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Bringing Design to the East, Mbari Uno Forum Partners with NzukoLabs and Society of Igbo Professionals.

Mbari Uno Forum is proud to announce her partnership with NzukoLabs and its first project, Obodo Oma, the urban reimagining initiative by the Society of Igbo Professionals. The partnership is an endeavour that is poised to establish a platform that promotes collaborative problem solving through design innovation, invention, education, and collaboration. Mbari Uno Forum is a not-for-profit organization and open innovation platform engaging a Collective of designers and professionals in activities rooted in indigenous realities, to develop cultures, products, events and services that solve social problems in Africa. NzukoLabs is a non-profit initiative that seeks to transform how youths learn in the South East of Nigeria by infusing the principles of STEM into our school curriculum in an interdisciplinary and applied approach while collaborating with teachers, educators & policymakers.

In tune with their mission to promote a continuous drive for inventive and indigenous problem solving by leveraging on STEM and the innovative ecosystem created by NzukoLabs in Eastern Nigeria. Chuma Anagbado, Co-Founder of Mbari Uno said; “This partnership is one vehicle for bringing design to the East. We are charting new territories, and on them, we are catalysing a hunger and drive for development via innovation.” The emergence of the NzukoLabs and Mbari Uno Forum partnership presents an exciting opportunity to converge the organisational aspirations of the Society of Igbo Professionals (SIP). SIP is a registered professional organisation that seeks to motivate, connect and leverage the global community of Igbo professionals as drivers of sustainable socio-economic growth of individuals, organisations and communities wherever Igbos live, work and grow. One of SIP’s cardinal initiatives, ‘Obodo Oma’ (which translates to ‘a nice city/dwelling’) will be the flagship project of this collaboration. Conceptualised  by the Society of Igbo Professionals as a social re-engineering programme,  Obodo Oma involves reimagining Igbo urban centres like Abakaliki, Enugu, Owerri, Onitsha, Aba, amongst others in an effort that will activate young people across the 7 Igbo homesteads of Nigeria in Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers States by co-creating visualisations that encourage a more functional, healthier, pleasant yet modern lifestyle.

On the collaboration with Mbari Uno and NzukoLabs, SIP Trustee, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu enthused, “Collaboration is at the heart of all the activities of the Society of Igbo Professionals and in more ways than one, it feels very much like a stage in a journey made richer by diversity, experience and exuberance – a return to the origins, a return of a fabled traveller, a return of a prodigal, a return to a time of sowing and green shoots, a return to a vista of possibilities.”

The partnership is rooted in a shared philosophy of innovation, design education, human capital development and social impact. The potential of this collaboration is also linked to the Creative Economy driven by empowered, diverse and youthful human resource from the grassroots. Through design thinking and design education, the Mbari Uno Forum and NzukoLabs partnership aims at creating economic growth, skill acquisition, and sustainable solutions via innovative problem solving and collaboration. Participants will be introduced to and trained on Design Thinking and STEM with the urban renewal visualisation as a project. This partnership will also involve design thinking sessions and activities facilitated by Mbari Uno Forum and the ideas will form part of a Street Exhibition planned for mid-December as part of the annual homecoming.

L-R: NKem Nweke, NzukoLabs Trustee; Chuma Anagbado, Mbari Uno Forum Trustee; Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, Society of Igbo Professional Trustee at Mbari Uno(House of Collaboration)

The partnership will kick-off the first project, “Obodo Oma” with a webinar on Introduction to Design Thinking: what design thinking is and how it works. This virtual session will hold via Zoom on the 24th of October, 2020. 

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