Student Build Conference calls for speakers

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The first Student Build Conference, organised by Geekulcha’s Student Society (GKSS), has issued a call for speakers. The virtual event is set to take place on September 4 and 5.

Yolanda Mabusela, GKSS deputy chairperson at the Vaal University of Technology and a Microsoft Student partner, is one of the event’s organisers. She says the conference is a way of ensuring that youth in IT can contribute to the technology ecosystem, even during the lockdown.

“We’ve been hit hard by the pandemic. It’s impacting our education; so one of our goals is that instead of different campuses planning their own initiatives to catch up, we can do it together as our curriculums are quite similar.

“We’d also planned student initiatives on different campuses for the year, but we couldn’t carry on with those. It forced us to adapt to the situation by going online because we have a common goal: to teach our peers and add leadership and entrepreneurship skills on top of the tech skills we impart.”

It’s envisaged that the conference – organised by the GKSS’s chapters in the Vaal University of Technology, Unisa, Belgium Campus ITversity and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Microsoft Student Partners – will equip students with tech skills to grow the economy, both now and beyond the lockdown.

The event will feature practical sessions and panel discussions on Web and app development, IOT and data science.

The conference has also called for students interested in speaking at the virtual event. “This doesn’t normally happen at conferences, but we’re encouraging first time speakers to apply," says Mabusela.

“Coaches will be provided to support speakers in preparation of their sessions. It isn’t really about how the speakers articulate, but rather about the way they approach speaking to a group of people. We want to create an environment where prospective speakers, especially those without any experience, can be trained and mentored to become self-assured.”

Speakers should focus on:

  • Data science
  • Web design and development
  • App development
  • IOT, and;
  • Entrepreneurship and leadership

Speakers have until 11:59pm on July 31 to register.

To attend the conference, register here.

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