Giving Back: November 2011 E-Three Labs
WE’VE CONTRIBUTED TO THIS SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
E-Three Labs www.ethreelabs.org
E-Three Labs is a Detroit-based social enterprise that equips young adults in developing communities worldwide with technical training and skills to use in creating and supporting local businesses. With innovative training and partnering programs that focus on 21st century skill development, the organization uniquely addresses clean energy, digital fabrication, permaculture, food security, and career development opportunities with a focus on entrepreneurship.
Founded by Jonathan M. Wege, E-Three Labs has focused on developing career and educational opportunities for Southeast Michigan residents through their photovoltaic solar panel installation class for displaced workers in Detroit, Michigan. They are also developing local & international sustainability project opportunities for local youth through their high school training program.
Through the E-Three Labs programming, Detroit students have traveled to South Africa to teach solar energy design concepts and urban agriculture in a youth-led conference with peers in the township of Soweto. The students completed their efforts by leading teams in building the student designed green house, on the grounds of a primary school within the township.
As a social enterprise, E-Three Labs has created a revenue model in which it charges a service fee for its tuition-based photovoltaic solar course to its client, the state of Michigan, for students that participate in the Michigan Rehabilitation Services program.
E-Three Labs is continuing its efforts to develop local communities by designing and constructing a sustainable carbon negative ecco village on a dilapidated block in Detroit. This project involves the contributions of students, community members & community organizations to design, construct, and install the key components necessary to provide residents with an infrastructure that promotes self-reliance.
In December 2011, E-Three Labs will be returning to South Africa with Detroit students to assist a community centered school in Durban. Students will lead a conference and community service project that will address solar powered battery charging stations for entrepreneurial opportunities, permaculture training, urban garden, and site assessment to address larger energy needs at the school for future student-led projects.
As for the future, E-Three Labs will continue to develop projects in Detroit that address the needs of the community, in addition to continuing its efforts to develop communities internationally so that students can return to Detroit equipped with 21st century technical skills, leadership experience, and a global view to add value to local projects. There are future international project sites, as well, which include Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone.