Professor Marwala is an accomplished scholar with multi-disciplinary research interests that include the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has an extensive track record in human capacity development and has published 15 books in artificial intelligence. Professor Marwala is the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg and prior to this he was the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation and Executive Dean of Engineering and the Built Environment both at the University of Johannesburg. He was recently appointed as Deputy Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Ylva Rodny-Gumede is Professor in the School of Communication at the University of Johannesburg and a Senior Associate Researcher with the Stanhope Centre for International Communications Policy Research at the London School of Economics. She holds a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University as well as an MA degree in Politics from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and an MA in Journalism from Cardiff University in the U.K. Ylva is a former journalist and has also worked in marketing and PR. In addition, she has consulted for several government, private and academic institutions in Europe and Southern Africa on issues concerning media and democracy, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, and the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Ylva holds a C 3 rating from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and is the current President of the South African Communications and Media Association (SACOMM).

Prof Rodny-Gumede has published a number of articles on the effect of the 4th Industrial Revolution on journalism and communication.


Professor Babu Paul is currently serving as the Director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He was was previously UJ’s Head of the Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology – from 2015 to early in 2018.

He is leading a team of 4.0 thinkers at the University, looking particularly at the industrial side of this revolution, and has recently started offering a course on Saturday mornings to those interested in 4.0 thinking.

At the recent BRICS Energy Event held in Johannesburg, Prof Paul presented the first draft of a report he has been preparing to elaborate on “What is Africa’s 4th Industrial Revolution and who is the customer of the future?”

Prof Paul has a Ph.D. from Dept. of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Guwahati, India, 2010 with a thesis titled: “Modelling of Multi-antenna Wireless Channels & Relay Based Communication Systems”


Director, Centre for Education Practice Research (CEPR), Soweto Campus, University of Johannesburg, South Africa Research Chair (SARChI): Integrated Studies of Learning Language, Science and Mathematics in the Primary School.
Professor Henning is professor of Educational Linguistics and the founding director of the CEPR on the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg. She was awarded a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship by the National Academy of Education in the USA for her research on teacher development in informal settlement communities in Gauteng in the 1990’s She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and is a B-rated researcher in the National Research Foundation (NRF) system of researcher evaluation in South Africa. She leads studies of teacher education programmes and mathematical cognition of children in the early grades well as reading as learning of children in the upper primary school.
She is the founding editor of the journal, Education as Change, and the current editor of the South African Journal of Childhood Education. She was awarded a South Africa Research Chair by the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology in 2015.