Prof Khumbulani Mpofu, who spearheads the DSI/SARChi in Future Transport Manufacturing Technologies explained that Plan A, a Future Work game that assists leaders to understand the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). “The question of what the 4IR is about is one question that needs attention in this generation. Sadly, many people speak about the revolution, however, few understand its implications. Plan A assists to resolve this challenge by ensuring leaders are educated on the nuisances of this revolution and how it impacts their growth, future viability and employee satisfaction,” he Prof Mpofu said.
He further explained that: “Because it is a serious gaming environment, it allows decision permutations to be explored without necessarily harming the bottom line of the organisation, but most critically, it allows leaders, in this case women leaders, to focus on their organisational vision and align it with the possibilities provided for by the 4IR.”
In her keynote address, Dr Caroline Selepe, Director: Special Projects in the office of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal emphasised the direction the university is taking in supporting women, in particular, to have a continued and impactful contribution in ensuring the university is competitive.
What stood out from Dr Selepe’s address was what she called “the fire in her belly” for women upliftment, equality and empowerment. She spoke from the conviction of her heart and raised awareness of the indispensable role of women in the 4IR and that sustainable economic growth is improbable without women empowerment. She further emphasised that measures for gender inclusion are the driving factor of social progress and economic growth for our country.
Female participants at the event were all in agreement that the simulation games were enlightening. They also added that the games were an innovative way to engage, debate and learn.
The WLF, SARChI FTMT and the Gibela Research Chair are planning to host more events of this nature in the near future, to further engage and explore technologies that will assist in the alleviation of women’s challenges in maneuvering the future of work and 4IR.