The Academic and Professional Learning Sphere

In the Academic and Professional Learning sphere, we explore the building of a knowledge based social innovation ecosystem primarily by discovering, validating, beneficiating and disseminating information, knowledge and experience. We action this within the spaces related to the School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege. These spaces include, amongst others, our:
  • PhD fellowship group, the PhD Athenaeum,
  • the School of Social Innovation and, our work in progress,
  • Center for Good Governance in Africa.
Primarily we involve ourselves with education, training, research and service in this sphere.
  • Our 4-day executive short courses focusing on Leadership for Social Innovation topics are popular and empowering experiential personal competency and institutional capacity building initiatives in this sphere.

1. The PhD Athenaeum: Turning PhD Aspirations into Reality Purpose, Programme and Process
There is a growing need for knowledge generation and validation and a demand for advanced studies in South Africa, including PhD research. There is also a need to increase the PhD output of South African Universities which need is specifically addressed in the South African National Development Plan (the NDP). The current supervisory and promotional capacity of South African Universities for PhD candidates are insufficient and under pressure given increased demand and declining capacity for PhD supervision in South African universities. As a result, the demand for PhD programme placement exceeds the supply of supervisory capacity
The purpose of the PhD Athenaeum, is to create a space, program and process where prospective PhD students interested in pursuing PhD can be given a structured and CiviNovus supported set of opportunities to access a PhD proposal generation and PhD delivering support structure.
This space is called:
The PhD Athenaeum.
The objectives of the PhD Athenaeum are to, through an academic and professional fellowship:
  • Create and sustain a basic understanding of a PhD research project and its objectives and its relevance for science and society,
  • Build the understanding of the objectives, content and protocols of a PhD research project,
  • Raise awareness on the quality and impact of a good PhD research,
  • Encourage top level scholarship and participation in the proposed PhD projects,
  • Co-create and sustain a support structure and group for the participants,
  • Institutionalize effective and efficient interaction between the fellows,  academics, partners and administrative and support staff and processes in order to:
    • Create, maintain a supportive and learning fellowship for all the participants resulting in successfully delivered PhD’s by the participants.
Concretely, the programme and process is co-created by a team of fellowship linked academics, which include the PhD Athenaeum fellows. These fellows jointly co-create a structured set of academic activities where the fellows collectively engage in a programme and a process to:
  • Initially prepare for and successfully design and deliver a competitive PhD Proposal to any University or supervisor of their choice
  •  Eventually, pursue PhD registration as PhD students, and
  • Finally to be supported in the delivery of the successful PhD product during the full journey of their PhD research, through attending regular seminars 4 times per annum lasting 2 days.

A small and informal coordinating governance structure will be established for the program, consisting of an academic representative and supported by an administrator and one of the PhD students in the program. The organizing of the programme is allocated to the CiviNovus.

There are strong international linkages of the programme to Universities in the Netherlands and inputs have been made into the programme on a regular basis by Dutch Universities, including the Free University of Amsterdam and Tilburg University academics.
The process is generally that the PhD Athenaeum is implemented over a period of time as a rolling over learning program with a series of two day seminars over generally 4 sessions per year.

Fellows may join at any point in time and will be guided over a number of sessions to design an acceptable PhD proposal and subsequent research trajectory. Fellows will be working on the process of preparing a proposal and thereafter in the fellowship to deliver the PhD based upon the proposal. Not every participant needs to attend all sessions at the same time and some will be in more advanced stages of their PhD research.
Fellows will enroll for periods of I year at a time and a fee of currently R 4000 per annum will be charged for the enrolment by fellows.

Phd Athenaeum

Discussions during a Phd Athenaeum session (2019).

Interested potential fellows can contact CiviNovus and in particular the PhD Athenaeum:

Ulrike Hanekom at CiviNovus on e-mail at or
or by telephone at: +27 21 910 0962.

PhD Athenaeum part published on LinkedIn 04/03/2020
Thank you: Erwin Schwella:
Also Published on LinkedIn: 24/02/2020

2. The School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege
Hugenote Kollege Hugenote Kollege
School of Social Innovation, Hugenote Kollege, Wellington

Erwin Schwella defines social innovation as:
“Social Innovation are sets of new ways of dealing with social challenges for the benefit of society. Social innovation is grounded in societal problem solving which is effective, efficient and ethical. Social Innovation results in the co-creative human-centered design and delivery of potentially sustainable prototype solutions to societal problems which are replicable and scalable. Social innovation builds personal and purposeful learning leadership competencies and impactful institutional capacity while implementing solutions for societal problems.”

The vision of the School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege is to:
  • provide knowledge based cutting edged education, research and professional services to society, with the purpose of making our world a better place within an academic and professional knowledge institution with social impact within the School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege.
The goal the School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege is to:
  • facilitate through education, research and service, the development of social innovation leadership to engage with complex societal challenges through building individual competencies and institutional capacity resulting in the co-creation and sharing of public value effectively and ethically. The pursuit of this goal will be guided primarily by the values incorporated into the faith-based golden rule of doing unto others as we want done unto to ourselves.

