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Some of the delegates and thematic leaders at the end of the day
SAMPNode Directors, Members and Panellists

The Global Work/Tech Scenarios 2050: South Africa Conference and Workshops was held at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria on December 4th, 2018, by the Southern Africa Node of the Millennium Programme (SAMPNode), in collaboration with the Tshwane University of Technology.

The one-day conference hosted 80 participants, who shared their insights and foresights about the role of technology and its impacts on the future of work in South and Southern Africa by 2050. The event was attended by representatives from business, labour, government, youth, women, educational institutions and private and public sectors which included the Director of Special Projects, Strategic Partnerships and International Relations from the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, Tseliso Mohlomi, and Jak Koseff – the Chief Director of the Tshepo 1Million Gauteng Provincial Government Office of the Premier.

Professor Rasigan Maharajh gave an overview of the context of current labour trends in the southern African region across all sectors titled, “Global Work/Tech Scenarios – a Southern African response, while considering the direct and indirect effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Highlighting the Southern Africa Node of the Millennium Programme’s commitment to promoting futures thinking with foresight practitioners, futurists, strategists and planning in the public, private sectors, civil society and academia the conference portended further engagements that will follow in 2019. In his concluding remarks, Professor Maharajh challenged the delegates by asking the following questions, “Are we having the right conversations? Are we preparing our students and our resources for the changes we are seeing in today’s world and the future we are approaching?”

A panel discussion with various experts from the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields addressed the current and possible future impact of technology in their various industries. Panellist Mpho Madisha, chairperson of the Black Science, Technology and Engineering Professionals said, “We still have a lot to learn about how as humans we can create and operate technology rather than see it as making us obsolete.”


Some of the delegates and thematic leaders at the end of the day

The delegates listened to discussions by various experts and shared their insights and ideas of what the future of work will look like in the next coming decades. A summary report of the conference will form part of the larger Global Work/Tech report. SAMPNode is also planning a series of information sharing and further inputs in the first quarter of 2019. Professor Maharajh and other SAMPNode members will also be participating in the Science Forum South Africa held from 12 – 14 December 2018 hosted by the Department of Science and Technology.