JCSE Listening Circle Series – Session 8 (Wednesday 3 June 2020)

“Has the COVID-19 pandemic plunged us into the 4th Industrial Revolution?”

In a series of articles published in the Mail & Guardian between February and April 2020, Professor Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice Chancellor of UJ and Deputy Chair of the Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) sets out the key recommendations of the Commission. As his articles were being written the Coronavirus outbreak was turning into a pandemic and the world was going into lockdown. 

It is still too early to adequately assess the impact that the COVID-19 crisis will have on our economy and on our society. There can be no doubt, however, that its impacts will be hugely significant. One early indication is that the need to rapidly implement social distancing and work-from-home (WFH) has led to massive adoption of digital technology. The question that many are asking is: Will these changes become permanent? Are we seeing long-term digital transformation? Is this the start of the 4th Industrial Revoloution? And … what will become of the recommendations of the Presidential Commission?

On Wednesday 3rd June 2020 from 4-6pm (South African time) the JCSE will be hosting the 8th – and final – Session in our “Listening Circle” webinar season.

The Session is inspired by Episode #8 of Prof Barry Dwolatzky’s podcast series entitled “Optimizing: Leading Africa’s Digital Future”. Episode #8 deals with Digital Transformation and 4IR.

Prof Barry will be joined by an excellent panel of experts who will lead the conversation.

If you want to be part of this conversation, and you haven’t yet done so, book your seat at the Zoom table now. Spaces are limited.


Podcasts and additional material:     


Recordings to previous Listening Circle live stream at:                www.Facebook.com/OptimizingPodcast

If you want to ask questions and share comments register here to participate in the event. (We do charge a nominal fee). 

If you just want to listen in the event will be available as a live stream on Facebook.

Date & Time: 3rd June 2020 from 16:00 to 18:00 (South African Time)

Information about the JCSE Listening Circle Season.

In February 2020, Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Director of the JCSE, launched a podcast entitled “Optimizing – Leading Africa’s Digital Future”. Access it Here. It is constructed as an inter-generational conversation between Prof Barry, who has over 40 years of experience and leadership in Africa’s digital economy, and Kerryn Gammie, who is taking her first steps in becoming a future digital leader. Season 1 of the podcast consists of 8 episodes that map out Prof Barry’s own journey as he played a role in the history of computing in South Africa. He looks for lessons in his past that will prove useful to Kerryn and her generation of future digital leaders.

Our Listening Circle is a gathering that aims to encourage active learning. Participants come into the Listening Circle having already accessed and worked through the relevant knowledge. In this case the relevant knowledge is a episode of the “Optimiizing” podcast, together with other resources that will be provided. The time in the Listening Circle is spent working interactively with Prof Barry drawing out key issues encountered in the information that was shared beforehand. Each Listening Circle session will be facilitated via a set of relevant questions.

The JCSE Listening Circle Series consists of 8 sessions organised as follows:,

How it will work

1.       Registration: Participants will register by buying a ticket on Quicket. Our target is to have a maximum of 60 participants per session. Within this number we wish to ensure that the participants have an appropriate “inter-generational” profile. We therefore have three types of tickets: (a) Experienced Digital Professional, (b)Future Leader, and (c) Observer. The ratio of tickets to be made available are as follows: 

2..       Before the session (everyone): All participants will be sent a link to the relevant podcast episode together with additional resources.  Participants should listen to the podcast (if they haven’t yet done so) and browse through additional resources before the start of the session. A total of about 2 hours of preparation will be required before the session for participants to get the most value out of the actual session.

3.       Before the session (ticket types (a) and (b) ): Participants holding ticket types (a) and (b) will have an opportunity to send written questions and comments before the session. These will be posted on the session webpage prior to the session.

4.       During the session: Sessions will be run on Microsoft Teams. All participants will receive login details. Each 2-hour session will start with a 10 minute “scene set” by Prof Barry Dwolatzky, the moderator of the session. This will be followed by 50 minutes of discussion structured around questions and comments submitted beforehand. The next 45 minutes will be run as an unstructured conversation dealing with the theme of that session. Prof Barry will moderate this. In the last 15 minutes, Observers (ticket type (c) ) can join the conversation. The session will be recorded.

5.       After the session: An edited version of the recording made during the session will be publicly available for both those who participated and for the general public.

Register and Tickets