JCSE “Listening Circle” Season: Session 3 - Digital Transformation in the Electrical Power Sector

Wed Apr 29, 16:00 - Wed Apr 29, 18:00



In February 2020, Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Director of the JCSE, launched a podcast entitled “Optimizing - Leading Africa’s Digital Future”. (www.SoftwareEngineer.org.za). It is constructed as an inter-generational conversation between Prof Barry, who has over 40 years of experience and leadership in Africa’s digital economy, and Kerryn Gammie, who is taking her first steps in becoming a future digital leader. Season 1 of the podcast consists of 8 episodes that map out Prof Barry’s own journey as he played a role in the history of computing in South Africa. He looks for lessons in his past that will prove useful to Kerryn and her generation of future digital leaders.

Our Listening Circle brings together participants who have already accessed and worked through the relevant knowledge. In this case this relevant knowledge is an episode of the “Optimiizing” podcast, together with other resources that will be provided. The time in the Listening Circle is spent working interactively with Prof Barry drawing out key issues encountered in the information that was shared beforehand. Each Listening Circle session will be facilitated via a set of relevant questions.

The JCSE Listening Circle Series consists of 8 sessions.

Session 3 is entitled “Digital Technology in support of energy challenges”. It draws on Episode 3 of the podcast which has the title “Becoming the Grand Geek (Part 3)”. In this episode Prof Barry and Kerryn Gammie discuss: Software tools to support Eskom’s mass electrification drive.

The Question to be covered in Session 3 is: In the early 1990’s and 2000’s digital supported Eskom’s mass electrification drive. How will digital technology help to find solutions to the energy problems of the future?

How it will work

  • Registration: Participants will register by buying a ticket on Quicket. Our target is to have a maximum of 60 participants per session. Within this number we wish to ensure that the participants have an appropriate “inter-generational” profile. We therefore have three types of tickets: (a) Experienced Digital Professional, (b)Future Leader, and (c) Observer. The ratio of tickets to be made available are as follows:
  • Before the session (everyone): All participants will be sent a link to the relevant podcast episode together with additional resources. Participants should listen to the podcast (if they haven’t yet done so) and browse through additional resources before the start of the session. A total of about 2 hours of preparation will be required before the session for participants to get the most value out of the actual session.
  • Before the session (ticket types (a) and (b) ): Participants holding ticket types (a) and (b) will have an opportunity to send written questions and comments before the session. These will be posted on the session webpage prior to the session.
  •  During the session: Sessions will be run on Microsoft Teams. All participants will receive login details. Each 2-hour session will start with a 10 minute “scene set” by Prof Barry Dwolatzky, the moderator of the session. This will be followed by 50 minutes of discussion structured around questions and comments submitted beforehand. The next 45 minutes will be run as an unstructured conversation dealing with the theme of that session. Prof Barry will moderate this. In the last 15 minutes, Observers (ticket type (c) ) can join the conversation. The session will be recorded.
  • After the session: An edited version of the recording made during the session will be publicly available for both those who participated and for the general public.


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