Guest Speakers |
Guest Speakers and Participants
Len de Villiers, Group Chief Information Officer, ABSA Bank
Absa Group CIO Len de Villiers has 30 years experience in the IT industry.
He began his career in 1978 in IT management positions at BP, Metro Cash and Carry and Gencor.
He joined First National Bank as GM of IT in 1986, followed by 3 years as MD of Microdata and as
an Executive Director at Datakor Holdings.
In 1993 he joined the Nedbank Group as GM of Technology and Architecture and progressed to GM of
Central and Branch Operations in 1996.
De Villiers was appointed MD of Group Operations in 2003 and as MD of Nedbank Group Technology and
Support Services (GTSS) in August 2004.
GTSS is the centralised technology unit with responsibility for all components of Nedbank’s group
technology, development and Shared Services support.
De Villiers was a member of Nedbank’s Group Executive reporting to Tom Boardman and won several
top achiever awards as well as the highest award in Nedbank (the CEO award in 1998).
De Villiers spent 15 years with Nedbank, left as the Group CIO and joined Absa Bank as Group CIO
on 1 August 2008.
Since joining Absa, De Villiers has crafted a 5 year Strategic Technology Plan for the Group
articulating the technology plans and initiatives necessary to create and support the underlying
Technology required for the new “One Absa” Strategy.
De Villiers was voted in as “the most admired CIO in South Africa “ by the CIO Council of South Africa
consisting of the top 100 CIO’s in the country in 2009.
Jacques van Niekerk, Chief Technology Officer, MIH
Jacques van Niekerk is the Chief Executive Officer at MIH SWAT, and the Chief Technical Officer
for the MIH Internet Group, both divisions of the Naspers group.
As CTO of MIH Internet, he is responsible for sharing technical knowledge amongst group companies,
and for establishing MIH Internet as a career destination for world-class technologists.
He is also responsible for the MIH MediaLab.
As CEO of MIH SWAT he manages a team with offices in Cape Town, Sao Paolo and New Delhi.
SWAT provides strategic technical support to the global Internet business in the form of M&A assistance,
software development, maintenance of the employee network, research and consulting.
Jacques is a member of the Computer Science Advisory Boards for the University of Cape Town, and
the University of Stellenbosch.
Prof Kobus Maree, Award Winning Academic and Researcher and Editor of SA Journal of Psychology
Prof Maree is editor of SA Journal of Psychology. A triple doctorate (DEd (Career Counselling;
PhD (Didactics of Mathematics); DPhil (Psychology)), he is internationally recognised for his work in
e.g. narrative career counselling.
His research focuses on e.g. optimising the achievement of learners and providing cost- effective career
facilitation to all persons.
The author of more than 110 articles and 65 books/ book chapters, and a practising psychologist for over 19 years,
he is regularly invited to read papers at national and international conferences, mostly in the field of
Career counselling (with the emphasis on career construction counselling). Prof Maree's recent textbook
on narrative Career counselling, Shaping the story: A guide to facilitating narrative career counselling
(world-renowned authors and researchers such as Professors Mark Savickas (USA), Norm Amundson (Canada),
Paul Hartung (USA), Charles Chen (Canada), Wendy Patton and Mary McMahon (Australia), Mark Watson (SA),
John Winslade (USA), etc. as well as 42 other top experts in the field of Career Psychology contributed to
this ground- breaking publication) was recently hailed as one of the three watershed publications in the
field of Career Psychology over the past 100 years.
He was awarded the annual Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Medal for Exceptional Contributions
to Education in 2004 and the Research Medal for Outstanding Research in January 2006 by EASA.
He was a finalist in the National Science and Technology Forum Awards in 2006 (Category:
Individual who has made outstanding contributions to Science, Engineering and Technology (SET)
in South Africa through research and its outputs over the last five years or less).
He was again elected as a finalist in 2009 (in both Category C: Individual who has made outstanding
contributions to Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in South Africa through research and its
outputs over the last five years or less and Category K: Science communication for public awareness).
He was awarded the Stals Prize (SA Academy of Science and Arts) for exceptional research and contributions
to psychology in 2009. In 2007, he received the Exceptional Academic Achiever Award (UP) for a second term
(2007-2009). He was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching and Learning for 2010 and the Exceptional
Academic Achiever Award (UP) for a third term (2011-2013).
