The third episode of the Hub Issue Series tested the fluidity of the series as a whole. With the first episode identifying a relevance gap, general disconnect amongst hubs in the country, and detachment with the needs of the Zimbabwean citizens at large, and the second episode pointing towards a mismatch between hub services and hub user expectations, how would these issues be untangled, to create a functional hub environment in Zimbabwe?
Hosted at Café Society in the city center on the 6th of April, the wooden ornamented café proved the best space for the participants to deliberate and reflect on the Hub Issue Series to date. Now well accustomed to the collective intelligence format employed by William Tsuma and Rutendo Kambarami to uncover issues within the hub sector. hub users and managers from Enthuse Afrika, Page poetry Alive, Creative Factory Hub, IncubatorZw, Mabvazuva Hub, MSU Hub, Voices of Fashion and B2C put their best foot forward for the decisive ideation session.
The first task for the day entailed identifying what is working and what is not working within the hub ecosystem, forcing participants to reflect on where they are and where they would like to be. Shortly after, a hypothesis setting exercise was set in motion, to help bridge the gap and map the best way forward.
“The beauty of a hypothesis is that it forces you to test it,” said William.
The main themes derived from the hypotheses include:
1. Value addition and value chain: Co-creation of processes to stimulate collaborative outputs therefore bettering the value chain.
2. Connectivity: mapping of the knowledge economy powered by connectivity and creating platforms to share.
3. Day to day running of hubs – training members in order to improve the running and administration of hubs, as well as sharing experiences and expertise (inter-hub connections).
4. Storytelling as a stimulant – Creating platforms and events that celebrate and give room to tell hub related stories.
5. Creating an Apex body with a clear definition of what a hub is, addressing standardization, inclusion, advocacy and policy in the hub sector.
6. Creating a central communication platform for internal and external communication as part of the Apex body – website, portals and other communication frameworks agreed upon.
7. Establishing policy documents for conflict resolution to maintain and resolve conflict in the hub space and for self-regulation.
8. Establishing a hub ecosystem that is market-driven, solution-driven, and relates to industry as well as academia. This allows for innovation and also local market access.
The general consensus in delivering the hypothesized elements pointed towards formation of a co-ordination Apex body of hubs to mediate issues within the hub sector and under the proposition from the SoCreative Hub Summit that creative hubs and social enterprises need each other to scale and create bigger impact. In line with this goal, a steering committee was put in place to organize the next steps, and others welcomed to volunteer to join for additional roles.
In conclusion of the series, Rutendo asked the participants to describe their ideal hub ecosystem.
According to the participants, their ideal hub ecosystem is:
Connected, Futuristic, Forward Thinking, Problem Solving, Inclusive, Versatile, Mendable, Brave, Determined, Constructive, Innovative, Passionate, Resilient, Game Changer, Creative.
Link to Hub Issue Series 3 Trailer: