with some expressing a disconnect between their needs and hub offerings, while others felt caught up in a system bigger than they had initially envisioned, a system marred with exclusion, misinformation and gatekeeping. In other words, users approach hubs with an array of needs and expectations. However, during this interaction with hubs, expectations are sometimes unmet, echoing the disconnect that motivated initiation of the hub series to begin with.

William and Rutendo reiterated that, “Without users, there is no hub,” and an opportunity exists for Zimbabwe to put together an ecosystem for hubs that transforms and addresses the needs of broader communities. Part of the broader strategy is to establish a well functioning hub ecosystem that is not disconnected, and the next step is to bridge that gap.

Link to Hub Issue series 2 Trailer:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aaUZH9aoHCyJvAafs-31y3_kgJRYIsa5
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