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.

Executive Summary:

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.

Click here: for the full report.

Lloyd Lungu

031 909 3590
2525 Ngcede Grove, Umlazi AA Library, 4031

Lloyd is a self-disciplined and highly goal-driven Industrial Psychology Honours graduate. He is currently a Master's candidate completing his second year of M.Com in Industrial Psychology at the University of the Free State. Lloyd joined IkamvaYouth as a learner in 2012, after matriculating he came back and volunteered as a tutor for the duration of his undergraduate studies at UKZN. He later worked as an Intern in the Chesterville branch. His passion for youth empowerment and inclusion has grown enormously through his time and experience gained within IkamvaYouth and has inspired him to provide career guidance to young township people. He is currently working at the Umlazi Branch as a Branch Assistant.