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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Future economic development lies in humankind’s ability to learn from nature
2015-09-30

We as humans have become more powerful than we are wise. We live in a world where there is an abundance of knowledge but less wisdom. ”These were the opening remarks of Edward Kieswetter, Group CEO at Alexander Forbes, and former Chairperson of the UFS Council, as guest speaker at the UFS Business School on 23 September 2015, on the subject of the future economic world order, and the vast amount of knowledge that humans possess. “The knowledge we possess has the potential either to develop us greatly, or put us at high risk of extinction,” he said.

Mr Kieswetter was accompanied by Dr Idriss Aberkane, a French thinker, entrepreneur, and academic, who is co-founder and CEO of Scanderia Ltd. Dr Aberkane spoke of three new concepts that the world is moving towards: Knowledge Economy, Biomimicry, and the Blue Economy.  He said “humankind’s second renaissance is based on the knowledge economy.”  He added that knowledge is infinite and prolific, with its global quantity doubling every 7 to 9 years. He added that “the combination of forms of knowledge grows exponentially and non-linearly.”

On the subject of Biomimicry, he said “nature is high-tech, we should read it rather than burn it.” High-tech companies, such as Samsung and Apple Inc are beginning to use Biomimicry to produce the most advanced technological gadgets, and even more companies are using the same, to advance the fields of medicine, agriculture, production of apparel, and sustainable development.

The session was attended by MBA students, student leaders, and members of the university community.

The guest speaker series forms part of the MBA programme held at the UFS Business School throughout the year.

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