Research & Methodology  Development 

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Current Projects

PhD Public Defence: CARLYNN POKPAS

The public defence of the PhD in Media and Communication Studies by Carlynn Pokpas took place on Friday August 23, 2019 at University of the Western Cape.

This PhD is part of a cooperation agreement between the University of the Western Cape (UWC)  and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

The PhD thesis is called “Exploring the Access, Usage and Perceptions of the ICT of Women in Marginalised Commu...

“Digital technologies have changed our world perhaps most significantly in how we think about data”

- David Rogers (2016, p.4) 

On the 22nd of August the CoLab hosted a Roundtable Discussion on the concept of DATA. Data is one of the key drivers of digital transformation and innovation, but it is a complex and multi-dimensional concept with differing perspectives often adding to the complexity of unlocking its value.


The University of the Western Cape is one of 11 Universities participating in the programme Common Good First: Digital Storytelling for Social Innovation.

This is an Erasmus+ funded initiative with the objective of supporting and growing the emerging South African social innovation sector. The project aims to create a digital network that will capture and showcase social impact projects in Northern Europe and South Africa.

It fu...

Digital platforms are reshaping the world. The 2018 Platform Strategy Summit, presented by the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy took place at the MIT Medialab, Boston, USA on the 13th of July 2018. This event gathered a global community of executives and thought leaders to explore the economics and management of platform-centered markets and discuss their implications for managers, industry and governmental policy.

Some of...

One of the Colab team members was recently invited to present their collaborative research at the Connected Life 2019 conference that was held at both Oxford (24th June) and London (25th June), supported by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), London School of Economics (LSE), and the Alan Turing Institute (The Turing). The conference was attended by 82 speakers from 51 universities and research institutes from 19 different co...

Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), IST-Africa Week 2018 (09 - 11 May, Botswana) is the thirteenth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Research Conferences.

The IST Africa conference focuses on the Information Society and ICT Policy Dialogues, International Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building.

The conference brings together senior repre...

Media Literacy Policy in Flanders – Belgium: From Parliamentary Discussions to Public Policy

Leo Van Audenhove, Knowledge Center for Media Literacy Flanders & iMEC - SMIT - Vrije Universiteit Brussel & CoLab - University of the Western Cape
Hadewijch Vanwynsberghe, Knowledge Center for Media Literacy Flanders
Ilse Mariën, iMEC-SMIT – Vrije Universiteit Brussel


The discussion on media literacy in Flanders starts in th...

Prof Leo van Audenhove (imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) presented a keynote at the 3rd S-Direct Seminar on March 7, 2018 at UWC.

He gives a short overview of his thoughts on this fast-emerging topic in the video below.

A copy of his presentation can be downloaded here

(Research in Progress presentation at National e-Skills Summit & Knowledge Innovation Colloquium 2018, Mbombela)

Researchers: Wouter Grove (UWC/VUB); Dr Johan Breytenbach (UWC), Prof Leo van Audenhove (imec-SMIT, VUB)

The arena in which higher education institutions engage with students is increasingly becoming more digitally mediated. This digital arena is also home to emerging socio-technical digital platforms, as a growing ch...

Crossing conceptual barriers: A methodological approach in a language-challenged SMME environment


Internationally there is general consensus about the acknowledgement of entrepreneurs as engines of growth and development, even more so in developing countries. Entrepreneurs inspire a culture of entrepreneurial development and innovation and they create businesses by contributing significantly to employment, gross domesti...

What is the International Joint Research Group?

IJRG is building capacity in applying living lab research methodology for digital inclusion and social innovation projects. The focus is on digital inclusion to address community challenges in South Africa. Digital inclusion is about ensuring everyone is part of the new digital world – including marginalised communities like those in the rural areas.

Who are the partners in IJRG?


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Past Projects

The third S- Direct Seminar took place at the University of the Western Cape on Wednesday 7 March 2018. The theme of the 3rd S-DIRECT Seminar was “The Data-Driven Economy:  Implications for Developing Societies, Cities and Citizens”.

From left to right: 3rd S-Direct Seminar 2018 Keynote Speakers

Arthur Wade Anderson, Dr Leona Craffert, prof Leo van Audenhove, Wouter Grove, Wouter Gevaert, Olivia Dyers, Dr Ilse Marien, Dr Johan B...

With many arguing that the fourth industrial revolution is upon us, the world as we know it is becoming more digital and connected. ICTs have become an integral part of how we function in everyday life. Social media for instance, have completely reshaped the communication landscape. Additionally, ICTs have been linked to social and economic development, emphasising even more the need for all citizens to have equal access to IC...

What are the perspectives of ICT held by women in marginalised communities? What is the nature of their digital adoption approach? Do traditional societal gender norms have any impact on them in the digital space? What are their ‘mental models’ of gender and ICT?

Quantitative information undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in the advancement of digital inclusion of South African citizens. However it is via a qualitative approach w...