Futures and Beyond: Creativity and 4IR Dialogue Series

The Futures and Beyond dialogue series in July kicks off the conversations to be explored at this year’s Futures and Beyond Conference.

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), in collaboration with Andani. Africa, a creative industries research and insights company, are getting ready to host a dialogue series setting the tone for the Futures and Beyond conference planned for August.

The three-part discussion series will be presented as 15-minute, pre-recorded videos shared on UJ and Andani.Africa’s social platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The videos will culminate in a panel discussion of the three speakers unpacking some of the ideas presented in their videos. This panel discussion will be hosted on Twitter Spaces to ensure engagement and access to audiences otherwise not accessed. A copy of the full session’s data can then be downloaded as well as a transcript of the conversation.

Looking at the three key thematic of the creative industries, namely: Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Technology, the speakers for the discussion series are experts in each field. Nyari Samushonga - CEO of WeThinkCode will focus on Technology. WeThinkCode is an independent South African software training academy that seeks the sharpest young minds in underserved populations, connects them with global thought leaders and cutting-edge technologies, and moulds them into excellent software developers and programmers.

Speaking to Entrepreneurship is Nizenande Machi, Machi is a Learning and Development Specialist. She has a particular interest in creating learning methodologies for African people development and entrepreneurial advancement, with a focus on equipping young African professionals with the tools to perform and thrive. Nizenande’s strategic work has included working with individuals and organizations to advance transformation and the economic participation of African citizens so they can earn sustainable livelihoods

Elisabeth Efua Sutherland – Founder and Director of the Accra Theatre Workshop, will look to Creativity. Sutherland lives and works in Accra, Ghana. She works across theatre and performance but is starting to explore new fields, media, and materials. She is increasingly concerned with interactivity, video, sculpture, and texture in making performance / performative objects. In 2016, Elisabeth was an artist in residence at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris as part of a residency organized by 89Plus, co-curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets with Julie Boukobza.

Presented by UJ Arts & Culture, the 2022 Futures and Beyond: Creativity and 4IR Conference serves as an impetus for an Africa-centric discourse and knowledge development at the intersection of Creativity and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). This year the conference explores art as an enabler under the theme Ethics, Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology and Creative Industries, Innovation and Development.

The specificities of industrialization on the African continent require unique approaches that respond to the context and needs of African societies. These approaches will define the future for the cultural and creative sectors while at the same time re-imagining a new future for Africa where humanity and technology meet.

This year’s discussion will focus on an approach to unpacking the idea of art as an enabler of 4IR skills. The ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills is critical for any industry, which is reflected in the findings in the Futures and Beyond report. The shifts and trends in the creative industries also require a strategic approach towards technological advancements. The discussion will aim to facilitate a better understanding of some of these strategies, through the lens of skills.

Proposed leading professionals operating within Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Technology have been identified and their insights will offer expanded views on how art can enable the development of 4IR skills within the creative industries. Ways of harnessing the nuanced relationship between the arts and 4IR will be explored. Better understandings of the modalities of responses to changes within the creative industries and how to keep up with 4IR skills may offer generative approaches which can be adopted by policymakers.

For more information, and to register for the conference, follow this link: Futures and Beyond :: Creativity and 4IR Conference 2022 | UJ Arts & Culture


About UJ Arts & Culture

UJ Arts & Culture, a division of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture (FADA), produces and presents world-class student and professional arts programmes aligned to the UJ vision of an international university of choice, anchored in Africa, dynamically shaping the future. A robust range of arts platforms are offered on all four UJ campuses for students, staff, alumni and the general public to experience and engage with emerging and established Pan-African and international artists drawn from the full spectrum of the arts.

In addition to UJ Arts & Culture, FADA ( offers programmes in eight creative disciplines, in Art, Design and Architecture, as well as playing home to the NRF SARChI Chair in South African Art & Visual Culture, and the Visual Identities in Art & Design Research Centre. The Faculty has a strong focus on sustainability and relevance, and engages actively with the dynamism, creativity and diversity of Johannesburg in imagining new approaches to art and design education.

About Andani.Africa

Andani.Africa is a research, insights, and strategic advisory company specialising in the creative and cultural industries. It was formed in 2016 out of a need to strengthen research approaches that address knowledge-gaps in the understanding of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in Africa. We do this by creating and co-creating valuable insights through research, strategic advisory and content engagement. Andani.Africa’s purpose is premised on the belief that in order to grow CCIs in Africa, sophisticated data collection and analysis need to be developed to navigate the complexities and intricacies that underpin the CCIs in Africa. Andani.Africa works within the intersection of tradition and culture that we like to call Data Humanism: African forms of storytelling that share insights and knowledge in the tradition of the oral histories of our forebears, and the technological advances afforded us by new digital forms of data analysis and visualisation, harnessing AI for African creative industries knowledge production.