Interdisciplinary Centre for Digital Futures

The University of the Free State’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Digital Futures (ICDF) is a collaborative, co-creative, synergistic space – where social scientists, natural scientists, data scientists, engineers, health scientists, etc., collaborate, learn, and interact with industry, the private sector, government, and community partners to provide a unique intellectual ecosystem that drives the digital future responsibly and critically for the benefit of society. 

It seeks to establish a physical and virtual space where interesting exchanges of ideas would lead to the solidification of short- and long-term research and pedagogical projects that meet relevant societal needs in our immediate context and beyond. Its projects are typically interdisciplinary in nature, combining social, natural, and digital sciences to explore and find answers to real-world questions. It draws scholars from all three UFS campuses into teams working towards a common goal.

Data web

Core Functions

• Focus with relevant partners on interdisciplinary research studies about societal challenges with a view to co-creating solutions and critiques, which are digitally infused.
• Impart thought leadership in the domain of digital futures to the immediate university context and beyond.
• Provide a home to manage and direct projects within the UFS, with the specific goal to engage with and critically analyse the digital turn, digital developments, and advances.
• Develop strategies through a wide array of research projects to address societal challenges related to the digital domain as identified by various internal and external stakeholders.
• Link possible projects, partners, and ideas to potentially enhance initial concept notes.
• Develop, define, and practise digital science as a discipline that requires the synthesis of data science and the social and natural sciences.



Interim co-directors 

Herkulaas Combrink
T: +27 51 401 7408

Prof Katinka de Wet
T: +27 51 401 2918

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