UJ Institute for the Future of Knowledge

About IFK

The Institute for the Future of Knowledge is a transdisciplinary ecosystem at the University of Johannesburg, devoted to understanding the relationship between what we know and what will happen, for the purpose of improving both, for everyone. Today’s global problems, challenges and ambitions are complex and interconnected. They cannot be solved in the traditional academic silos but through a multidisciplinary ecosystem approach. The University of Johannesburg has established the IFK to further its championing of a future-oriented focus for South Africa and the wider region. The Institute’s strategy is anchored by social change through local and international partnerships. The IFK conducts innovative research in an interdisciplinary manner while aligned to the 4IR. The Institute provides ways to leverage 4IR technologies in pursuit of the realisation of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The IFK focuses on five themes, each championed by a research group: Data Science Across Disciplines, The Future of Health, Green Futures, The Future of Diplomacy, and Metaphysics and Machines.

Mission

To understand the relationship between knowledge and the future, for the purpose of improving both, for everyone.

Vision

To be the global authority on conceptually rigorous, contextually grounded and equitably implemented knowledge about, for and in the future.

Team

Our People

Anthony Kaziboni

Head of Research

Dr Anthony Kaziboni is Head of Research at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge. He holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He researches hydropolitics, migration and social inequalities. He is the Regional Representative for South Africa for the International Sociological Association's (ISA) Clinical Sociology Research Group. In 2018 he received the prestigious Outstanding Early Career Award in Clinical Sociology by the ISA's Clinical Sociology Research Committee in Toronto, Canada. He has [co]authored publications in accredited journals and books as well as newspaper articles.

Anthony Kaziboni

Head of Research

Arthur Mutambara

Director and Full Professor

Professor Arthur Mutambara is the Director and Full Professor of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (IFK) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He is a world-renowned roboticist, academic, author, Pan-Africanist and technology strategist. Professor Mutambara is also the Director of IFK’s Decentralised Artificial Intelligence and Control Systems (DAICS) Research Group and drives the African Agency in Public Health (AAPH) initiative within the Future of Health (FoH) Research Group. He is the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Mutambara was one of the three Principals who created and led the Government of National Unity (GNU) from 2009 to 2013. The other two were Prime Minister Tsvangirai and President Mugabe. He is the author of a new trilogy (three books): In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream: An Autobiography of Thought Leadership. Mutambara has also published two Electrical Engineering books used extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has worked as a Research Scientist at NASA, a Visiting Professor at MIT, and a Managing Consultant with McKinsey & Company, all in the United States. At UJ, Mutambara has taught Control Systems in both the Mechanical Engineering and Electrical & Electronic Engineering Departments, where he has received outstanding reviews from both students and peers. He has conducted Engineering seminars and public lectures across the continent and globally. Prof Mutambara is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE), a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS), a Senior Member of IEEE and a WEF Young Global Leader. Professor Mutambara holds a PhD in Robotics and Mechatronics (1995) and an MSc in Computer Engineering (1992), both from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Electrical Engineering (1990) from the University of Zimbabwe.

Arthur Mutambara

Director and Full Professor

Ayanda Radebe

IFK Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Director

Ayanda Radebe is the IFK Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Director. She has a diverse range of administrative backgrounds, working in various industries as a Professional Administrator and Executive Assistant. Ayanda holds Project Management Fundamentals and HR Fundamentals certificates from Wits.

Ayanda Radebe

IFK Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Director

Charis Harley

Head of Data Science Across Disciplines

Professor Charis Harley is Head of the Data Science Across Disciplines Research Group at the IFK and 4IR Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at UJ. She is an accomplished researcher in the field of computational mathematics with over 30 articles, experience at a range of elite universities, and multiple research grants. She also has experience in industry as an analyst and quantitative analyst, with practise in data analysis ranging from the use of filters; Auto-Correlation; Principal Component Analysis; Exploratory Data Analysis, to the use of more advanced methods of data analytics.

Charis Harley

Head of Data Science Across Disciplines

Jabulani Sibande

Intern

Jabulani Sibande is a Youth Employment Service (YES) Intern at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge. He holds a bachelors degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand and an honours degree in African Studies from the University of Johannesburg. His honours project was on the Democratic Development State Model in African States focusing on Rwanda and South Africa. Mr Sibande is interested in the African debate on political economy and development, as well as policy-making processes on the continent.