In the education domain the objectives are to deliver professional and relevant executive education, particularly through a set of executive short courses presented as standalone shorter courses, which over time will constitute a diploma, post-graduate diploma and, finally a master’s degree in Leadership, Social Innovation and Diaconic Management.

Currently the particulars of the executive short courses on offer are:

All courses are certificated:
Certificates of Competence or Certificates of Attendance may be awarded by Hugenote Kollege to candidates who comply with the set requirements.

Certificates of Competence are awarded to candidates who successfully complete all assessments during the course. Certificates of Attendance are awarded to candidates who attend all 4 days of the course without completing the assessments.

After the successful completing all 10 Certificates of Competence below and having been awarded a Certificate of Competence for all ten courses, a final Capstone Professional Practice Research Course and Project can be enrolled for and completed.

A Diploma of Leadership for Social Innovation may be awarded to enrolled candidates who successfully comply with all the set requirements for the Diploma of Leadership in Social Innovation, including the ten Certificates of Competence and the Capstone Research Course and Project.
Courses can also be designed and delivered on demand to suit the needs of leadership and management teams within organisations. Please contact us to arrange this.

Dates and venues for scheduled courses will be made available in due course and will be publicised widely on the media platforms of the School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege and in correspondence to potential participants.

The standard cost per course is R 5 900 for the 4 days. Discounts are offered to groups of 2 or more participants from the same organisation or to a participant who attends more than one course.

The following courses are presented:

Course Name

Course Description

Leadership for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship This course develops the leadership and entrepreneurship competencies of leaders and entrepreneurs. Business plans for sustainable social businesses are developed and tested.
Mentoring and Coaching, Personal Mastery and Emotional Intelligence for Social Business This course develops Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and links EQ to mentoring and coaching. EQ and mentoring and coaching result in improved personal mastery and organisational performance.
Human-centred Design Thinking for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship This course spans all stages of the design thinking process for creative problem-solving. Insights about the unmet needs of stakeholders are explored and turned into human-centred solutions.
Resource Management for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Smart Human Resource and Knowledge Management This course deals with quality human resource management professional practices as well as knowledge management as the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information to achieve organisational objectives by making the best use of this knowledge.
Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Context, Challenges and Change This course covers the content and context of social innovation and entrepreneurship, introduces innovation competencies and builds prototypes of innovative organisations fit for change.
Financial Management for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship This course equips leaders and social entrepreneurs with the ability to analyse business and make even more informed, strategic decisions based on an understanding of the essentials of financial management.
Good Corporate Governance and Ethics for Social Business This course establishes a clear skillset for directors and managers, allowing them to reconcile external and internal controls, risk management, competitive behaviour and adherence to corporate law and ethics. There is also a clear focus on the King Codes for good corporate governance in South Africa.
Business Acumen for Social Business This course conveys competencies for business acumen in social businesses, being the ability to see the “big picture” of the organisation on how the key drivers of the business relate to each other, work together to produce profitable growth linked to understanding important organisational communications and data, including financial statements.
There is a focus on knowledge to make good decisions and to understand and communicate how actions and decisions impact performance and leadership objectives.
Techniques for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship This course teaches some useful techniques and tools which can be used by leaders and entrepreneurs in ensuring that their social businesses thrive. These techniques include scenario planning, strategic leadership and planning, programme management, project and programme management, monitoring and evaluation and ICT applications.
Impact Assessment for Social Business This course deals with finding, presenting and using evidence of impact as the difference made by an organisation or activity. This focus on impact is in contrast with a focus on how many services are run or how many people and activities are engaged with. The course teaches tools and techniques to assess possible and real impact before and after social business activities.

For enquiries and enrolment please contact: or call 021 910 0962.

3. The Centre for Good Governance in Africa at the School of Social Innovation, Hugenote Kollege

  • The Centre for Good Governance in Africa: Context, Challenges and Concepts:

The Centre for Good Governance aspires to be a cutting-edge good governance centre in Africa for Africa.

Governance is one of the most important determinants of human progress and prosperity. Good governance results in social cohesion economic success, while poor governance results in conflict, poverty and inevitable demise.

Changing governance is difficult.

Changing governance towards the good, requires social innovation to increase the probabilities of transitional successful change towards transformed legitimate, legal, effective and ethical governance

The primary purpose of the Centre is to be a cutting-edge, transdisciplinary governance knowledge centre designed to capacitate all stakeholders with an improved understanding of some of the most pressing challenges faced by societies, globally, nationally, regionally and locally. The objective is also to innovatively co-create options that provide systems thinking learning leadership competencies and cross-cutting governance capacity to deal with complex adaptive problems.

Governance in the public, private and public benefit domains, require social innovation knowledge and professional analysis and applications provided by dedicated social innovation knowledge institutions which, through a concerted and continued effort discovers, validates, beneficiates and distributes knowledge through research education and service, including consultation services.

