InLabs Opens in Freetown

GMin’s newest program launches at the Prince of Wales School

The Innovate Salone team launched its first innovation lab under Global Minimum’s Innovation Laboratories (InLabs) program in Sierra Leone. Innovate Salone in partnership with the Prince of Wales School (POW) in Kingtom, Freetown and the Clinton Global Initiative, opened its doors on March 28th, 2014. Guests included staff from UNICEF, the US Embassy, the World Bank, Afcom and other organizations and corporations. The launch event consisted of a community design activity, various workshops, and closing words from the newly formed Innovation Club.


Mohamed Bangura, a previous Innovate Salone competition winner leads an electronics workshop.

The attendees, including students of POW and other youth in the community broke into groups and worked to solve traffic jam problems on Siaka Stevens Street and Pademba Road, two of Freetown’s major commuter avenues. The participants worked in groups to come up with short-term solutions and long-term solutions to the identified challenge. Using flip chart paper, they brainstormed and shared their ideas with the larger group.


After the community design challenge, attendees took a tour of youth-led stations in the lab and participated in activities. Stations included textiles, arts, woodworking and electronics. New tools such as Makey Makey, Empathy Toys, 123D Design and numerous kits provided by SparkFun Electronics were also featured.


The enthusiasm and energy in the space reaffirmed that the lab will serve as a safe haven for innovative minds to collaborate and develop creative solutions to challenges in their communities. The lab has been up and running for three weeks and the Innovate Salone team has invited volunteers to visit and conduct various workshops. The most recent demonstration reviewed cutting-edge methods to manipulate textiles. The Innovate Salone team looks forward to establishing more workshops in the fields of electronics, filmmaking and the arts.


The InLabs program will next open at the Annie Walsh School for girls in the fall of 2014, and two other sites in the provinces in 2015. Across all our labs, there are seven learning objectives GMin aims to measure and fall into two major categories. It’s critical that our youth exhibit and strengthen the following character traits in our program: persistence, curiosity, creativity and social responsibility. In addition to these traits, our youth will acquire skills related to mastering the design process, community building and understanding the interactions of complex systems. Youth demonstrate they are working toward building these traits and skills through interest-driven projects initiated in our various workshops and activities.


Global Minimum Inc. would like to thank its various partners including the Clinton Global Initiative, the MIT D-Lab, Autodesk, SparkFun Electronics, Makey Makey, Empathy Toys and the Ministry of Education (Sierra Leone).

Program Staff:

Janice Williams
InLabs Program Director

GMin Global Staff:
Ariam Mogos
Director of New Initiatives and Research

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