Fighting inequality and finding future solutions using information technology and collective knowledge


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SN Senegal

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About the project Edit

Inspired by an alchemic combination of concepts such as techlabs, innovation hubs, coworking spaces, incubators, and think tanks, the JokkoLabs initiative was born from the desire to fight inequality and find future solutions by exploiting the possibilities offered by information technology and collective knowledge.

JokkoLabs is a private, not-for-profit international initiative launched in Dakar, Senegal. It is an independent “action tank” that aims to identify and support the innovative ideas from entrepreneurs of the digital economy, cultural industries and medias in order to accelerate the competiveness of nations and prosperity for all.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Stemming from the opensource and free culture movements, our approach to innovation is inclusive. The goal is to innovate and test new ways of responding to social needs not yet satisfied. In order to respond to the great economic, social, environmental, and cultural challenges of our times, it is important to unite all of civil society’s stakeholders and collaborate to develop new solutions.

JokkoLabs is an independent “action tank” for finding innovative approaches using information technology to respond to the socio-economic issues of the 21st century. 

With JokkoLabs Senegal, the first step in this initiative, we hope to incite and support the development and testing of innovative social and technological solutions. The emphasis of this initiative is on Africa, a continent that has been heavily effected by crises but overflowing with resources and potential. Based in Dakar, Senegal, JokkoLabs Senegal officially opened a centre for technological and social innovation: JokkoSpace, the first coworking space in West Africa on 10/10/10.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

We aim to create change through a participatory approach, based on the principle that real and sustainable change must come from within individuals, as well as the community.

Our values are inspired by the culture of open source and free software communities.

At JokkoLabs, we believe that sustainable success is based on sound moral principles:

> Respect of diversity: One of the most important values at JokkoLabs is tolerance. Under this banner, we reject any form of social, cultural, racial, political, or religious discrimination. 

> No labels citizenship: This initiative considers itself to be apolitical. JokkoLabs defends responsible citizen engagement in order to play its role in civil society 

> Society: Impact and social transformation: We are working toward innovation, the use of technology to create a positive impact on city life, and visible change in the ways individuals and systems function. 

> Enterprising spirit: We hope to defy the status quo through a focus on action. History has taught us that citizen awareness is necessary to foster change and that it is possible for citizens to take initiative without fear of reprisal. 

> Focus on individuals and community: We believe that ideas alone cannot change the world; we need innovative and engaged people to create change. People are at the heart of our initiative. 

> Open: We maintain transparency in terms of our partnerships, experimentation, and initiatives. We are open to discussion and hope to collaborate with the global community and use its collective intelligence. Since we are aware that “change is the only constant”, the JokkoLabs initiative is in a state of constant evolution and remains open, as part of a continuous improvement approach. 

> Preserving natural resources and the planet by asking ourselves, what do we want to leave behind for future generations? Fulfilling the main responsibility that comes with our shared destiny: taking action for humanity.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Above all, JokkoLabs is a human adventure! It is a movement that belongs to no one but isopen to everyone. The JokkoLabs initiative is facilitated by a virtual management team, made up of experts from different parts of the community.

At JokkoLabs, everyone has something to contribute and everyone is an "expert.” To us, being an expert is not necessarily synonymous with formal education.

According to JokkoLabs, tradition, and etymology—from the Latin expertus, an expert is someone who draws their knowledge and expertise from experience and experimentation.

Our community is based on the internet as well as in physical technological and social innovation spaces that are JokkoSpace. It also applies to anywhere that people have a desire to maintain the social connection that makes humanity beautiful.

Our project is heavily based on digital culture—we believe that technology should not isolate and destroy our social capital, but rather contribute to social cohesion.

As the African proverb teaches us: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” Our community is organized into 4 groups without geographical boundaries: family, partners, friends, and the global community.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

One small idea can change the world!

We believe that, currently, society is faced with more economic, environmental, social, and cultural challenges than ever before. 

We also believe that social and technological innovations are the key to transform these challenges into opportunities to improve our communities and planet through shared prosperity. Hence, one of our objectives is to support all forms of innovation as a vector for social and economic development. 

As an idea laboratory, we hope to inspire change, innovation, and the use of collective intelligence to build a better world.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

JokkoLabs has established the first coworking space in West Africa: JokkoSpace. JokkoSpace shares professional workspace with a community atmosphere. It is an open space that welcomes any entrepreneur seeking to develop their network, form new collaborative partnerships, discuss their practices, and develop their professional, personal, or joint projects.

It has been conceived to meet the needs of micro-enterprises, independent workers, home-based workers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and workers in the digital economy—writers, designers, and other new media and digital art professionals whose work does not fit into the traditional office worker.

“JokkoWorkers” have access to a high-quality office space within a unique, modern, and dynamic community.


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