Prof Maree was elected as a member of the South African Academy of Science and Arts (Akad.SA) in 2004
and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in 2006. He is a C1-rated researcher (NRF).
Dr Pete van Vuuren, Executive Partner, Gartner
Dr Pete van Vuuren heads the CIO Executive Programme at Gartner and is a senior executive advisor
and consultant to CIOs on IT strategy and research.
Following the successful development of three IT related businesses, Dr Pete Janse van Vuuren was a
CIO at First National Bank (FNB) for three and a half years. During this time he was responsible
for the Contact Centre & e-Commerce Systems and Architecture.
As a member of various ExCo’s within FNB, Pete also served on a number of the financial institution’s boards.
Furthermore, Pete has 18 years of management experience in both General Management and Senior Management
positions. He is also an Associate Director at Wits Business School (WBS), a Director of the Wits
University School of Software Engineering (WITS JCSE) and a member of the SITA Advisory board.
Jenny Mckinnell, Executive Director, Cape IT Initiative
Jenny McKinnell took over the reigns as executive director of the Cape IT Initiative (CITI).
Jenny has a strong desire to increase collaboration and cooperation among all stakeholders in the ICT
cluster – including government, academia, venture capitalists, other ICT bodies, and industry
(from start-ups to large corporates).
CITI is a Section 21 (non-profit) development and promotions agency for ICT in the Western Cape.
Its mission – to stimulate and support the growth, promotion and transformation of the ICT cluster
in the Western Cape.
McKinnell is an Internet industry veteran who draws on extensive experience as the initiator of
her own successful ICT startup. She established information and research business, Infobeagle in 1995,
which evolved into a joint-venture (with Research Surveys) Internet research company, Webchek.
The company conducted the first market research studies of the Internet market in South Africa.
After Webchek merged with Research Surveys (now TNS Research Surveys), she worked as a research
consultant to several Internet ventures including M-Web.
Demonstrating her ability to work with entrepreneurs, she also served as co-coordinator of
First Tuesday in Cape Town, an initiative that aimed to bring Internet entrepreneurs together
with venture capitalists.
Professor Johannes Cronje, Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Johannes Cronjé was born in Davenport Iowa 50 years ago when his parents were there doing more than just studying.
At the age of eight months he persuaded his parents to return to South Africa where he attended an
Afrikaans primary school and then Pretoria Boys High School where he matriculated in 1976.
Following this he enrolled at the University of Pretoria where he obtainend the BA majoring in Afrikaans,
English and Anthropology, the BA honours as well as a Teachers' diploma before reporting for military
service at the Infantry School, Oudtshoorn.
During his second year of national service he completed an MA in Afrikaans literature while serving
on the Angolan border.
He then taught English and Afrikaans at Pretoria Boys High until 1986 when he was appointed lecturer
in Language Communication at Technikon Pretoria.
He taught a student population ranging from secretaries, dental assistants and managers through to
engineers and journalists.
During this time he was involved in several programmes involving intercultural communication,
in both the formal educational sector and in the service industry.
He obtained a Doctorate in Afrikaans Literature in 1990 and then a Masters Degree in Computer-Assisted
Education from the University of Pretoria. From 1994 to 2007 he was a professor of computers in
education with the University of Pretoria.
Currently he is the Dean of the Faculty of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University
of Technology. He has also been visiting professor at Sudan University of Science and Technology,
Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; the University of Joensuu, Finland, and the University of Bergen, Norway.
He has supervised 65 Masters and 30 Doctoral students and published more than 30 research papers.
His hobbies include public speaking, road running, and playing the CD Player. He is married to Franci
and they have 3 children, and a dog.
Roger Norton, SiliconCape
After leaving UCT mid way through an electrical engineering degree, Roger worked as an engineer
on Superyachts traveling extensively for 4 years. Returning to SA in early 2010, he has taken on a
‘Real World’ degree in entrepreneurship where he combines his passions of Technology and Entrepreneurship.
This has led him through projects in Social Media integration, Website and Product analysis, Business
Consulting, Financing the importation of Vuvuzela’s and finally Strategy and Branding for a life coach.
