Posts Tagged ‘Cape Peninsula University of Technology’

Cognician came out of stealth mode this weekend to a surprising and humbling round of applause. We couldn’t have chosen a better occasion for it. Geekretreat at Stanford Valley Lodge was an inspiration from start to finish.

Organised by geeks and for geeks, the event is something of a think tank for all things geek. The theme of the weekend was how to make online education in SA better. While the theme was sometimes lost amidst issues that the majority of attendees found more pressing – how to enable mobile payments more easily, for example – some great ideas were thrashed out, which will help advance the work of those attendees who operate in the online education space.

Some of the sharpest tech minds in the country shared ideas around their projects and their challenges. Although every part of it was hugely interesting and inspiring, some of my personal highlights included:

  • Stefan Magdalinski’s presentation on the theft-based civic information websites he has created in the UK, which deliver previously concealed public information to the general population.
  • Sheraan Amod’s lighting-quick presentation on the Personera. (Watch out for this one! Personera is taking full advantage of Facebook’s traffic and it’s going to be big.)
  • Ivo Vegter’s talk on the “one rule that hobbles mobile payments”, where he discussed the legislation that totally hamstrings the progress of so much local business.
  • Eve Dmochowska’s presentation on her plans to create a crowd-sourced seed fund for local entrepreneurs.
  • Andy Volk’s insights on how to incubate new projects in your existing company.

Positive feedback on Cognician was outstanding. We really couldn’t have hoped for a better response. The following people, among others, took a personal interest and we hope to include them all in early testing and roll-out:

  • Andrea Broom, Jolanda de Villiers and Hermie Voulgarelis from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology are keen to adopt the use of Cognician in the classroom as early as possible.
  • Elaine Rumboll, the Director of Executive Education at UCT’s Graduate School of Business wants to use the mobile version of Cognician in her executive training programmes.
  • Michael Rowe, a physiotherapy lecturer and PhD student wants to incorporate the use of Cognician in teaching.
  • Jarred Cinman, Product Director at Cambrient – a digital marketing & web development company – wants to use Cognician as a project managment tool to direct best practices at Cambrient.

After an inspiring weekend, we’re charged to face a week in which it seems that we’re now out in the wild after being in hiding. And it feels great!

So a special thanks must go to Heather Ford, Eve Dmochowska and Justin Spratt for organising such a fantastic event. And thanks to the sponsors: Skyrove, Yola, RAMP, Seacom, Orca, econsultant, Jackie Scala, White Wall Web and Old Mutual. Also, big thanks to Stanford Valley for their excellent hospitality.

Thanks especially to Old Mutual, who provided our scholarships. We have since contributed to the fund ourselves to allow future scholars to attend, but thanks to Old Mutual for getting us through the door after the entires were closed.

External links:

From xsyn’s bloghttp://guy.cognasium.com/blog/1

From Of Relevancehttp://ofrelevance.com/2010/01/18/geekretreat-stanford-valley-2010/

From White Wall Web – http://blog.whitewallweb.com/2010/01/18/geekretreat-stanford-my-personal-experience-and-highlights/#more-337

From Gottaquirkhttp://www.gottaquirk.com/2010/01/18/geek-retreat-stanford-valley/

From Techcentral – http://www.techcentral.co.za/retreat-for-geeks-is-more-than-just-talk/12253/

From Michael Rowe – http://www.mrowe.co.za/blog/2010/01/thoughts-on-geekretreat-2010/