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René Parker

René Parker is the Managing Director of RLabs a global social enterprise with a strong focus on Community-driven Innovation and Social Change. RLabs currently have activities in Afri-ca, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and North & South America impacting more than 10 mil-lion people across 23 countries. She has played a leading role in transforming RLabs into an award winning global social enterprise from the humble beginnings of a community project in Cape Town.

She served as a board member of the Living Labs in Southern Africa (LLiSA) network where she fulfilled the portfolio of Capacity Building, Community Development and Communica-tions and is a founding member of the Western Cape Government youth development net-work currently focused on driving youth economic empowerment through technology, en-trepreneurship and innovation.

She was featured in many local and international publications for her work on women and technology. Rene is the co- founder of RLabs Women that seeks to build technology and in-novation capacity amongst women in marginalized communities. RLabs Women has recent-ly, under the leadership of René Parker launched its latest innovation: Junk.Fund, which raises capital through a crowdfunding platform that provides women entrepreneurs with access to capital.

René is a sought after international speaker with a strong focus on innovation, Living Labs and empowering women through technology as well as a thought leader who provides a va-riety of consulting services in International Development and Community Innovation to both private and public sector. She also serves in an advisory capacity to a number of interna-tional universities and has done extensive work with organisations such as the Finnish For-eign Ministry, GIZ, AfriLabs, i4Policy, UNWomen, Naspers, NedBank and Accenture.