Social innovation requires the development and implementation of new ideas, including products, processes services and governance and business models to meet social needs. Social innovation is associated with fields as diverse as smart spaces, restorative social justice, innovative governance and service delivery models, fair trade, distance learning, health care, education, agriculture, food, energy, water and waste reduction.

The contemporary social and environmental issues that all societies face should not be thought of as threats to human existence, but as major opportunities to create sustainable solutions that positively impact globally, nationally, regionally and locally.

In an academic context, social innovation is inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral. It is the application of subject specific academic and technical knowledge leading to maximum social impact and the co-creation of significant social value. Social innovation utilises multi- and transdisciplinary subject matter experts and teams in cross-faculty analysis, actions and methodology.

  • The Functioning of the Centre for Good Governance in Africa

Within the School for Social Innovation (SSI) at Hugenote Kollege (HK), the Centre has the intention to bring together, mobilise and incentivise the academic expertise of a diverse group of leading academics and research teams to create and disseminate knowledge-based socially innovative initiatives that will strengthen governance.
Social innovation, as applied by the Centre aims to mobilise thought leaders to use innovation to effectively co-create community based public value and then to ethically distribute the created prosperity through good governance principles.
The world is increasingly challenged by complex adaptive problems, which are also referred to as “wicked” problems. This type of problem defies easy solutions provided by leadership with easy answers. These wicked problems require socially innovative solutions based on the co-creation of these solutions by those who are facing them. This can be done using innovative reflective practice-based prototype solutions designed through human centred design and facilitated by leadership as learning. 
The work of the Centre is primarily facilitated by the School of Social Innovation at Hugenote Kollege and co-ordinated by the Dean of the School of Social Innovation. The Centre has a broad mandate to work across all the different departments, and other entities such as centres, within HK and other national and international higher education institutions as well as public and private enterprises.

  • The Vision and Mission of the Centre for Good Governance in Africa

The vision of the Center for Good Governance in Africa at the School of Social Innovation within Hugenote Kollege has its vision, mission and objectives to provide for a knowledge centre for leadership and governance in the African context. It will do so using cutting edge and value driven theories, tools and techniques to serve its stakeholders.

  • The strategic intent of the Centre is to become a premier institute for promoting effective leadership and governance in Africa and to encourage research partnerships and alliances with other entities, both nationally and internationally;
  • The Centre will strive to promote and enhance the overall awareness of leadership and governance;
  • The Centre will facilitate human capacity building at HK, nationally in South Africa, Africa as a whole and globally;
  • The Centre will develop innovative governance business and local inclusive economic models with the focus on establishing the innovation ecosystem necessary for economic growth leading to enterprise development of specific promising social ventures;
  • The Centre will design, develop and deliver an innovation eco-system necessary to deliver on its strategic intent;
  • The Centre will generate income streams to sustain its own activities and running costs.
  • Core Design and Delivery Objectives of the Centre for Good Governance in Africa

The Centr for Good Governance in Africa at the  School of Social Innovation within Hugenote Kollega is deliberately designed and established to address the challenges of facilitating possible solutions within rapidly changing local, regional, national and global scenarios. The intention is to deliver on its purpose through facilitating collaborative efforts among the academic community, government, private sector, civil society and development partners to enhance quality leadership and governance, facilitate conditions for efficient and wise utilization of available resources towards reducing inequality, poverty, and unemployment.

The collaborative efforts calls for approaches and methods which cultivate effective and ethical leadership, strengthen governance institutions, fight corruption through ethical and effective leadership and governance in the context.  These innovative initiatives include methods such as human centred design thinking, scenario planning strategic thinking, policy analysis and research, think tanks smart spaces design and social laboratories and economic, social and organization development. Opportunities for new forms of governance to create the conditions for human flourishing are explored.

The Centre for Good Governance will operate and facilitate the transfer of promising know-how and emerging technological inventions that has a broader societal impact agenda rather than an agenda that is mainly profit-driven/commercially-focussed. The broader societal agenda comprises issues such as poverty alleviation through job creation initiatives. Methods used in the action learning and action research processes will be based on co-creating public value through effective and ethical learning governance with partnerships and projects. The Centre will engage in the core activities of research and development, teaching and training, collaboration and capacity building and consultancy, commercialisation and community interaction.

The Centre will function as a trans-disciplinary, inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder academic entity and network managed by the School of Social Innovation at HK. It will also be explicitly linked to and function in partnership with the other Schools within HK. The organization will follow all applicable and relevant Hugenote Kollege policies in respect of Centres and Institutes. 

The Centre will be strong on vision and weak on boundaries, build and maintain a real and virtual knowledge network, do its work through projects, programmes and partnerships using social innovation methodologies and strategies including prototyping and showcasing work done in social laboratories and analysed in the Centre and its global and local knowledge partners.

The Centre will deliver knowledge products in the form of executive education and training, professional research, including contract research and service to its stakeholders, including consultancy services. These activities will also partly contribute to the funding of the Centre’s activities.