Jabulani Sibande

Intern

Joseph Mudare

Research Associate

Dr Joseph Mudare is a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, at the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a doctorate in Electric Circuits and Systems from Jilin University, China. He teaches a wide range of Control and Electronic Engineering subjects including Electronic Circuit Design, Analogue Electronics and Control Systems. Currently, he is also the faculty staff development committee representative and a member of the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. His fields of interest for research include sliding mode control, automation and application of micro-controller based systems.

Joseph Mudare

Research Associate

Lukong Shulika

Research Associate

Dr Lukong Shulika is Research Integrity Officer and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Durban University of Technology. She holds a master’s and doctoral degree in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Dr Shulika’s research interests and publications revolve around African conflict and cooperation dynamics; conflict analysis and management; post-conflict peacebuilding, reconstruction and development; women, gender and the politics of representation in Africa; and governance and political transformation in Africa.

Lukong Shulika

Research Associate

Mohammad Reza Maghami

PDRF

Dr Mohammad Reza Maghami is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge. He holds a doctorate in Energy Management from the University of Putra Malaysia (UPM). He was a Researcher at UPM’s Centre for Advanced Power and Energy Research (CAPER). Dr Maghami’s research interests are renewable energy, power electronics, photovoltaic systems, power transmission and distribution, demand response as well as control systems. He has published in several high-impact journals.

Mohammad Reza Maghami

PDRF

Oluwaseun Tella

Oluwaseun Tella

Head of the Future of Diplomacy

Dr Oluwaseun Tella is the Head of the Future of Diplomacy at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for the Future of Knowledge in South Africa. He holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has authored a book entitled Africa’s Soft Power: Philosophies, Political Values, Foreign Policies and Cultural Exports (Routledge, 2021); edited three books entitled Nigeria-South Africa Relations and Regional Hegemonic Competence (Springer, 2019), From Ivory Towers to Ebony Towers: Transforming Humanities Curricula in South Africa, Africa and African-American Studies (Jacana, 2020), and A Sleeping Giant? Nigeria’s Domestic and International Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Springer, 2021); and published over 30 mostly single-authored book chapters and journal articles in Politikon, Social Dynamics, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Black Studies and elsewhere. His research interests include soft power, international relations, peace and conflict studies, African politics and knowledge production in Africa. Email: otella@uj.ac.za.

Oluwaseun Tella

Head of the Future of Diplomacy

Pushpendra Kumar

Research Associate

Pushpendra Kumar is a young mathematician from India. He holds a master's degree from the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda. He has published nearly 50 research papers in more than 20 reputed international journals. His research works are related to the mathematical modelling of various real-world problems, fractional calculus, and computational methods. More specifically, Mr Kumar has done novel work on the modelling of infectious diseases. He is a reviewer for several international journals.

Pushpendra Kumar

Research Associate

Samuel Okunade

Research Associate

Dr Samuel Okunade is borders and migration specialist most especially in the areas of human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Africa. He is also interested in the nexus between social and ethnic cleavages in border communities, and economic integration and social cohesion in Africa. He has participated in the European Union-funded project on irregular migration in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He has published several articles in reputable journals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Education and master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a PhD in Conflict Transformation from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Samuel Okunade

Research Associate

Steven Sidley

Head of Blockchain and the Cryptoverse

Steven Sidley is Professor of Practice at the Johannesburg Business School and is Head of the Blockchain and the Cryptoverse Research Group at the Institute for Future Knowledge, both based at the University of Johannesburg. He is an award-winning and multi-shortlisted author of six books, published globally. His latest book, co-authored with Simon Dingle, is Beyond Bitcoin: Decentralised Finance and the End of Banks, published 2022. Professor Sidley was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is co-founder of several technology companies, including Prism Payment Technologies which is publicly listed on the JSE, and Agilitude, which was sold to PwC. He has held worldwide Group Chief Technology Officer positions at Anglo American and Altech/Altron and was CTO on one of South Africa’s first blockchain projects, Project UBU. Sidley also currently holds the position of partner at Bridge Capital.

Steven Sidley

Head of Blockchain and the Cryptoverse

Wayne Malinga

Research Associate

Dr Wayne Malinga is a development researcher, consultant and evaluation specialist. He holds a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. Dr Malinga is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at Lupane State University, Zimbabwe. He currently serves as the Projects Director at African Food Revolution, a grassroots NGO based in Zimbabwe. His research interests and publications are on water, climate change, rural development, natural resources management and socio-economic development issues.

