Launch of DICE Digital Fund – meet your “match-makers”

1 December 2020

The launch of the DICE Digital R&D fund was announced today! And this week a series of “drop in clinics”, as well as “match-making sessions” will be held online to help organisations find a suitable partner/project to apply to this fund.

Belle and Co. has been asked to assist in the match-making process! Match-making sessions will take place on the 3rd, 4th & 8th December 2020.

The fund offers 20 grants to support the development and delivery of 20 co-designed ‘digital experiences’. Organisations registered in the following countries are eligible to apply and submit a joint proposal from two (2) different DICE countries. These countries are : Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK.

More information on the website here:

Joint applications are due by: 15 December 2020.

Web Extract:

We are delighted to announce the launch of the DICE Digital R&D Fund on 1 December 2020.

This Fund will offer 20 grants to support the development and delivery of 20 co-designed ‘digital experiences’ that contribute to the DICE programme’s mission and ethos.

The Fund will also support the creation of a community of practice across the 20 partnerships to share learning from the digital experiences.

The value of each of these grants will range between £7,000 – £15,000.

The 20 grants will be awarded to 20 pairs of organisations, known hereafter as ‘DICE Digital Partners’, which will co-design and co-deliver a digital experience. 

About the digital experiences 

The digital experiences should: 

  • be delivered between February and May 2021
  • be designed by, with and/or for groups that are often disadvantaged in the economy, including but not limited to youth, women or people with disabilities
  • be tailored and produced for specific groups, such as creative social entrepreneurs, artists and policy makers
  • enable the DICE Digital Partners to enhance and improve their own digital confidence, capabilities and infrastructure
  • create genuine connection and camaraderie between the participants.

Please find a full list of requirements for the digital experiences in the Guidance Notes for Applicants, attached below. See also Info and support for applicants section below (click on the title to see the text).  

Who can apply?

Organisations that wish to apply must be based in a DICE country (Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK) and must submit their application together with a partner organisation in another DICE country. (See ‘Info and support for applicants’ below for support in finding a partner).

We cannot accept applications from organisations applying without a partner organisation or from applicants that are not legally registered in a DICE country.

How Might We…?

25 November 2020

How might we tackle youth unemployment, or create safe public transport for women who are experiencing Gender Based Violence, or How might we lead young people away from Gansterism and Drugs? These were some of the tough or “wicked” problems Cape Town students were trying to solve in their design thinking teams over the last 3 weeks at Life Choices Coding Academy under the facilitated guidance of Belle and Company.


Learners had to dive deep into their problem statement, interviewing the public about their experience of the topic and deepening their understanding of the root causes using a Problem Tree.


Returning with new found insights, and converging on one part of the problem, groups had to ideate 50 ideas using techniques learnt in the session. Post-it notes abounded, and groups defending their ideas until only 1 solution was chosen per group.


After a week of thinking and refining their solution, the day came to manifest their idea in a prototype – actually making a product or service! Many prototyping techniques were explored from wire frames, paper prototypes, story boarding, adverts to news of the future!


5 Groups presented their ideas to a live audience consisting of their peers and Lifechoices staff members. Audience members commented on the groups innovations and encouraged groups to actually implement these ideas out in the real world. Recapping the last few weeks, learners were surprised how creative they could be, and also commented on the intensity of the process that required them to do a lot of critical thinking before getting hands on and creating something out of nothing. Ultimately the key lesson learnt was around innovation, creativity, mindset change and team work.

Some images from Prototyping Presentations:

Upscale Sudan (Social Enterprise Incubation)

Belisa Rodrigues (as an Associate Tutor for the Social Enterprise Academy), has been co-designing and facilitating the Upscale Sudan incubation programme over the last 6 months, where 80 Sudanese social enterprises have an opportunity to undertake monthly modules building out their business knowledge and practice.

The modules we have delivered online include, among others: Module 3: Self-leadership; Module 4: SME Strategy; Module 5: Customer & Product Development; Module 6: Building & Developing Teams.

Here are some sample images of online activities and assignments over the past few months:

Supported by the British Council Sudan, the Upscale Sudan Programme is an acceleration programme seeking to support social enterprises through group trainings and mentorship approaches. The primary objective of the programme is to facilitate the transfer of business skills and knowledge to the early stage businesses as well as increase sustainability and growth chances of those businesses.

Digital Lab Africa Bootcamp

October 2020

9 winners of the Digital Lab Africa #4 2020 edition, were taken on a week long immersive bootcamp experience as part of their incubation programme benefits.

