UJ Alumni Impumelelo Magazine Edition 8

“While many industries are considering how 4IR will affect operations and ultimately the sustainability of economies, we recognised the necessity of a robust discussion and curious exploration of 4IR within the context of the creative sector.

with 4IR. The report specifically engages with creative sector in terms of skills, production and economic expansion. This points to the use of creativity and intellectual property as one of the countries primary resources for its development.” Possible ways forward There are a number of key emerging concerns that are vital issues to take forward, even within their ever-shifting nature. • There is a clear need for a reimagining of the story of technology and creativity – and a recognition that industrial technological revolutions and the creative industries have always moved hand in hand, most often bringing mutual benefit. • Africa must take charge of its 4IR future as a matter of urgency by charting a distinctly African path that recognises the continent’s limitations but also its strengths. In so doing a better digital future for Africa can be enabled and the global technological course influenced to the benefit of all. • Africa must develop a successful strategy for the production of useful literature on 4IR and we must frame our research findings through an African lens. • There might be global commonalities, but contextually our way forward must cater for and address our continent and country’s particular challenges.

problems and shows a high propensity for innovation uptake and a responsiveness to change which may bode well as a strong basis for an intellectual property orientation in the continent’s strategy towards 4IR.

management and cyber bullying. The report states that there is a concern on the African continent that much African data is hosted and therefore controlled outside of the continent. Another concern has to do with the ways in which African states utilise data privacy for political purposes and limitation of civil freedoms. At a more philosophical level, new technologies are beginning to raise questions that are deeply connected to Africa’s history and societal ills. There is a vital need for the development of African approaches to the future of 4IR with the potential for creating technologies from the positions of African humanist philosophies such as Ubuntu. African knowledges need to be available as the basis of this technological shift, particularly through language. “In many ways, creative and cultural diversity points to key potential approaches for creative and innovative strategies to reimagining and creating an African 4IR,” says Pieter. South Africa leads the continent in bringing together creativity and 4IR. “The South African

Creative industries resilient What is clear, is that creative industries have a role to play and show a resilience to computerisation, says Pieter.

A recent report by Nesta concludes, for instance, that creative occupations are more future proof to computerisation with 86%-87% of workers in the highly creative category found to be at low or no risk of automation. The gig economy, freelancing and remote working with flexible schedules are increasingly common strategies of working across disciplines within 4IR. As these work practices have long been harnessed by the creative industries, they are ahead of the curve in weathering 4IR shifts. “Creative disciplines are honing their creative, innovation, active learning, critical thinking digital, future-oriented and complex problem-solving skills as these are the skills that almost all jobs will require. Training people in creativity and how to enable future workers to be more creative is perceived as one of the key challenges for the future of 4IR. To do so, the creative industries need to get involved in the debates, learn to articulate what it has to offer to the conversation, and drive change,” says Pieter. Ethics have become a major issue of contention, particularly with regard to data security, platform

The next Futures & Beyond, which is scheduled for August 2022, is planned to be a hybrid event, strengthening the relationship between academia and industry to the benefit of society at large.

Presidential Commission for the Fourth Industrial Revolution report recognises the potential of the creative economy and sees this economy as one that can grow substantially through and together


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