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Fostering Excellence through Knowledge and Innovation

"As we go forward, we will seek to be transactional in maintaining and strengthening the governance architecture, but we will also be transformational as we prepare the citizens for the new economy that requires the development of new parameters in education, innovation, and enterprise", - His Excellency, Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia

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2014 International Participatory Design Conference Sponsorship

28 Apr 2014


The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) has sponsored N$100 000 towards the International Participatory Design Conference which will be co-hosted by the Polytechnic of Namibia and the University of Namibia from 6 – 10 October 2014.


The Participatory Design Conference, which will be hosted in Africa for the first time, is an important platform for international discussion of the collaborative, social, and political dimensions of technology innovation and use. New techniques, technologies, research results and perspectives that underpin participatory design will be shared in vibrant and critical debates, presentations, workshops and panel sessions. The conference enables collaboration between international and local researchers, industry practitioners from commercial, government and none profit sectors, as well as interaction designers and artists around the topic of participation.


“The Commission saw it vital to support this initiative as it affirms our current mandate to boost the national research and innovation system. It is a great honour to be the main partner and sponsor in promoting innovative technology design and research through this conference.” said Prof du Pisani, Chairperson of the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.


The conference programme will comprise of high quality academic paper presentations, an industry track to ensure technology transfer, as well as an interactive (digital) art track to provoke innovative design thinking. With the help of the funds sponsored by NCRST, and the support of SAIS and NBIC, the conference programme has been enriched by design challenge sessions following principles of open innovation where the Namibian private and public sector can directly tap into the pool of technology designers to join forces in finding solutions to local and global challenges.


“The theme of this year’s Participatory Design Conference is: Reflecting Connectedness. Because we are experiencing a technologically pushed trend in ‘always being connected’ through smart-phones, social networks, computer supported cooperative and distributed working tools, we acknowledge the influential relations across continents, societies, people, disciplines and time. Through this sponsorship we can continue to engage in critical debates of what it means to design for social innovation, justice, inclusiveness, and sustainability.” said Prof Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, General Chair of the Participatory Design Conference 2014 at Polytechnic of Namibia.