Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina – (Futurist Keynote)
As a published author, she is part of the SingularityU South Africa faculty with a focus on Urban Futures, including smart cities, networks, urban planning, governance and development, as well as innovation systems.
Geci is an Associate of The South African Cities Network. She previously worked with The National Treasury, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC), and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Advanced Policy Institute.
She is a Council Member of the South African Council of Planners, a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance, and a Research Associate of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), and the National Research Foundation’s South African Research Chair on Innovation and Development.
She is also a founding director of the Southern African Node of the Millennium Project, co-Founder of Foresight For Development, an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow (2009), an Associate Editor for the African Journal for Science, Technology, Innovation and Development, and Africa Regional Editor for the bimonthly Foresight: The journal of future studies, strategic thinking and policy.
SingularityU South Africa Faculty Member: She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA and a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is a part of the SingularityU South Africa faculty with a focus on Urban Futures, including smart cities, networks, urban planning, governance and development, as well as innovation systems.
Associate at The South African Cities Network: She was Executive Manager at The South African Cities Network for eight years, and remains an Associate. This established network of South African cities and partners encourages the exchange of information, experience and best practices on urban development and city management. It aims to promote good governance and the smooth management of South African cities, while analysing the strategic challenges that face South African cities. They inform and advise urban leaders including mayors, senior administrators, and practitioners.
Visiting Fellow at the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance: As a visiting academic, Geci lectured on topics related to urban governance and innovation systems policy. She supervised several masters and doctoral students on both theoretical and applied research projects related to these topics, thus contributing to building local knowledge based on robust scholarship and practice.
Author, Urban Scholar and Practitioner: She is the author of numerous chapters and articles, and most recently the book Innovation Africa: Emerging Hubs of Excellence that is published by Emerald Group Publishing. It outlines how innovation is critical to growth and development in Africa. The book contains a number of case studies that examine the origins of emerging high-end innovation hubs in Africa. It draws lessons from some of the most promising and successful African innovation cases, while exploring the factors that drive their successful emergence, growth and future prospects. The second volume is currently underway.
As an urban scholar and practitioner with an educational background in computer science, sociology, architecture, urban design and urban planning, she studied urban systems and use trans-disciplinary approaches to help conceptualise and develop effective governance responses and approaches, particularly for African cities.
Council Member of the South African Council of Planners: She is a ministerially-appointed Council Member on the South African Council of Planners, which is a statutory Council of nominated members appointed in terms of the Planning Profession Act 36 of 2002 that aims to regulate the planning profession.