Information technology can not only boost profits for a company, but also create opportunities to improve the world and leave a lasting impact on society.
Information and Communications Technologies for Development (ICT4D) will accordingly be a key focus of the tenth annual Trialogue Business in Society Conference. This takes place in Johannesburg at the Wanderers Club on 16 and 17 May.
Some of South Africa’s top tech experts, social entrepreneurs and leaders of prominent companies and foundations will explore how to drive impact (particularly in low-resource or low-income regions) by using new and existing ICT4D.
Presented in partnership with the Vodacom Foundation, the IT forum will start with an overview of ICT for development by Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer of Vodacom Business. Jarana is responsible for driving business growth in markets where Vodacom has a presence, as well as for the company’s pan-
African enterprise business strategy
A panel discussion and question and answer session follows, with Jarana and MD of Livity Africa, Gavin Weale, who has built a youth-led social enterprise that has trained over 70 000 young people across 12 countries. They will be joined by Marcha Bekker of Praekelt.org and Nathi Kunene of the Telkom Foundation.
Three breakout sessions will dig deeper:
ICT in education will explore the potential of ICT to improve education in South Africa and discuss what roles business, government and not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) could play in helping to drive this innovation.
Panelists include Aaron Nkosi of the Department of Basic Education, Rabia Awasi of the Vodacom Foundation and S’onqoba Maseko, who heads up Special Projects and Operations of the Sifiso Learning Group. Trialogue MD Nick Rockey will facilitate.
Leveraging digital platforms for relationship building and fundraising is the second breakout session topic. It will cover how to harness social media for effective communication, engagement and behaviour change with key stakeholders and society at large. Also, how can NPOs use technology to build relationships and raise funds?
Experts in this field include Andy Hadfield, CEO of social impact start-up forgood, Celine Morolong, South Africa Partnerships Consultant of crowdfunding platform GlobalGiving and Colin Habberton, MD of resource mobilisation firm Relativ. The session will be facilitated by development and communications specialist Shani Kay, of Regency Foundation Networx.
Data for development will explore how data, collated through effective monitoring and evaluation, is invaluable for NPOs and companies alike to prove the impact of their social development initiatives. It also helps to improve programme planning and targeting.
Expect insightful comment from Adebayou Fayoyin of the United Nations Population Fund, applied technologist Chris Ross of Vodacom, and Duncan Luke of The Social Collective, which has tackled youth unemployment at scale in Africa. Trialogue Director Cathy Duff is the facilitator.
“While our challenges in South Africa are undeniable, companies and individuals have achieved amazing breakthroughs using technology to alleviate social problems and make a difference in areas such as education, health and training,” said Rockey.
“Now we are calling on companies, NPOs, government, academia, individuals and media to get together and share fresh insights, case studies and lessons.”
Rockey said South African corporate social investment (CSI) spend was R8,6 billion in 2015/16.
Conference sponsors include Eskom Development Foundation, Nedbank, Vodacom Foundation, MTN Foundation, Telkom, Volkswagen, Rand Water Foundation, Old Mutual, MMI Holdings and Procter & Gamble.