Inaugural lecture by Professor Seymour and other updates

08 May 2024

Dear colleagues and students

Professor Lisa Seymour will present the second of four lectures to be held in May 2024 as part of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Inaugural Lecture series on Thursday, 9 May 2024. Read more about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Inaugural lecture by Professor Lisa Seymour

On Thursday, 9 May 2024 at 17:30 SAST, Professor Seymour will deliver her lecture titled “Calling for a systems approach to technology in organisations”. The lecture will be held in the Seminar Room, Level 4, School of Economics Building, on middle campus.

Information systems research suffers from a lack of systems thinking. A core focus has been on how users and organisations adopt software and what variables improve this. This doesn’t explain why some software is successful or unsuccessful or what should be done about it. These are messy problems which systems thinking is good for.

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Seymour will show how systems thinking can explain challenges experienced when organisations implement enterprise software. Systems thinking can also help explain the associated coping mechanisms. She will also map a vision of how university courses can better prepare business analysts to help solve these challenges.

Professor Seymour, who is based in the Department of Information Systems at UCT, researches and teaches in the areas of business processes, enterprise systems and information systems education, with particular emphasis on regional development in Southern Africa. Her area includes studying how organisations, particularly within the small and medium enterprises (SME) and public sector in Africa, can derive benefit from their business processes and enterprise systems. She is also interested in solving educational challenges in this space and in working collaboratively on these challenges.

Her roles include serving as director of the Centre for IT and National Development in Africa, member of the executive of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists, principal researcher for Enterprise Systems Education for Africa and chair of the SAP African Academic Board.

The other lecturers scheduled for May are to be delivered by Professors Lesley Green and Horman Chitonge on 14 and 22 May 2024, respectively.

2. Enter the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Competition

Since 2019, the entrepreneurial spirit at UCT has been soaring high. The university’s student entrepreneurs have not only participated in the EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Competition but have also claimed the prestigious award three times in just five years. Now, it's your turn to shine, get your application in by 23:59 on Friday, 10 May 2024!

By entering the competition, you'll receive the necessary support to fuel your business dreams and have a chance at winning the coveted 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year award. The competition aims to achieve three key objectives:

  • identify the top student entrepreneurs at each university,
  • identify the top student businesses at each university, and
  • encourage universities to support student businesses and entrepreneurs better.

So, gear up, unleash your potential, and let's make 2024 a year of triumph for you and your business.

3. Applications open for the UCT Research Alliance programme

The 2024-2025 Reach Alliance programme has commenced its application process. The programme is for undergraduate and postgraduate students across all faculties who are interested in becoming part of a global network of young researchers finding ways to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals for hardest-to-reach populations.

The Reach Alliance is an initiative by the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, in partnership with the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth, designed to support students in tackling complex global challenges through student-driven research. UCT joined the alliance of eight universities in 2022 and has been scaling its involvement in response to the impact it has had on students’ professional development and ability to explore critical issues and translate them to actionable insights.

Participating students will receive unparalleled support from the programme team at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, UCT faculty mentors across disciplines, and professional coaches, as they move through research area identification, to research in the field and publishing. The programme runs over 2024 and is looking to enrol up to 20 students, involving an average time commitment of four to six hours per week.

Eligible students can apply before 15 May and be registered in both semesters of 2024 at either an undergraduate or postgraduate level in any discipline.

Register to join an information session on 10 May, 18:00–19:00 SAST.

Please contact Fergus Turner for more information.

4. ICTS scheduled maintenance on Sunday, 12 and 19 May

Please note that Sunday, 12 May 2024 will be an ICTS scheduled maintenance slot from 07:00 to 17:00. Unless advised to the contrary, do not expect any on-premise ICT services to be available for the duration of the maintenance slot. Cloud-based services (including Amathuba, email, Microsoft 365 services, and ServiceNow) are not impacted and can still be accessed.

In addition, there will be another scheduled maintenance slot on Sunday, 19 May 2024 from 06:00 to 17:00. Aside from PeopleSoft – which will be available from 09:00 onwards – do not expect any other on-premise ICT services to be available for the duration of the slot. Cloud-based services (including Amathuba, email, Microsoft 365 services, and ServiceNow) are not impacted and can still be accessed.

Please remember to consult the scheduled ICTS maintenance slots page before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc. that require ICT services.

For more information, see the article on why ICTS schedules regular monthly maintenance slots.

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