kHUB Juba Technology and Innovation Hub and the Kapital Virtual Academy

What is kHUB?

kHUB is a non-profit, community-based technology, innovation and learning hub in Juba, South Sudan. Its vision is to defeat the many impossibilities challenging South Sudan's future.

The initiative to create kHUB stems from the Kapital Movie Industry Corporation collective, an independent group of young designers, film makers, IT professionals and artists who have come together to help solve the acute post-independence social, political, educational and environmental challenges arising from 21 years of fought civil war. Tapping the hopes, aspirations and dedication to create a new future beyond conflict the young kHUB community, whose members hail from all of South Sudan's regions and ethnic groups, aims to transform these challenges into creative business and vital training opportunities relevant to South Sudanese youth as well as forming new partnerships and networks, both regional and international.

Already constituted as the adhoc 'Kapital Virtual Academy' which focusses on self-directed training in film and video production, use of software and related technical systems and methodologies, kHUB's initial focus is knowledge development through the creation of professional capacity building workshops and hands-on production. Addressing themes that define specific challenges, such as Kapital's main interest areas of post-conflict national transformation and the building of an open, democratic, and socially just South Sudan, kHUB's mission will also be, through seminar and debates, to provide an open forum to discuss, identify and develop solutions to these challenges.

It is envisioned that kHUB would be a central point of innovation, collaborative learning and action for the Kapital Movie community - one that is equally open to new members and collaborators who contribute to the work and development of the organisation, and who bring in new expertise and experience. Other 'branches' of the kHUB community would include Kapital Movie Industry (for the production of socially responsive public service documentaries), Kapital Medical Complex (health/medical related media and education systems), Kapital TV and FM (KTV / KFM - as independent youth broadcasters, meshed with an online network service) and the Kapital Open University (Kapital Virtual Academy's formal development into a broader structured learning/e-learning entity, perhaps as an adjunct to African Virtual University / AVU).

kHUB, and in particular the 'Kapital Virtual Academy' and their related capacity building and development elements are also oriented towards, and designed to take advantage of, the wide range and accessibility of open source tools, platforms and methodologies, including extensive use and promotion of Open Educational Resources (OER). kHUB pursues the goals methodologies attributed to the world's Open Data initiatives in enabling access to knowledge. It seeks to stress upon government at all levels that Open Data is a powerful catalyst for innovation, entrepreneurship and improved public services, ias well as being an enabler of transparency and accountability.

In collaboration with leading OER and open systems research and development organisations that can include UNESCO's Knowledge Societies Division, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the International Development Research Council (IDRC) and the African Virtual University (AVU) among others, kHUB's approach is to harness the power and resources of the world's rapidly evolving open knowledge communities, becoming a collaborative member of these in doing so.

kHUB creates an open space for South Sudanese youth to connect, offers spaces for innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship, while also providing an open and accessible research and resource center for creative learning and exploration. By adopting an 'open systems' approach, nurturing togetherness, socialization, and collaborative enterprise, using hands-on, virtual, and e-learning digital environments as means to also understand South Sudan's diverse culture, ethnic origins and structures, kHUB also aims to combat tribalism and acts to eradicate the potent roots of illiteracy and violence. As such kHUB should also be understood and used as a 'community reconciliation center' where discussions, video clips, programmes and projects respond to the many of parts of South Sudan that still engage in rudimentary and negative tribal activities such as inter-communal conflict, cattle raiding, violence against women and marginalised members of society or the crisis surrounding post-war disarmament, and the re-integration of warriors into society. By hosting community reconciliation within the spaces of kHUB - which ideally would have networked spaces in South Sudan's regions where the collected material, information and resources would be accessible by an open knowledge base, the community will work to illustrate, develop and offer solutions to solve some of these complex social, cultural and economic problems.

kHUB's space would allow people (members, students, guests, as well as the general public) to co-work, to attend and to run events, to carry out classes, lectures and seminars in a secure, open and non-political environment. It should provide capable, affordable and energy self-reliant internet and power connectivity, particularly where one of the main hindrances for the advancement and education of many of South Sudan's youth, even in its capital Juba, is the absolute lack of access to online knowledge and information.

kHUB offers a conducive environment for talented developers, artists, designers, tech savvy or novice youth simply interested in technology and the peaceful future of their country, to connect and work together to tackle the many issues concerning the community. Output generated by kHUB will allow it to act as a youth oriented open media center for the whole of South Sudan, where training, peer to peer teaching, acting, film making and documentary, creation of national archives and knowledge bases can all be realized.

The Kapital Movie communities operate in the public interest and are not based on or guided by profit or external business interests of any kind. Our work is meant to engage, support and embrace the development of South Sudan's nascent civil society, for the benefit of all its citizens, and in particular its youth. Paraphrasing JFK, we choose to do things we do, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because our goals will support the best of our energies and skills, because our challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are not willing to postpone, and one which we intend to win.

As such the challenges we face - even daily, in simply being able to exist with a free conscience - as well as our failures and weaknesses will not deter us, but give us strength to grow, to learn and eventually to realize our goals far beyond their own expectations. We know and understand that humble beginnings will end with success, and that even 'millions' start with one ... facts the Kapital Movie community believes in.

kHUB_tech preliminary overview of resources required include:

mobile facilities, to get out in the field to interview, record, edit, produce, show, engage - a mobile van/vehicle that can hook up project at remote locations and be a mini-studio, also for transporting actors, technicians and equipment, in some cases motor bikes

trainers, training, developers - experts and mentors in, i.e., journalism, video production, editing, scripting/storytelling, on-the-fly production, distribution, programming, web and networking strategies

production equipment - professional video cameras (3 - 7 units, including some which are Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras) with multiple backup batteries
- lighting equipment, booms, boom mikes, tripods
- reflectors and color gels
- 1 Mini DV tape deck, for capturing footage and printing videos for TV distribution
- Fast computers (10) laptops and (15) desktops and at least three with AMD
processors; two tablet Lenovo for digital illustrations - 2 projector systems suites
- aerial footage RC drone

mobile & self sustained power / connectivity
- Solar, but also mobile wind/turbine power, w/ one diesel general for backup
- proper LAN / WIFI connections in Juba
- BRCK mobile internet connection units for out in the field

kHUB_partners currently are ...

local, national and international groups, organisations, individuals, including the icebauhaus network, BRAVE, r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, and the Warrap State Government

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