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A solution to unemployment, poverty, inequality and a stuttering economy

A solution to unemployment, poverty, inequality and a stuttering economy

The South African Technology Network (SATN), a consortia of Technology Focused Universities, will be hosting an international conference focusing on the role of universities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The conference will take place between 11 and 13 September 2018 at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban.

This conference seeks to respond to our rapidly changing world and technology that is advancing at an unprecedented rate. The popular vinyl’s and cassettes from the 80’s are replaced by digital downloads and live streams. Typewriters have been relegated to the status of T-Rex and smart phones, mobile devices and apps are dominating consumer and commercial interest. It’s the Internet of Things, Big Data, Robotics and Cyber-Production Systems.

The good news is that this Fourth Industrial Revolution is well placed to benefit South Africa. However, South Africa must accept that we need to be a catalyst of this change and not a mere spectator.

South Africa already has a high unemployment rate. There are massive concerns about work opportunities for our youth. The reality is that as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unravels, as the private sector decreases its reliance on human labour in favour of machines and microchips, South Africans must admit that we cannot be witnesses to global revolutions any longer. Rather, we should be the triggers and leaders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The SATN conference is supremely focused on having relevant conversations stimulated by world class presenters and researchers. Universities must be at the centre of any discussion related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Apart from the obvious links to research, this is where the young people reside. Those that who will drive and lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The bigger objective is to drive real change, to reduce poverty, to combat rampant unemployment, to boost the economy, to foster entrepreneurship, to address inequality and to ultimately, strive towards a better, smarter, healthier and a more successful life for all.

This three-day conference will explore some of these challenges and showcase some of its innovations, new technologies and research that the Universities in partnership with Industry have developed. The conference will also feature key players from across this diverse ecosystem nationally and internationally from enablers to users of the technology required to drive the 4IR.

Some of the esteemed speakers include:

Honourable Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education and Training (DHET) will share her Vison for SA higher Education Institutions role in the 4th IR

Dr Adriana Marais, Theoretical physicist, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa and aspiring extra-terrestrial (100 to Mars Astronauts) will share her mission “The Allure of the Unknown “The reason I want to go to Mars”

Prof Seeram Ramakrishna, Director of the Centre for Nanofibers & Nanotechnology; National University of Singapore

Prof Ronald Quincy, Former Assistant to the President of Harvard University, Director of Center of Nonprofit Management and Governance, Rutgers University, USA on successful University Industry Business Models

Mr Richard Hardiman, Entrepreneur and Environmentalist, Ranmarine Technology will showcase the Waste Shark Drone invention he has developed in partnership with scientists in the Netherlands

Mr Gavin Rajah, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and World-renowned Fashion Designer
The impact of the 4IR on the fashion and design industry

Mr Trevor Raman, President of the Saab Grintek Defence (SGD)
Will share the needs of the defence industry and capacity that Universities must prepare for the 4th IR.

Mr. Sergie Pillay Former CEO of Johannesburg General Hospital and the NHLS: Future Health challenges in the 4th IR.

Dr Phil Mjwara, Director General, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
What does SA need from Scientists and Industry to ensure that we are global players in the 4rh IR?

Prof Narend Baijnath, CEO of the Council for Higher Education (CHE)
What are the Curriculum challenges and new curricula required in the 4th IR?

Dr Gansen Pillay, Deputy CEO: RISA, National Research Foundation (NRF)
Research Challenges and opportunities in the 4th IR

Dr Raymond Patel– CEO of the MerSETA
Showcasing some innovations in the Manufacturing sector for the 4th IR

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