Professor Van Greunen leads a research, engagement and innovation group at Nelson Mandela University, namely the Centre for Community Technologies (CCT). The CCT integrates transdisciplinary research and innovation with community engagement through the development and implementation of apps and other smart technologies that enable the advancement of education, health, rural and social development, particularly in low income communities. This is combined with training, networking and policy analysis and advice. She is recognised as one of a handful of innovators for the people and is affectionately known as “the people’s professor” who has managed to introduce smart technologies to the man in the street. She was the first joint-appointment as a senior researcher between a South African University and the German multinational software corporation SAP AG in 2006. Over the past five years Prof Van Greunen and her team of change-maker researchers have won various awards and international acknowledgment for their ground-breaking research and application development within the African context and thus realising her vision of “ICT solutions for Africa, by Africans, in Africa”. She obtained her PhD from the University of South Africa in 2010 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012. Prof Van Greunen has published a number well cited scientific papers and also acts as external reviewer for a number of international journals and actively assists with the formulation of policy for the South African Government. As such, she is then recognised as one of the leading academics in the space of advancing the 4th Industrial Revolution in Education.
Kemoneiloe Phatoli (27) is an entrepreneur, innovation advocate and a youth development activist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her leadership focuses on sustainable and inclusive economic development on the African continent. Kemoneiloe holds a certificate in entrepreneurship from the University of Johannesburg, certifications in data science through IBM and is completing her Bachelor in Consumer Science degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Kemoneiloe is the founder and of PulaTek (pty) ltd, a tech company focused on infrastructure, automation, software development and cyber security. She sits on the advisory board of the National Youth ICT Council, an entity that is focused on driving skills development for youth in the ICT sector and unlocking opportunities for young people in the digital ecosystem. She is also the curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Soweto hub, which is focused on sustainable community development through impacting the lives of young people.
Kemoneiloe is the regional deputy chairperson of the Free State chapter of The Circle of Global Business Women and the chairperson of innovation.
Her aim is to drive entrepreneurship and innovation as the core of the continent’s development, through the adequate training and support of young people.