So when I came here to work with TrashBack and the South African Red Cross Society I had a few loose expectations but I knew that things were certainly not set in stone. I expected to spend time working in Nyanga at the Health and Care Center for the Red Cross and then work a bit in Imizamo Yethu and from home for TrashBack. So for my first meeting with my new boss Andrew McNaught I didn’t quite expect to walk into THIS as my new office. Check it out.
It looks a bit like an art gallery, a village of tin shacks, a hip coffee shop, and a kindergarten classroom all balled in to one awesome spot. AND, that’s not even the coolest part, which is of course, the people who work there.
At the door is Melli, or Mr. Melilizwe. He greets anybody who comes in to the office, and makes sure they are comfortable while he does his work and listens to a quiet bit of electronic music on his computer. He is working on developing the second Hubspace office space in Khayelitsha, South Africa’s largest and most vibrant informal settlement (pictured below).
Picture of Khayelitsha above courtesy of timeslive.co.za.
After you are greeted by Melli’s bright smile and firm handshake, you will find a group of up-and-coming entrepreneurs and their teams, whose emerging enterprises are each working to address issues in the social or environmental space in South Africa. A few examples are TrashBack, Heart Capital, and FoodPods. I’m sure there are others who pop in and out, but those are just the organizations that I have learned about in my first two days hanging out at hubspace. Looking forward to the next few months working with TrashBack to boost recycling and local micro-economies through incentivized recycling programs!