This included attending key sessions at the FakÚgesi Virtual Festival “Power to the Pixel” as well as an intense pitching preparation workshop (over a few days) with Belisa Rodrigues from Belle and Co., to prepare them for a live pitching session in front of producers, investors and others interested in collaboration, held online on the 30th October.

Live Pitching event:

The 9 winners of Digital Lab Africa 4th edition pitch their exciting projects in their respective category: Animation, Immersive Realities, Video Games, Music, and Digital art.

Bokang Koatja (South Africa) winner in the animation category

Natasha Nayo (Ghana), winner in the animation category

Ridwan Moshood (Nigeria), winner in the animation category

Tristan Mocke (South Africa), winner in the video game category

Robert Mensah (Nigeria), winner in the video game category

Melisa Allela (Kenya), winner in the XR category

Joey Ekunwe (Nigeria), winner in the XR category

Sizo Hlophe (Eswatini), winner in the music category

Lara Sousa (Mozambique), winner in the digital art category

Creative Entrepreneurship Programme (Goethe Namibia)

October 2020

Goethe-Institut Namibia (GI), together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), launched a Creative Entrepreneurship Programme (CEP) in May 2020. This programme is aimed at identifying and developing businesses in the creative industry to become financially lucrative and eventually create economic growth for the Namibian creative field. After an online application process and a round of business pitches, 14 businesses were selected by an independent jury to form part of the programme.

Belle and Co. was invited as a facilitator for “Lesson 5: Business Innovation” where entrepreneurs were introduced to Human Centred Design Thinking processes, put into teams and tackled a design challenge over 4 weeks.

Challenges included: Black Pride; National Pride, Reaching the hard to reach; Resilience in Creatives. The prototypes created by each group were truly mind-blowing!

Below are some excerpts from the group work:

A Global Platform for Creative, Just and Sustainable Futures

From 12-23 October 2020, the Salzburg Global Seminar series kicks off this years annual gathering of 70 selected Young Cultural Innovators from all over the world for an immersive 10 day dialogical experience on the topic “Creative, Just and Sustainable Futures”. Belle and Co.’s Director, Belisa Rodrigues, is a YCI alumni (2012), and will this year be part of the facilitation team to take this event completely online.

More information

Communities around the world are facing radical social, environmental, political, and economic disruption, confronting complex challenges that range from the COVID-19 pandemic to structural inequity and racism, outdated systems of education and work, and climate change. The cultural sector is essential to regenerate and energize societies but artists and creative innovators have never been in a more precarious situation.

Shaping a creative, just and sustainable world calls for action at all levels and collaboration across many sectors. We need bold ideas and innovation to build a more vibrant and resilient arts sector that can advance inclusive economic development, positive social change, and urban transformation for livable cities. The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators (YCI Forum) aims to do this by connecting, empowering and supporting rising talents in the creative sector across every continent.

Below a select screenshot of the 70+ selected innovators for this year’s YCI Session:

More information:

The mission of Salzburg Global Seminar is to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world.

Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1947 to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. Our multi-year program series aim to bridge divides, expand collaboration and transform systems. 

Salzburg Global convenes outstanding talent across generations, cultures and sectors to inspire new thinking and action, and to connect local innovators with global resources. We foster lasting networks and partnerships for creative, just and sustainable change.

Over 36,000 Fellows from more than 170 countries have come together through our work, with many rising to senior leadership positions. Our historic home at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria – now also an award-winning hotel – allows us to welcome all participants in conditions of trust and openness.

View of the Lake across from Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron where the SGS sessions historically take place.

Creative Campus #2 goes online in Sudan

4 June 2020, Online Training (Sudan)

Last year Belle and Co. conducted a 5-day Creative Campus with Sudanese Creative Entrepreneurs under the Strengthening Citizens of Sudan Programme (co-funded by Goethe Institut and The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)) . This year, selected participants of the 2019 campus, have come forward with a desire to run the second edition of the Creative Campus #2 in 2020. As a result, they requested a Training-of-trainers (ToT) programme to prepare them to take over as local trainers.

Training Programme: 

Due to Covid-19, this ToT was pivoted to an online programme as follows:

2 June 2020 – Soft launch of the learning platform (via Google Classrooms)

4 June 2020 – Webinar 1: Orientation / Tech Check and ToT Launch

4 – 6 June 2020  – Self Study and assignments

6 June 2020 – Webinar 2: Designing the CC#2

6-9 June 2020 – Self -study and group work

9 June 2020 – Webinar 3: Delivering the CC#2

13 June 2020 – Final Assignment

Webinar 1: Orientation

Online Webinar 1 screenshot, Sudan (4 June 2020)