Wayne Malinga

Research Associate

Wilson Muna

Research Associate

Dr Wilson Muna is a Lecturer in Public Policy at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in Policy and Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He specialises in public policy analysis, international relations, peace and security, and public management. In his wide range of publications, Dr Muna focuses on African development, especially in the areas of policy learning and integration.

Wilson Muna

Research Associate

Mohammad Reza Maghami

PDRF

Dr Mohammad Reza Maghami is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge. He holds a doctorate in Energy Management from the University of Putra Malaysia (UPM). He was a Researcher at UPM’s Centre for Advanced Power and Energy Research (CAPER). Dr Maghami’s research interests are renewable energy, power electronics, photovoltaic systems, power transmission and distribution, demand response as well as control systems. He has published in several high-impact journals.

Mohammad Reza Maghami

PDRF

Wayne Malinga

Research Associate

Dr Wayne Malinga is a development researcher, consultant and evaluation specialist. He holds a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Fort Hare, South Africa. Dr Malinga is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at Lupane State University, Zimbabwe. He currently serves as the Projects Director at African Food Revolution, a grassroots NGO based in Zimbabwe. His research interests and publications are on water, climate change, rural development, natural resources management and socio-economic development issues.

Wayne Malinga

Research Associate

Steven Sidley

Head of Blockchain and the Cryptoverse

Steven Sidley is Professor of Practice at the Johannesburg Business School and is Head of the Blockchain and the Cryptoverse Research Group at the Institute for Future Knowledge, both based at the University of Johannesburg. He is an award-winning and multi-shortlisted author of six books, published globally. His latest book, co-authored with Simon Dingle, is Beyond Bitcoin: Decentralised Finance and the End of Banks, published 2022. Professor Sidley was educated at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is co-founder of several technology companies, including Prism Payment Technologies which is publicly listed on the JSE, and Agilitude, which was sold to PwC. He has held worldwide Group Chief Technology Officer positions at Anglo American and Altech/Altron and was CTO on one of South Africa’s first blockchain projects, Project UBU. Sidley also currently holds the position of partner at Bridge Capital.

Steven Sidley

Head of Blockchain and the Cryptoverse

Pushpendra Kumar

Research Associate

Pushpendra Kumar is a young mathematician from India. He holds a master's degree from the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda. He has published nearly 50 research papers in more than 20 reputed international journals. His research works are related to the mathematical modelling of various real-world problems, fractional calculus, and computational methods. More specifically, Mr Kumar has done novel work on the modelling of infectious diseases. He is a reviewer for several international journals.

Pushpendra Kumar

Research Associate

Joseph Mudare

Research Associate

Dr Joseph Mudare is a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, at the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a doctorate in Electric Circuits and Systems from Jilin University, China. He teaches a wide range of Control and Electronic Engineering subjects including Electronic Circuit Design, Analogue Electronics and Control Systems. Currently, he is also the faculty staff development committee representative and a member of the Faculty Higher Degrees Committee. His fields of interest for research include sliding mode control, automation and application of micro-controller based systems.

Joseph Mudare

Research Associate

Jabulani Sibande

Intern

Jabulani Sibande is a Youth Employment Service (YES) Intern at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge. He holds a bachelors degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand and an honours degree in African Studies from the University of Johannesburg. His honours project was on the Democratic Development State Model in African States focusing on Rwanda and South Africa. Mr Sibande is interested in the African debate on political economy and development, as well as policy-making processes on the continent.

Jabulani Sibande

Intern

Ayanda Radebe

IFK Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Director

Ayanda Radebe is the IFK Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Director. She has a diverse range of administrative backgrounds, working in various industries as a Professional Administrator and Executive Assistant. Ayanda holds Project Management Fundamentals and HR Fundamentals certificates from Wits.

