Marlon Parker

Social Entrepreneur

Awareness of the number of people in his
community � Silvertown on the Cape Flats �
in need of social upliftment motivated Marlon Parker
to become a social entrepreneur.
Parker, who has a master's degree in information
technology (cum laude) and is now working on his
PhD at the Cape Peninsula university of Technology
where he lectures in information technology, uses
technology to strengthen the community.
About three years ago, in partnership with a
community organisation,
Impact Direct, he started
up an organisation called
Reconstructed Living Labs
(Rlabs) in order to "reconstruct
communities through
innovation� .
Rlabs uses social media to
help community members
affected by substance abuse
and gang violence to tell their
stories, and use those stories to
"share hope with other people
out there� .
Parker has been encouraged
by the way Rlabs has been
driven by the community itself.
"It started off as a project, but
it is now a movement� driven
by its members � former drug
addicts and gang members,
he says. "The highlight is how
they are growing and how they
are keen on changing other
people's lives.�
The movement has started
creating tools for its own needs, devising ways
in which it can offer "mobile counselling� using
technology like Mxit. Rlabs hopes to launch the
movement in the Eastern Cape, Asia, India and the
United Kingdom. � Vuvu Vena

Lunch spot: Primi Piatti, Waterfront, Cape Town