Citizen Science for the Common Good: A Social Innovation Lab for Practitioners

August 1 and 2 - Katherine Fillmore

Developed by Priya Vallbh, Morakane Madiba, Jaclyn Alexander @jax alexander and Sheraine van Wyk in collaboration with Rhodes University, Environmental Learning Research Centre, Whale Coast Conservation, SANBI, Future Earth and National Research Foundation.

Jaclyn Alexander & Priya Vallabh

It was a real treat to find myself at a workshop seated around a table with like-minded people working on projects for the Common Good.  

Morokane Madiba (Rhodes University)

The course facilitators were dynamic and knowledgeable and it was powerful to break down ‘Healing the Hennops River’ project into analytical components.

Rita Groenewald (The Jane Goodall Institute South Africa), Katherine Fillmore (Hennops Blue Horizon), Willem Snyman (Fresh River Restoration Group)

Day one found me seated at a table with Rita Groenewald and Lenka Lebo Mantso from the Jane Goodall Institute South Africa The Jane Goodall Institute South Africa


Lenka Lebo Mantso (The Jane Goodall Institute South Africa)

We debated interesting topics promoted by the academic knowledge of the course facilitators. 

Mulweli Nethengwe (

Surrounded by passionate environmentalists from,, Adopt-a-river-Moreleta,, Environmental Affairs and Water Affairs our projects were discussed analysing Causes and Purposes, Policy Landscape, Knowledges, Participants and Participation, Practices and Processes and the Development of a Simple Protocol.

Arnold Aldous (

Sheraine van Wyk (Whale Coast Conservation) & Gunther Trumplemann (Adopt-River-Moreleta)

From the lab it was clear that our work with Arehlwekiseng - Let’s Clean campaign in Tembisa is working on a solid model of success. This is a model we wish to expand all along the Hennops River Catchment.

One big question debated was do I take river education to schools without funding.  I got a straight no from Sheriane van Wyk from the Whale Coast Conservation who is doing phenomenal work relocating chameleons under threat due to development.  She outlined that Healing the Hennops needs a project leader and if I take on a bigger task without support there is a risk of burning out.  Interesting and informative topics such as biodegradable nappies versus cloth nappies and ethnic knowledge and spiritual knowledge within a project shed a lot of light on key issues. 

Sheraine van Wyk (Whale Coast Conservation)

Garth Burnes, DEA Deputy Director Environmental Sector Advocacy and Awareness, provided some priceless tools on how to work with municipal and governmental officials forging relationships and support towards healing the river. 

It was truly wonderful to be part of such an innovative and educational workshop.  I always did want to go to Rhodes University but my heart took me elsewhere. It was good to experience the Rhodes energy. 

The food was delicious and each tea break was highlighted by a yummy treat.  

SABI’s hospitality was commendable.

Jaclyn Alexander (@jax alexander)

Thank you to Priya, Morakane, Jaclyn and Sheraine for sharing your knowledge and guidance.


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Hennops River

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