The Social Entrepreneurship class of 2010 (SECP2010) recently graduated from the Gordan Institute of Business Sciences (GIBS) and among the graduates was IkamvaYouth’s Gauteng Coordinator Andrew Barrett.
What’s more, Andrew’s Action Learning Project (ALP) about “Scaling IkamvaYouth” was awarded best ALP for 2010. An executive summary of this report is listed here and if you are interested you can download it at the bottom of this article.
Andrew Barrett congratulated by Prof. Nick Binedell for best ALP on GIBS SECP 2010.
IkamvaYouth is remarkable not just in what it does but also in how it does it and central to the success of the IkamvaYouth model (so far) is the grassroots democratic emphasis that provides all IkamvaYouth stakeholders (i.e. the learners, coordinators and volunteers) with the tools to actively influence and shape their organisation.
This introductory report focuses on the challenge of scaling IkamvaYouth to achieve maximum impact while honouring the values that IkamvaYouth believes in.
In looking for solutions to this challenge there are a number of interesting examples in the theoretical literature of alternatives to a traditional (hierarchical) top-down approach and of particular interest is the fascinating Brazilian for-profit company, Semco. The democratic workplace environment espoused by Semco and the impressive results it achieves provide practical pointers of a possible way to locate power and control in the IkamvaYouth structures that will remain true to its grassroots origins.
One potential solution to the IkamvaYouth scaling challenge is to franchise the IkamvaYouth model in a way similar to that done by Habitat for Humanity and in so doing ensure that power and control remain vested at the local branch level with autonomous structures pursuing the key IkamvaYouth objectives in a way that maintains IkamvaYouth’s impressive results within a pre-defined IkamvaYouth framework.
It also appears that pursuing a non-hierarchical approach means that a type of servant leadership is inevitable and, further, that a value-based democratic organisational structure seems to offer a highly attractive option that fits this bill. It seems certain that considerations of this kind would have multiple implications for the structuring of the organisation but perhaps the most fundamental movement required is a mind-shift away from the mainstream traditional hierarchical worldview in exchange for an approach that better reflects the integrity of IkamvaYouth as a truly grassroots organisation not only in name but in structure as well.