The FLOW project is a two-year long, University of Cape Town African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) research project that took place in two South African municipalities – the Greater Kokstad Municipality in KwaZuluNatal, and the Bergrivier Municipality in the Western Cape, from August 2014 – September 2016. The project engaged out-of-work, out-of-school local youth – the FLOW Ambassadors – to build both individual and community capacity to thrive and innovate in the face of the growing challenges of climate change, resource depletion and inequality. Key activities included asset mapping, local storytelling on mobile phones, personal development, local government engagement and the introduction of two community currencies.
Initial Project Description
In this 34-minute exploration, Anna and John provide an overview of the project, the 2-year process, key insights, key experiences or shifts in the participants, and potential and documented impacts.
ISC Live Lab Co-investment and Return on Co-investment
Context. In 2014, we had just published the book Ecosynomics. We were exploring the integration of multiple forms of abundance-based agreements, as well as identifying positive deviants, groups achieving far-above-normal impacts through vibrant experiences.
Co-investment. In this multi-year project, we co-invested in the development of innovative processes for engaging a community in its own regenerative capacity.
Return on Co-investment. The return on this co-investment was learning about the challenges in complementary currencies and the very creative ways of engaging a community to engage its own creativity.
- project website — FLOW Africa (http://www.flowafrica.org)
- article — “Moving from Adaptive to Transformative Capacity: Building Foundations for Inclusive, Thriving, and Regenerative Urban Settlements“ by Gina Ziervogel, Anna Cowen, and John Ziniades in Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 955.
- book — Fostering local wellbeing in South African communities
- blogpost — “An Abundance-based Approach to Fostering LOcal Wellbeing (FLOW)“ — by Anna Cowen, Meshfield co-founder, architect, urbanist, facilitator, and Vibrancy South Africa steward and John Ziniades, Meshfield co-founder, internet entrepreneur, engineer, facilitator, and Vibrancy South Africa steward
- YouTube — FLOW Ambassadors channel
- Twitter — @flowafrica
- Webinar — NetworkingAction.net webinar series on Large Systems Change, Steve Waddell with Anna Cowen and John Ziniades, October 26, 2015