Ayanda Radebe

IFK Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Director

Arthur Mutambara

Director and Full Professor

Professor Arthur Mutambara is the Director and Full Professor of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (IFK) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He is a world-renowned roboticist, academic, author, Pan-Africanist and technology strategist. Professor Mutambara is also the Director of IFK’s Decentralised Artificial Intelligence and Control Systems (DAICS) Research Group and drives the African Agency in Public Health (AAPH) initiative within the Future of Health (FoH) Research Group. He is the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Mutambara was one of the three Principals who created and led the Government of National Unity (GNU) from 2009 to 2013. The other two were Prime Minister Tsvangirai and President Mugabe. He is the author of a new trilogy (three books): In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream: An Autobiography of Thought Leadership. Mutambara has also published two Electrical Engineering books used extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has worked as a Research Scientist at NASA, a Visiting Professor at MIT, and a Managing Consultant with McKinsey & Company, all in the United States. At UJ, Mutambara has taught Control Systems in both the Mechanical Engineering and Electrical & Electronic Engineering Departments, where he has received outstanding reviews from both students and peers. He has conducted Engineering seminars and public lectures across the continent and globally. Prof Mutambara is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE), a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS), a Senior Member of IEEE and a WEF Young Global Leader. Professor Mutambara holds a PhD in Robotics and Mechatronics (1995) and an MSc in Computer Engineering (1992), both from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Electrical Engineering (1990) from the University of Zimbabwe.

Arthur Mutambara

Director and Full Professor

Samuel Okunade

Research Associate

Dr Samuel Okunade is borders and migration specialist most especially in the areas of human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Africa. He is also interested in the nexus between social and ethnic cleavages in border communities, and economic integration and social cohesion in Africa. He has participated in the European Union-funded project on irregular migration in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. He has published several articles in reputable journals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Education and master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a PhD in Conflict Transformation from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Samuel Okunade

Research Associate

Wilson Muna

Research Associate

Dr Wilson Muna is a Lecturer in Public Policy at Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in Policy and Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He specialises in public policy analysis, international relations, peace and security, and public management. In his wide range of publications, Dr Muna focuses on African development, especially in the areas of policy learning and integration.

Wilson Muna

Research Associate

Lukong Shulika

Research Associate

Dr Lukong Shulika is Research Integrity Officer and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Durban University of Technology. She holds a master’s and doctoral degree in Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Dr Shulika’s research interests and publications revolve around African conflict and cooperation dynamics; conflict analysis and management; post-conflict peacebuilding, reconstruction and development; women, gender and the politics of representation in Africa; and governance and political transformation in Africa.

Lukong Shulika

Research Associate

Anthony Kaziboni

Head of Research

Dr Anthony Kaziboni is Head of Research at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge. He holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He researches hydropolitics, migration and social inequalities. He is the Regional Representative for South Africa for the International Sociological Association's (ISA) Clinical Sociology Research Group. In 2018 he received the prestigious Outstanding Early Career Award in Clinical Sociology by the ISA's Clinical Sociology Research Committee in Toronto, Canada. He has [co]authored publications in accredited journals and books as well as newspaper articles.

Anthony Kaziboni

Head of Research

Oluwaseun Tella

Oluwaseun Tella

Head of the Future of Diplomacy

Dr Oluwaseun Tella is the Head of the Future of Diplomacy at the University of Johannesburg’s Institute for the Future of Knowledge in South Africa. He holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He has authored a book entitled Africa’s Soft Power: Philosophies, Political Values, Foreign Policies and Cultural Exports (Routledge, 2021); edited three books entitled Nigeria-South Africa Relations and Regional Hegemonic Competence (Springer, 2019), From Ivory Towers to Ebony Towers: Transforming Humanities Curricula in South Africa, Africa and African-American Studies (Jacana, 2020), and A Sleeping Giant? Nigeria’s Domestic and International Politics in the Twenty-First Century (Springer, 2021); and published over 30 mostly single-authored book chapters and journal articles in Politikon, Social Dynamics, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Black Studies and elsewhere. His research interests include soft power, international relations, peace and conflict studies, African politics and knowledge production in Africa. Email: otella@uj.ac.za.

Oluwaseun Tella

Head of the Future of Diplomacy

Charis Harley

Head of Data Science Across Disciplines

Professor Charis Harley is Head of the Data Science Across Disciplines Research Group at the IFK and 4IR Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at UJ. She is an accomplished researcher in the field of computational mathematics with over 30 articles, experience at a range of elite universities, and multiple research grants. She also has experience in industry as an analyst and quantitative analyst, with practise in data analysis ranging from the use of filters; Auto-Correlation; Principal Component Analysis; Exploratory Data Analysis, to the use of more advanced methods of data analytics.

Charis Harley

Head of Data Science Across Disciplines