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NEWS
Henley offers scholarships to investigative journalists
Henley offers scholarships to investigative journalists

5 trends that can keep the South African MBA relevant
5 trends that can keep the South African MBA relevant

We need to realign government, business and civil society
We need to realign government, business and civil society

Life as a full-time MBA student
Life as a full-time MBA student

Brexit delay provides breathing space for SA
Brexit delay provides breathing space for SA

MSA joins the ADvTECH family
MSA joins the ADvTECH family

SA plunges to 117 out of 149 in gender wage equality
SA plunges to 117 out of 149 in gender wage equality

UCT’s Executive MBA recognised for its distinctive approach
UCT’s Executive MBA recognised for its distinctive approach

GIBS Executive MBA programme debuts in top 50
GIBS Executive MBA programme debuts in top 50

Can Africa fill the glass?
Can Africa fill the glass?

YALI AFRICA launch at Unisa
YALI AFRICA launch at Unisa

The fake resurrection of South Africa
The fake resurrection of South Africa

Don't panic: The digital revolution isn’t that unusual
Don't panic: The digital revolution isn’t that unusual

Why Agile works
Why Agile works

How firms can avoid the mediocrity trap
How firms can avoid the mediocrity trap

How a 100000-strong company is relearning how to innovate
How a 100000-strong company is relearning how to innovate

The changing shape of the MBA
The changing shape of the MBA

Adding climate change to curriculum is a top priority
Adding climate change to curriculum is a top priority

The MBA should turn you into a business disruptor
The MBA should turn you into a business disruptor

Innovation in SA organisations driven by C-level support
Innovation in SA organisations driven by C-level support

UNISA SBL a torch-bearer of training for military veterans
UNISA SBL a torch-bearer of training for military veterans

Scaling up the MBA for relevance in the 4IR
Scaling up the MBA for relevance in the 4IR

Moody's: SA not out of the woods yet
Moody's: SA not out of the woods yet

GIBS manufacturing-focused MBA kicks off in Durban
GIBS manufacturing-focused MBA kicks off in Durban

Henley’s Makhoalibe selected for sought-after programme
Henley’s Makhoalibe selected for sought-after programme

Personal potential, a source of power
Personal potential, a source of power

Reach your business leadership potential with a MBA from WBS
Reach your business leadership potential with a MBA from WBS

MPC: SA needs a period of stable interest rates
MPC: SA needs a period of stable interest rates

SA’s energy problems just the tip of the iceberg
SA’s energy problems just the tip of the iceberg

What's really driving disruption?
What's really driving disruption?

Why has there been such a failure of leadership?
Why has there been such a failure of leadership?

Steinhoff: Exactly where does responsibility stop and start?
Steinhoff: Exactly where does responsibility stop and start?

The cure for the loneliness of command
The cure for the loneliness of command

How to survive in the age of digital transformation
How to survive in the age of digital transformation

New MBA timetable starts in 2016
New MBA timetable starts in 2016

EVENTS
Henley MBA & PGDIP Preview Day
Henley MBA & PGDIP Preview Day
29 May 2019,
Pretoria

UCT GSB MBA Information Sessions
UCT GSB MBA Information Sessions
15 October 2019,
Johannesburg



03 DECEMBER 2018
Imagining the futures of South Africa in Africa

What is South Africa going to do in an era of automation? How will we secure jobs without pandering to protectionism? Will a Universal Basic Income become a reality? And with robots taking on much of the mundane, what is the future of creativity?

Gartner predicts that by 2020, artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate 1.8 million jobs globally, but it will create 2.3 million in exchange. In Africa, many of these roles could arise to facilitate the testing of new technologies. With a continent famed for its ingenuity, Africans are in prime position to discover interesting applications for AI. While many are cautious – even pessimistic – about the future, experts at the recent Stellenbosch University Institute for Futures Research's Annual Workshop and Conference believe that it is a case of asking 'Why can't we?' instead of unpacking 'Why we can't'.

With Industry 4.0 underway – and whisperings of the 5th Revolution already in the works – we need to start imagining multiple forms the future could take – and Africa's place in these scenarios. Here are some possible and plausible futures views by a selection of South Africa's foremost academics: 

A possibilist's future

Professor André Roux, head of the Futures Studies Programmes presented at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, says that South Africa has no choice but to be part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, “Protectionism condones inefficiencies. In China, 90% of labour costs have disappeared due to automation. Inevitably, Chinese cars are cheaper. So, guess which cars consumers buy? We need to consider the danger of protectionism at the expense of competitiveness."

The impact of global warming

Roux believes that global warming will change the world in ways not yet fully considered. This has big implications for emerging economies, “A big concern is that the massive populations of China and India are reaching mid-income status, with mid-income drives. The question then becomes how to survive all this prosperity? It's a geopolitical challenge. It would be hypocritical for the developed world to turn to the developing world and say, 'You can't eat meat because it takes 9000 litres of water to produce under half a kilogram of beef' or 'You can't go on holiday because of the carbon tax'."

AI and Africa

Martin Butler, Head of the USB MBA programme and who specialises in information systems alignment with organisational strategy, foresees a future where Africa becomes the test bed for tech. Here are some of his insights into AI:

  • Scientists have already trained AI to write poetry – but it is not up to Shakespeare's levels… yet
  • Machine-learning is the number one in-demand skill on Monster.com
  • 450% is the percentage that the share of jobs requiring AI has increased by since 2013, according to Adobe
  • 1400% is the increase of the number of start-ups since 2000, according to Stanford University
  • Global spending on AI will reach $7.3 billion by 2022, according to Juniper Research.

While Stephen Hawking said AI could spell the end of the human race, Butler is far more optimistic. He believes it could bring about big opportunities for Africa. While we may not lead the charge in creating AI and tech, we will play an integral role in finding interesting applications for it. Because that is what African ingenuity is all about. It is what we excel at doing. In the future we could become the major test bed for all innovations.

Transformation of the self is key to agenda 2063

For physician and philosopher Professor Shadrick Mazaza, founder of the African Consciousness Institute, the future is all about personal transformation. Referencing analytical psychology founder Carl Jung, Mazaza says the transformation of the self is imperative to the transformation of Africa. In every self, there are 'two people': we have the self that people see – your personality that is run by your amygdala, which prompts the 'fight or flight' response – and your higher self, the self that intersects with every other person, making us all one. To change Africa and the world, we must raise citizens' levels of consciousness. By understanding our higher selves, we rise beyond the illusion of differences to others.

Mazaza believes Industry 4.0 is the era of thought and consciousness, “This is the time when we're trying to understand the entire package of human experience. It's a time of understanding the nature of thought. Of understanding consciousness. We're now in the experience economy – it's all about thought and emotions."

To achieve Agenda 2063 – a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of Africa – Mazaza says we need personal transformation. “If we can get 5% of the African population to free themselves from the illusion of difference by better understanding themselves, then we can transform this continent."

Let's not limit the future

Roux concludes that we cannot limit ourselves to one kind of future. “It should be 'Why can't we?' and not 'Why we can't'. We have to be careful about not being adamant about one kind of future. It's not a case of either/or; it's a case of and/and. Printed book sales are actually rising. More fountain pens have been sold in the last few years than ever before. Vinyl has made a comeback. We can still read on screen and buy the weekly magazines. We can still invest in state-of-the-art tech and prefer hardback books. It's not about the demise of things. It's about a change in shape and form. We need to reimagine space."

Source:

USB Executive Development (USB-ED)
We develop and connect leaders through innovative and transformational learning experiences because we believe that empowered leaders can bring about change. Visit our website.

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