Advancing Social Innovation

Catalysts for Social and Economic Change

Education Innovations & Youth

The Talking Tech for Good Podcast

Bertha Centre and Capacitate launch resource to support youth development sector make the digital transition for greater impact.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed critical gaps when it comes to digital access. Even as technology offers massive potential for organisations - such as replacing cumbersome paperwork with automated processes to save on time, ease of managing and saving files in the cloud, fast and reliable internet connection to be more efficient, increased ease of access to a wider audience - the development sector has been shown to be at a significant disadvantage in this area. 

When it comes to supporting the positive development of youth in South Africa, this need for digital transition and innovation could not be more urgent, as the country’s youth unemployment hit a staggering 74.7%. In an effort to offer reliable advice and serve as a valuable resource for civil society organisations on navigating a daunting technological landscape and drive innovation in the youth development sector, our Youth Innovation portfolio launched the Talking Tech for Good podcast with social enterprise partner Capacitate.

Having evolved from discussions between the Bertha Centre and Capacitate team as an extension of their webinar on ‘digital transition’, it was decided that using this innovative channel for engagement with the broader civil society community would add value to the industry and complement other initiatives that both partners are involved with. There is substantial evidence, both anecdotal and empirical, that civil society organisations are not currently sufficiently equipped to leverage technology in order to improve and support development outcomes. The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred organisations working in youth development to find new ways to reach their young audiences through technology, but without the basics in place, many of these solutions are doomed to remain isolated examples of excellence. Chief among these basic obstacles is a lack of access to reliable and cheap data. Well before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the hands of South African schools and universities to take their teaching and training online, some organisations had been dipping their toes in the digital waters.

The intention of Talking Tech for Good is a series of conversational podcasts that incorporate the advice of experts along with the experience of the hosts to address key issues relating to the use of technology by organisations in the development sector. These conversations will run on a monthly basis for three months and include the hosting of key subject matter experts. A series of subjects have been identified to provide a starting point for the discussions, but the topics would also be directed by the needs of the audience. 

Each podcast is driven by Jason Bygate, senior partner for Capacitate, and Luvuyo Maseko, project lead for youth innovation at the Bertha Centre, as hosts of the podcast, and each session includes an interview and discussion with a subject matter expert. The podcast episodes are between 30 and 45 minutes in length, with discussion being dedicated to the particular topic and time allocated to answering questions posed by the audience. If you would like to explore partnership opportunities around this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact Jason Bygate or Luvuyo Maseko. The team is hungry for potential partnerships and would love to ensure that all podcasts and subsequent discussions are shaped by the needs of the entire sector. 


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