Roger currently works for the Silicon Cape Initiative as the Co-ordinator where he aims to build traction
for the brand and tangible projects that align with the goal of turning Cape Town into the
“Silicon Valley of Africa”.
Jörn Messeter, Interaction Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Jörn Messeter is associate professor in interaction design at School of Arts and Communication (K3)
in the Faculty of Culture and Society at Malmö University, Sweden. He is married to Louise Messeter,
with two daughters: Josephine born 1998 and Clara born 2002.
He completed his PhD in informatics (2000) with a focus on computer supported collaborative learning.
His current focus in research and teaching is place-centric computing, mobile and ubiquitous computing
and participatory approaches to interaction design. He has published about 20 peer reviewed scientific articles.
Jörn has a background in IT industry, where he worked as a programmer and systems developer a few years
before he joined Lund University, Sweden in 1987. He has been teaching interaction design at bachelor level
university courses since 1990 and at master level university courses since 1995. In 1998 he moved to Malmö
University where he was part of running the influential two-year master’s program in interaction design at
Malmö University since the start in the same year. He has also done consulting in interaction design for
companies including Sony Ericsson, Epsilon, Inxl and Edison Solutions.
In the period 2002 – 2010 he ran an exchange project between Malmö University and the Department of
Industrial Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), finance by SIDA, one of the major
Swedish aid organizations. 46 student exchanges of 6 months, and 27 teacher exchanges of 5–8 weeks were
completed during the project, with good results.
The fruitful experience from the exchange led to developing the partnership further and elevating it
to research level. As a result, Jörn is currently appointed as adjunct professor in the Faculty of
Informatics and Design, CPUT, and stays in Simon’s Town with his family. He has started a master’s program
in Interaction Design (or IxD for short), currently enrolling 13 students from various departments at the
faculty. The program is part of an initiative called the IxD Factory, which is aimed to work as a triple
helix platform for research cooperations between university, industry and other external partners.
G-J van Rooyen, Director, Media Labs, Stellenbosch University
Dr Gert-Jan van Rooyen is Senior Lecturer in Telecommunications at the Department of Electrical and
Electronic Engineering of Stellenbosch University.
He is the Director of the MIH Electronic Media Laboratory, which specialises in research on the
“new media” – communications and computer technology that promotes the dissemination and processing of
information. The Media Laboratory is an interdisciplinary environment which (with generous support from Naspers)
assists postgraduate researchers in their studies in Telecommunications, Signal Processing, Applied Mathematics,
Software Engineering and E-Commerce.
Dr Van Rooyen matriculated at Durbanville High School in 1994, after which he completed his BEng and PhD
at Stellenbosch University. He started lecturing at the Department of E&E Engineering in 2000, and
22 postgraduate students have already successfully completed their studies under his supervision.
He currently supervises a team of 10 Masters and 4 PhD students, most of them in the field of Electronic Media.
Besides his academic work, Dr Van Rooyen is fond of hiking, horseback riding, travelling and reading.
He lives with his wife (a fashion designer) and year-old boy in Somerset West. Since he comes from a
family of journalists and writers in the print and broadcast media, he is keenly interested in the
interplay between the traditional and the new media.
Professor Andy Bytheway, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Following a 20 year career in the IT industry, Andy Bytheway took up an academic post at the Cranfield
School of Management in the UK, where he pioneered the development of commercially-sponsored Information Systems
research - a study of electronic commerce that was supported by 20 European organisations and linked with
similar work in Japan. Other projects followed.
He emigrated to South Africa in 1998, where he took up the Old Mutual Chair in Information Systems at UWC.
There he led the development of a new Department of Information Systems that rapidly attracted students
at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and established links with business and government.
He is now Adjunct Professor of Information Management at CPUT, where he supervises masters and doctoral
projects. Most recently he was awarded a three-year NRF grant to research the management of ICTs in South
African Education. He has written three books and published more than 100 academic and practitioner papers.
In his career Andy has chaired the UK committee for Software Engineering standards and led international
work on a new reference model for Software Engineering. He has consulted widely with organisations such
as the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office in the UK, Barclays Bank, IBM, Shell, SITPRO (the UK authority
for the simplification of international trade), Yorkshire Electricity, and many others.
