The Learning Lunch podcast explores ideas, approaches and social innovations – creating opportunity for non-profit organisations’ teams to discover what others are learning and space to reflect on what these insights might mean for their own strategy and programme implementation.

Civil society organisations, in their form and function, are distinct from corporations and the state. But this doesn’t preclude them from using programmes and strategies that are also used by governments and businesses to shape societal outcomes. Running a fellowship programme is an example of this. Generally speaking, fellowships are funded, short-term opportunities, focused on professional, academic or personal development. Fellowships facilitate interpersonal connections and provide individuals with the opportunity for self-reflection, experiential learning, cultural immersion and community-building. These experiences can lead to the development of mutual understanding, trust, and shared values.

Through fellowships, civil society organisations can build energetic communities or networks that have a creative life of their own. But the scaling properties of fellowships are notoriously difficult to define and measure.

In this Deep Dive podcast, we speak to Carol-Ann Foulis from DGMT’s Innovation Fellowship; Rumbi Görgens from the Mamandla Fellowship, and Andisiwe Hlungwane from Teachers Can about how they are using fellowships for social change.

Andisiwe Hlungwane is the project lead for Parent Power and Teachers CAN, incubated projects of DGMT. She has a deep interest in how people negotiate their identity and how that impacts the ways in which they show up in the world, with a particular focus on parents, teachers and schools. She is driven by a desire to play a role in ensuring that every child in South Africa has access to quality education.

Rumbi Goredema Görgens is the operations manager for Embrace, a movement dedicated to making mothers and motherhood matter in South Africa. She is a lifelong feminist activist with a wealth of experience in community development work, project management, and volunteer activity facilitation and coordination.

Carol-Ann Foulis is an independent organisational development (OD) consultant, who has worked extensively with civil society organisations across a range of sectors. Her work is focused on supporting leaders and teams to grow impactful, innovative organisations that also support the growth and development of staff. This includes designing and facilitating processes linked to organisational strategy and programme development, fundraising support, leadership transitions and other change management processes. While she worked at DGMT, she contributed to the founding of two programmes, namely SmartStart (aimed at scaling up the rollout of early learning programmes) and the Innovation Fellowship (a professional development programme for young leaders in civil society).

Carol-Ann has a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands. She sits on the board of the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA).

Here are some complementary bites to make your meal even tastier

Visit the Mamandla Fellowship site.
Visit the Innovation Fellowship profile page.
Visit the Teachers CAN Fellowship site.