At its December meeting, the ICE council elected the 2024/25 president, discussed options for the next State of the Nation report and considered the criteria for international partnerships.
At the first meeting of the 2023-24 session and my first as president, I was delighted to welcome several new council members alongside the new deputy chair of ICE Council, Jose Lores.
With COP 28 in its closing days, the day kicked off with a session about the ICE’s presence at the global summit.
Thanks to the hard work of the ICE team, we now have formal observer status and I was honoured to therefore be the first ICE President to not just attend but speak at key events within the blue zone promoting the importance of nature-positive solutions and PAS 2080.
At this session, members and ICE’s director of engineering knowledge shared insights from their participation at the event, with two participants reporting live from the COP28 Dubai arena.
This was followed by a humbling and inspiring presentation from the 2022/23 President’s Future Leaders on how we can measure the impact that engineers have on the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
State of the Nation
As the pinnacle of the learning society the ICE Council has an important role in shaping the ICE’s knowledge programme.
This was a timely conversation to look ahead at what the focus of the 2025 State of the Nation report should focus on.
With the council split into smaller groups, there were a number of fascinating conversations and valid cases made to consider giving prominence to the water, energy and transport sectors and looking at these through a global lens.
But the one thing everyone agreed on was the need for the ICE to be bold on thought leadership and apply a systems approach that looks at all aspects of the problems we are trying to solve and one which works with the local community and the environment to create resilient long-lasting solutions that will stand the test of time.
Building global Knowledge Networks
Led by the ICE’s director of engineering knowledge and David Porter, trustee for the Learning Society, the council had a useful discussion on how best to prioritise the organisations we partner with around the world.
The council discussed the criteria that could be used going forward to make sure we are getting the most out of our partnerships.
2024/25 ICE president
It was my pleasure to oversee a unanimous vote to confirm Professor Jim Hall as the next president of the ICE.
Jim has been an active member of the ICE for a number of years and was until recently the trustee responsible for the carbon and climate change portfolio.
I look forward to passing the baton into his capable hands next November.
As I highlighted in my presidential address, time is running out to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
We must now work across sectors, generations and geographies to ensure that we are putting nature and people at the heart of every infrastructure project.
This requires a systems thinking approach and learning from best practice around the world.
I was delighted to see the council embrace this idea and discuss ways in which we can apply it across the ICE’s work.