Bringing People and Technology Together in the Work place of the Future: An Industrial & Organisational Psychology Perspective

Ms Shirleen Titus
Mr Badian Maasdorp
Mr Preevan Moodley
Mr Ravinash Guiness
Mr Rob Jardine
Ms Deidre Jensen

Mr Badian Maasdorp

Badian is the Managing Director of Yard Investment Holdings, a private equity investment business in South Africa. He is also an admitted attorney of 20 years standing and was previously practicing as a corporate lawyer for many years with Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc, a top South African law firm. He has wide experience ranging from private equity deal structuring, banking and finance and corporate governance. He has advised on mergers and acquisition transactions across multiple sectors ranging from technology, energy, infrastructure, property and pharmaceutical. Additionally, he has wide strategy and management experience. Badian is also an admitted solicitor of the senior courts of England and Wales. As an investor he keeps a keen interest in global and regional trends, in particular the impact of technology on business.

Mr Preevan Moodley

Preevan is the former Head of Innovation for the Old Mutual Insure Group, and currently consults for the Ava Bot company in the Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation space. He is an actuary by profession, which puts him in the center of the current modelling transition from traditional actuarial models to more AI based models.

Preevan’s focuses primarily on projects that exploiting machines in a heavily geared manner to extract higher throughput in operational areas than would otherwise be possible with just human-power. He co-built the PriceMe website, which uses very detailed information of residential properties to calculate the value of a home within a narrower error range than even professional property assessors. He’s currently working with a branch of the SAPS to develop cameras that would autonomously scan and vet vehicle number plates to search for stolen vehicles.

Outside of AI, he dabbles in high frequency trading bots in the cryptocurrency space and co-founded the JCEX company that offers cryptocurrency and blockchain training in South Africa.

Mr Ravinash Guiness

Ravinash is an experienced HR Systems and Organisational Design Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. His focus is to improve the employee experience by understanding employee challenges and changing needs at work, while assisting the business to transition the business model to meet the rapidly changing expectations of Old Mutual Insure’s customers. He is also skilled in strategy development, business model design, HR system architecture, digital solution design, process reengineering, design thinking and data management. Prior to joining Old Mutual, where he has been employed for 3 years, he held senior level positions at companies like Discovery and WesBank. Ravinash holds a B.A degree from UJ and has also studied through Wits Business School and INSEAD.

Mr Rob Jardine

Rob Jardine is the Head of Research and Solutions for the NeuroLeadership Institute South Africa. He is an Industrial Psychologist and specializes in cognitive neuroscience. He partners with businesses to drive behavior change. He holds undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Organisational Psychology from Rhodes University, University of Johannesburg and the University of Valencia. He is a brain-based coach and has completed a Certification in the Foundations of NeuroLeadership.

Rob started his career off in the South African construction sector before moving to Germany to join the team that reengineered the global performance management culture for the adidas Group. He has developed a conceptual model of the South African millennial based on workplace values as part of his masters research, one of the first studies first studies to do so in the South African context. The study formed part of a degree in which he graduated cum laude. He is currently writing a text book chapter for an internationally published text book based on the 4th Industrial Revolution and Thriving in Digital Workspaces.

He is a known thought leader in the South African field of NeuroLeadership and has held engagements with SABC, Department of Science & Technology, ENCA, 702, Classic FM, Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology, GIBS, Sunday Times, Moneyline, University of Johannesburg.

Ms Deidre Jensen

With a career of over 15 years in education, business consulting and marketing; working in an
entrepreneurial venture, an NGO (British Council) and for a people management consulting company
(LRMG). Deirdre then transitioned to independent consulting for PWC, EON (Engineering) and Blue
Pebble (Oracle). Over the period of three years, she was able to explore new approaches for designing
solutions for people productivity in banking and information technology.

In 2014 she established Game2Change Consulting Services to bring together gaming, play and
experiential learning to meet the needs of the changing workforce. Since its inception Game2Change
has pioneered a new methodology in change and learning across multiple and diverse teams in South
Africa and Africa.

During this period, she has completed courses and certifications in game design, motivation psychology,
and managing scrum teams. Combing her experience of the last four years and applying these skills in
this new field, has expanded Game2Change offering and services. Game2change collaborates with
leading companies with a focus in the area of:

  • Induction programmes for graduates and digital natives (Gen Z) entering the workplace,
  • Orientation and change management of scrum teams to an Agile Eco-system,
  • Games and experiential tools for change management of digital transformation
  • Game-based Learning for Customer Experience initiatives,
  • Games and experiential tools for culture and transformation initiatives.

Deirdre has an educational background of a bachelor’s degree in commerce for University of
Witwatersrand with a post-graduate qualification in adult education from UNISA.

Her current studies include:

  • edX online programme (MIT) of Design and Development of Games for Learning
  • Practical Systematic Innovation (PSI)

Ms Shirleen Titus

Shirleen is a registered Industrial & Organisational Psychologist who has over 33 years of local and international work experience. Currently, her main area of interest is in understanding societal dynamics in the workplace and what are the sources of strengths people have available to them, that would make them effective. For this reason she has pursued her doctoral research which aims to discover the real connection between leadership, social capital and organisational effectiveness. Shirleen has had many top achievements both professionally and personally. This year she serves as the past-president of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology in South Africa where she actively engages with networks in multi-disciplinary environments. Apart from her daily activities, she is curious to learn more about the impact of the people-robotic interface in the world of work; hence she spends time in growing this new interest through active involvement and current engagements. Shirleen believes real societal change is only possible when everyone is willing to give up something in good faith, with the hope that the future of the eco-system will be a place where all living systems can flourish.

The essence of the exponentially, accelerating technological innovation, encapsulated in the term ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ sweeping the world currently, can be distilled in the acronym DIVAS: Digitisation: making everything, anything and anywhere computer readable and process-able; Interconnectivity: everyone/ everything talking to everyone/ everything; Virtualisation: being present and delivering on an ongoing basis, anything, anywhere, anytime, anyhow, for anyone; Automation: performing a process or practice, and taking decisions and actions, through technological means with no/ minimum human mediation; and, Smart: generating data from everything/ anyone, affecting machine learning through feedback and/ or turning data into intelligence through decision-making algorithms in order to take focused real time, in time, validated, predictive action.
Going into the future, the imperative is the optimisation of the people-technology interface and interaction in the DIVAS-infused, work place of the future for the benefit of all. The challenge is how to design technology enabled, productive, humane work places, able to satisfy the basic needs of people for meaning (or purpose); efficacy; fulfilment; belonging; and existence.

The purpose of the Panel is to explore the people-technology interaction for each element of DIVAS from an Industrial and Organisational Psychology perspective in the search for architecting the humane work place of the future.