He now lives in Riebeek West with his wife Ann. He is proud to be married to the woman who was the
first person to achieve wave-mode transmission of light down a glass fibre (in the early 1960s), working
as an intern for Charlie Kao at Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in Harlow, UK. In 2009 Charlie Kao
shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for this trail-blazing work.
Prof Christo de Coning, Professor Extraordinaire, University of the Western Cape
Christo de Coning is a freelance technical advisor, evaluator, academic and development activist.
He recently resigned as the CEO of the Elgin Learning Foundation near Grabouw where he managed
development projects for the last two years. He is a Professor Extraordinaire at the
University of the Western Cape (2009 to September 2012).
As a specialist in policy management over the last 15 years, he has been involved in a number of training,
research and publication initiatives as well technical assistance projects. Prof de Coning facilitated
the Policy Management and Comparative Governance Courses for Masters’ participants at UWC, offered the
Policy Implementation and Evaluation Course to MPhil candidates at UCT and acted as external facilitator
on executive courses for the University of Stellenbosch as well as P&DM, Wits University. He has also for
the last number of years taught Policy Management and Comparative Governance at Rhue University in Bochum,
Germany. He has published a number of books and journal articles, notably the co-publication of Improving
Public Policy, the main policy text book in South Africa and Cases in Policy Management: A Fieldwork book
of policy initiatives in South Africa.
As a specialist in Evaluation, he has offered Masters classes at Wits, UCT and UWC and has conducted a
number of evaluations. These include donor evaluations such as the partnership evaluation for GTZ
in Botswana, the Programme evaluation of the European Union (EU) PSP in 2002, the SDC Medium-term
Review in 2003 and most recently, the AusAID MTR of the African Governance Facility (2007). In government
context, he has been involved in technical assistance projects with the design and implementation of
monitoring systems, notably the design of the Tracking System of the Maputo Corridor and of late
(2005/2006) the development of the Conceptual Framework for the Government-wide Monitoring and Evaluation
System of the Western Cape Provincial Government (Office of the Premier).
He moved to Durbanville in the Western Cape in early 2004 and is married to Corrina de Coning (Wilkinson),
a music teacher and choir conductor and has two children, Cian (18) and Christene (22) a professional
photographer. Some of his other interests include aerobics, squash, food gardening, archaeology,
racing pigeons and acrylic painting.
Kevin Tabisher, Information and Knowledge Strategy, City of Cape Town
Kevin Tabisher is the manager of Information and Knowledge Strategy (IKS) Branch of the Strategic
Development Information and GIS (SDI & GIS) Department in the City of Cape Town.
The branch is responsible for developing a City information and knowledge strategy, and improving
the accessibility of information. Kevin joined the City in 2005, from the Western Cape Education
Department, where he was the Head of the Education Management Information System (EMIS) in the
Education Research Department.
While at the City of Cape Town, Kevin developed an Information and Knowledge Management Framework
for the City, which is meant to act as the corporate guideline for the City’s improved performance
within the Information and Knowledge Management field.
He is currently completing the Master’s programme in Information and Knowledge Management
(MIKM) at the University of Stellenbosch.
Patrick Le Roux, Mobile EFX
Patrick is a seasoned entrepreneur being the CEO of Mobile EFX and recent start-up Venture Labs.
He is the co-founder of the Southern African Near Field Initiative, a non profit association with
the aim to accelerate the mass market deployment of an emerging mobile technology.
Patrick was a semi-finalist at the Mobile World Congress 2008 for his work in the development of
mobile data collection.
He also serves in the secretariat for the Wireless Access Providers Association, an industry body
which acts as a collective voice for independent wireless operators across South Africa.
A Commercial Enterprise from a University Research Project
OpenText is the corporate sponsor of this CIO Colloquium. OpenText is the largest software centric company in
Canada. It produces and distributes computer software applications designed to enable enterprise
content management solutions for large corporate and government systems. The company, which was incorporated
in 1991, originated from a project at the University of Waterloo to create an electronic Oxford
English Dictionary, an undertaking that required developing search technologies that could be used
to quickly index and retrieve information.