24 –26 NOVEMBER 2021

Hosts: United States University – Africa and University of Venda

“Making Innovation Inclusive”

We welcome you to the 2021 Open Innovations Conference, which will be virtually. The 2021 Open Innovations Conference recognizes that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is an imperative that underpins contemporary human progress, with societal changes exemplified by Schumpeter’s ‘creative disruption’ and Christensen’s ‘disruptive technologies’. The focus of the 2021 Open Innovations Conference on “Making Innovation Inclusive” seeks to provide a platform in which inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research and practice elevates the concept of “Open Innovations” as an enabler of human progress.  

international keynote speaker


KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Algorithmic Accountability”

Jeanna Matthews is an associate professor of computer science at Clarkson University and an affiliate at Data and Society. She has published work in a broad range of systems topics from virtualization and cloud computing to social media security and distributed file systems. She is an ACM Distinguished Speaker, a Fulbright Specialist and a founding co-chair of the ACM Technology Policy Subcommittee on Artificial Intelligence and Algorithm Accountability. She has been a member of the ACM Council (2015-present), chair of the ACM Special Interest Group Governing Board ( 2016-2018) and the chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS) from 2011 to 2015. Her current work focuses on securing societal decision-making processes and supporting the rights of individuals in a world of automation. Jeanna received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999, a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Ohio State University in 1994 and a B.A. in Spanish from the State University of New York at Potsdam in 2015.


NATIONAL keynote speaker

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: 4IR and Digital Skills: The Urgency for Open Innovation

Prof. Hossana Twinomurinzi BSc Hons (Mathematics), Masters (IT), PhD (IT) is a C2 NRF Rated Researcher and Professor with the Department of Computer Science, School of Computing, College of Science, Engineering and Technology at the University of South Africa. He is currently an Associate Editor for the African Journal of Information Systems, the Immediate Past Chairperson for the ICT4D Flagship at Unisa, and the Director for Digital Skills Research at NEMISA. His primary research interests are in Digital Skills, Digital Government, Digital Innovation and ICT for development. He has supervised 15 Masters and Doctoral students to completion in the areas of data analytics, digital government and ICT for development. His current technical competences are in mobile app development, databases, business intelligence, data analytics and business analysis. He serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Distributed Systems and Technologies, and Reading and Writing: Journal of the Reading Association of South Africa. He has professional membership on the Association for Information Systems (AIS), the International Institute of Informatics and Systemics (IIIS) and the Computer Society of South Africa (IITPSA). He has served as a convener and technical chair on several international and national conferences. He has appeared on eNCA and on the IT Web in the national media speaking on the mobile apps sector in South Africa. He has done contract research in various sectors ranging from the military, government, non-profit organisations and banking. He has management and executive experience having served in chief executive and senior management positions in South Africa and abroad. He is a professional facilitator and is involved in a number of social enterprise activities.



Professor Tiko Iyamu is currently a Research Professor at the Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Cape Town, South Africa. He was previously with the Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa and the Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia. Iyamu served as a Professor Extraordinaire at the Department of Computer Science, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He was a visiting professor at the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Professor Iyamu’s areas of focus include enterprise architecture, health informatics, big data and IT strategy. He has published over 100 research articles in journals, books and book chapters. Prior to joining academic, Professor Iyamu held several positions in both Public and Private Institutions in South Africa. He was System Analyst, and Technologist at both Nedcor Investment Bank and Metropolitan Life, respectively. Iyamu was the Chief Architect at the City of Cape Town; and IT Architect at Old Mutual. He was also at MWeb, Telecommunication company, as Head of IT Architecture & Governance.


Prof. Nixon Muganda Ochara (PhD) is a Research Professor at the University of Venda, South Africa. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has also held visiting positions at Southern University A & M, USA, Mandume ya Ndemufayo University, Angola, and ICT University, Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany among others. Prof. Ochara has a PhD in Information Systems from University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has forged research programs in Open Development Innovations, Business Analytics, Digital Government, Digital Governance, National Information Infrastructures, ICT Governance and E-Business.

He has published in leading Information Systems journals such as Government Information Quarterly, Information Technology & People, Information Technology for Development, among others. He has been a special editor in several journal issues over the years. Prof. Ochara has been an Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa and Namibia University of Science & Technology. Prior to joining academia, he held various positions in the private sector. He previously worked for Africa Online, a Pan-African Internet Service Provider and Symphony, an IBM Distributor.