The School of Computing at the University of South Africa (Unisa) will be hosting the virtual South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT) 2021 conference.

The theme of the conference is “Reimagining the Interconnected World”.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs.

The global community is not only dealing with the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, although it potentially is changing society in permanent ways.  Simultaneously we are facing a convergence of potentially severely disrupting phenomena, some of which existed prior to the pandemic.  These include the growing threat to global environmental stability, the rapid widening of divides in resources and technology, global political instability, and the international refugee crisis, to mention but a few. Simultaneously technology continues its rapid and disruptive evolutionary path. 

The interconnected world we know today is the product of the imagination of visionary individuals and groups in the past. The current global situation has however exposed challenges affecting the state of the interconnected world.  Some examples include challenges around the truth in social media and the potential contribution of these challenges to global political instability, major role players in the gig economy reducing the role of some workers to something resembling modern forms of slavery, and the pandemic highlighting the massively widening digital divide in education, despite the plethora of available educational technologies.  Furthermore, there are concerns about AI running out of control, the potential risk of massive digital security breaches, and in general the future role of humans in a technology-dominant virtual world. 

It seems therefore that the current convergence of disruptors is pointing towards several growing crises in the interconnected world that will need to be addressed to ensure sustainable and beneficial use of technology and tools by humanity.  Several questions arise from this:

  • How will the current changes in all levels of society due to disruptions impact on the adoption and use of technologies and systems?
  • What systems and technologies will be required to deal with current realities and envisaged future challenges?
  • How can the interconnected world be expected to develop in the future?

As always, the conference programme will consist of full research paper sessions, plenary keynote addresses, panel discussions, industry papers / case studies and workshops to cater for a broad audience.  Monday 13 September 2021 will be reserved for auxiliary events such as the annual master’s and Doctoral Symposium.  The main conference is scheduled for Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 September 2021. 

You are invited to submit a research paper, industry paper or case study, panel proposal or workshop proposal for SAICSIT 2021. Postgraduate students can submit a master’s and Doctoral Symposium paper.