Speaker bios

Speaker bio:

International Panel discussion panel member: Prof. Barbara Moser-Mercer, InZone – University of Geneva

Barbara Moser-Mercer is professor and founder of InZone, an academic center at the
University of Geneva dedicated to advancing innovation in higher education in emergencies.
Following her initial training as a conference interpreter she pursued her studies in
psycholinguistics and cognitive psychology.

Her research has focused on the development of expertise in complex cognitive skills of bilinguals, both from a cognitive psychology and a cognitive neuro-science perspective. These findings have been instrumental in informing the design and the development of student-centered multilingual digital learning environments in fragile contexts, which are leveraged across several refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East, where InZone has built Higher Education Spaces that promote research and critical scholarship to support the development of peaceful and economically viable local communities.

International Panel discussion panel member: Dr. Martin J Butler, Stellenbosch University Business School

Martin Butler is a Senior Lecturer at the Stellenbosch University Business School (USB) and a Research Associate at the Institute for Future Studies (IFR). He holds an Electronic Engineering degree from Pretoria University, an MBA (Cum Laude) and a PhD from the USB.

Martin joined academia after a 15 year career in the IT industry. During his career he has successfully led project teams in South Africa and the USA in IT and technology-intrinsic business projects and has first-hand experience of the digitization of business.

Martin has an active interest in the fields of information systems management, technology futures, project management and innovation management and lectures in these disciplines at the USB, IFR as well as in Europe and Asia.

Martin has a special interest in the impact of technologies in industry and his research includes the human challenges associated with the utilisation of technology, digital transformation, gaining value from innovative investments in technology and securing information systems in an era of hyper connectivity.

Martin is passionate about the utilisation of ICT in education and strives for the innovative use technology in his own teaching. He serves in an advisory capacity on the effective use of ICT and execution of ICT projects to many business entities.

He has published and presented papers in his areas of interest at numerous conferences locally and abroad. Martin also consults to industry in all matters business and digital and frequently appears in thein the local media on matters related to technology, innovation and project management.

Dick Ng’ambi, Founder and Director – Educational Technology Inquiry Lab (ETILAB), University of Cape Town

Dick Ng’ambi, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and current Head of Educational Technology programmes at the School of Education at UCT.  He has held various positions in higher education in three countries, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa. He has also conceptualised, designed and developed learning environments especially aimed at addressing the educational challenges of large classes, shy and marginalised learners. He is the founder and project director of the Educational Technology Inquiry Lab (ETILAB) – a digital sandpit for adults. Digital sandpits are integrated in the Postgraduate Certificate in Education programme for all pre-service teachers at UCT.

He has also pioneered projects in mobile learning and podcasting at the University of Cape Town.  His contribution to the educational technology field is unparalleled. Ng’ambi is one of the few Information Systems experts, with a mix of computer science and education background and whose work is effectively underpinned in learning theories, sociology of learning, cognitive development and emerging technologies.

Ng’ambi has published over 70 articles in journals, peer-reviewed conference proceedings; and as book chapters. He has a Researchgate index of 21.19. His ability to motivate, guide and mentor is evidenced through his successful supervision of both masters and PhD theses.

His work is widely circulated and acknowledged in the field of Educational Technology in general and mobile learning in particular. He has served as a Principal Investigator/Advisor on several projects, most recent being the LEGO Foundation funded project on Children, Play and Technology in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, UK.

In addition to giving presentations at both local and international conferences, Ng’ambi has delivered invited lectures, invited workshops, commissioned papers and keynotes.

International Panel discussion panel member: James Njenga, University of the Western Cape

James Njenga is currently as Senior Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape. He is also a technology enthusiast. As lecturer, he focuses on Information Systems and its tremendous role in society with emphasis on educational technologies. He advocates for, and strongly believes that if used appropriately, educational technology will increase the reach, and the quality of education in Africa. He has been involved in educational technology since 2002.

In addition to educational technologies, James other interests are in the areas of digital innovation, digital enterprises, and Business Intelligence. In the area of digital enterprises, his focus is on digital entrepreneurship and digital technology entrepreneurship, specifically on the opportunities for creating businesses that harness the power of digital technologies.

International Panel discussion panel member:Dr Maggy Beukes-Amiss, Director, Centre for Open, Distance and eLearning (CODeL), University of Namibia


  • PhD (CiE) (University of Pretoria)
  • MSc (Robert Gordon University, Scotland)
  • HED Sec (University of Namibia)
  • BA

Research Interests:

  • eLearning in Higher Educational Institutions
  • Libraries and eLearning
  • Activities of champions and eLearning
  • Communities of Practice
  • Role and impact of social media
  • Modalities of eLearning Centres
  • eLearning Strategy Development
  • eLearning networks and eLearning policies
  • Scalable and sustainable implementation of eLearning processes

International Panel discussion panel member: Erkkie Haipinge, Deputy Director: eLearning, Centre for Open, Distance and eLearning (CODeL),  University of Namibia

Mr. Erkkie Haipinge is a lecturer of technology enhanced learning at the University of Namibia (UNAM) in the Faculty of Education since 2013. As a specialist in ICT integration in teaching and learning, Erkkie has been the Deputy Director for eLearning at the Centre for Open, Distance and eLearning (CODeL) at UNAM since 2016. He coordinates the Centre’s academic support services to the University’s academic staff and students in the area of eLearning strategy and learning innovations. This involves development of relevant policies, benchmarking, and the implementation of blended and online learning strategies that foster flexible learning and broadens student access to learning. This is achieved through the development of a contextualised digital learning environment using cutting edge digital learning solutions. Erkkie has special interests in home-grown and solution oriented innovations and has keen interest in the interstation of learning and innovation.

Digital Profiles

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/erkkie-haipinge2019
Twitter: @Haipinge (https://twitter.com/Haipinge)
Personal Blog: https://haipinge.wordpress.com/about-me/

Keynote speaker: Professor Laura Czerniewicz, Director: Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), University of Cape Town

Professor Laura Czerniewicz is the Director of the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT), at the University of Cape Town, CILT’s first director when it was formed in 2014. She has worked in education in a number of roles with a continuous focus on inequality, access and digital inequality. These have permeated her research interests which include the changing nature of higher education in a digitally-mediated society as well as student and academic technological practices. She is currently the South African lead on an ESRC NRF funded project on the Unbundled University, researching emerging models of teaching and learning provision.

She has played a key strategic and scholarly role in the areas of blended and online learning as well as open education.