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Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Academic is guest speaker at conference in India

HONOURED: Dr Errol Francke (second from right) during his visit to India. HONOURED: Dr Errol Francke (second from right) during his visit to India.

Information Technology Department Senior Lecturer, Dr Errol Francke, was the chief guest speaker at the Business Analytics and Smart Innovation Conference (BASIC) 2024, recently held in India.

The international conference was hosted by Vivekanand Business School (VBS) in Mumbai, and Francke said he was honoured to have been invited by the host institution as their chief guest speaker.

The four-day event dealt with a Smart Innovation Idea Competition, the Social Innovation Idea Competition, and the Research Conference. Speakers from Canada, Singapore, India and South Africa honed in on Data Analytics and its role in transforming society and the business landscape.

“My presentation was titled: ‘The Rise of AI and its Impact on Big Data Analytics for Social Innovation’. The keynote address explored the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in unlocking the power of big data for social good. The world is saturated in data, presenting both challenges and opportunities for social innovation. Traditional methods struggle to handle this data's sheer volume and complexity, hindering our ability to extract meaningful insights and drive positive change.”

Francke said the presentation was well-received, and he made valuable contacts for further research collaboration.

Aside from the conference, Francke’s other duty was to hand over a Memorandum of Understanding between CPUT and Vivekanand Education Society’s Business School to their director.

This MoU aims to develop academic and educational collaboration in areas of mutual academic interest and to promote mutual understanding between the two institutions. Each institution agrees to explore establishing an International Centre at the partner campus to manage the following collaborative activities in the academic areas of mutual interest based on equality and reciprocity:

  • Study abroad in India and South Africa
  • Partner delivery and curriculum development in the country
  • Joint research
  • Staff and Student Mobility
  • Staff development, education, and training

“Reflecting on my visit to Mumbai and tapping into the spirit of Mongane Wally Serote, I am reminded that India is not just a country but an emotion. A bustling city where riches glimmer, and fortunes are made each day in mansions perched high and proud. While diamonds gleam and champagne flows from the privileged, the cries of empty bellies rumbling are lost in the dust of the Mumbai slums and streets.

“I reflected on how Gandhi and Mother Theresa would view modern Mumbai and whether they again would stand up and fight for the plight of the poor and marginalised as they did decades ago. Despite that, I am heartened by the humility and appreciation of the people with whom I interacted. The staff and students of VBS were a real pleasure to work with, and they are grateful for our collaboration with them.”

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za