Daring to be different

We are ‘for profit’ social entrepeneurs prepared to risk our own resources – time, money and know-how – in order to develop a concept to the point when potential partners can see the opportunities and risks clearly enough to make an appropriate commitment. We then all work together to produce commerically sustainable products and services.

We share with NextBillion.net the view that; “While development aid and political reform are essential components in poverty eradication, equally important are business models that would engage low-income communities as producers and consumers in their own robust economies. Successful business models–inherently versatile, innovative, and driven by the profit motive–can sometimes tackle development challenges more quickly and effectively than government and aid mechanisms”

Our focus – replicable, sustainable, user driven, multi-stakeholder initiatives – that seek to address the needs of the poor and the vulnerable in systemic ways – both in the UK and in developing countries.

Often the deliverable is a pragmatic blend of social, technical, institutional and knowledge networks matched to local conditions (including public policy and regulatory environments).

Some of our activities have had long lead times – but we are used to that! From hard won experience, we know that time is needed to bring into focus an innovative idea, product or service – and – even longer to turn such concepts into concrete, backable opportunities! In our experience, many organisations are time constrained; metaLAB makes the time!

We seek to combine the best of community/international development (human) with the best of ICT development (technical). Often this may involve dusting down old approaches and old technologies and blending them with the latest examples of ‘technological leapfrog’!

For metaLAB, a successful outcome is when an idea takes on a life of its own. It’s supported by a wide stakeholder community, who have handed day-to-day operations over to a inherently sustainable organisation. Finally it becomes embedded in the way things are done locally.