Dr Leona Craffert
Leona Craffert is the Director of the Western Cape CoLab for eInclusion and Social Innovation at UWC. As a research psychologist, she discovered an early fascination with the interface between people and technology but was more intrigued by people’s innovative abilities to create technological solutions to address challenges than the technology itself. Joining the CoLab as its founding Director in 2012 offered a unique interdisciplinary space to explore her interests. She has had opportunities in this role to work alongside visionary UWC leaders and a multitude of cross-sectoral stakeholders to help shape a transdisciplinary space for the nurturing of research and implementation capability to contribute toward a competitive yet inclusive digital society.
Leona’s early career as a Mathematics teacher opened her eyes to the devastating impact of social inequalities. She worked as a senior research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council and, before her role as CoLab director, she was an Adjunct Professor at the Wits Business School. She also spent several years in the role of Group Manager for Change and Organisational Development at a large IT company before joining the CoLab.
Leona holds a BA (Psychology and Mathematics), Higher Education Diploma, MA (Psychology) and a DPhil (Psychology). She has authored or co-authored more than 50 research reports and articles, presented numerous papers at national and international conferences and participated in several EU research projects. She regards it as her academic citizenship responsibility to contribute toward research capacity building through the supervision of PhD and master’s students.