It’s been great to be back and plug back into the Innovation Hub (iHub).  When we left for Canada in September, 2019, the first cohort of 18 were in the middle of their first phase of training.  Since then, phase 1 was successfully completed as the students headed into the Christmas break and 13 of the 18 participants will head into phase 2 of their training which starts this week (more on the 2019 cohort below).  In order to accommodate two parallel tracks of training, the second floor of the Hub was gutted, removing all the smaller room partitions – this opened up the space to be able to accommodate 30 more participants.  As you can see below, it has a great open feeling to it and will be even better for learning once new furniture arrives (its delayed due to Corona virus in China).

The iHub Core Leadership team led by Maurisa and Steffan, ran a second intake in January which has confirmed a new cohort of 23 participants for 2020 – amazing! This new group – full of passion to learn new skills and dreams to get a real job in the digital economy, are all matriculated adults between 19-26 includes 11 females (which is a great improvement ofn the ratio of girls vs. guys in the first cohort).  Added to the 23 are 5 from the 2019 cohort who also matriculated in December and so the new 2020 cohort will be a team of 28 amazing young adults!  Sonya and I were able to sit in on the orientation day of this new cohort as they launch phase 1 of their training.  What a privilege!  We’ve captured several shots of these eager learners as they settled into their first day of orientation week.


The curriculum for the 2020 cohort will continue to include Leadership and Identity, Digital Skills, and Soft Skills for Business but the content for the last two tracks will now be sourced out of Pearson Learning.  Another praise report of a key new partnership that was formed while I was away was with Pearson South Africa (a subsidiary of the global Pearson Learning group) who will now be the partner to supply accredited digital skills through a graduated badging system (recognized world-wide) as well as soft skills.  This is an outstanding achievement for the Core Team in establishing this partnership which will not only underwrite substantial amount of the annual operating budget but even more provide access to a vast repository of accredited training courseware on their state of the art learning management portal.  You can read more about Pearson by clicking here.

As always, the facilitators do a great job of mixing in hands-on exercises with the lecture material that help build collaboration, teamwork and communication skills. The shots and video below capture me helping out Maurisa as she directed the participants through a human chain un-bundling exercise!


This cohort 2020 will be meeting Monday through Fridays 9:00am – noon as they are all out of school.  They’ll also have access to the iHub from Noon – 2:00pm daily for self-study, assignment follow-up and meeting with their coaches.

It was awesome to be honoured as a IHub Program Co-founder (above photo) along with Sonya as they included us in the team photo on launch day for the 2020 cohort.

I’ll be back with another brief update when I return to the Innovation Hub this Thursday 20-Feb where I’ll get a chance to reconnect with the 13 participants from Cohort 2019 who will be continuing on with the second phase of their training (they will continue meeting Tuesdays-Thursday from 4;00-6:00pm for their digital skills and soft skills training modules). Be sure to check out that update here on the Hands and Feet International On-Post Updates blog!