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GEC: what next?

07 January 2019

The Global Engineering Congress (GEC) hosted by ICE last October was a unique opportunity to galvanise the global engineering community into addressing the UN sustainable development goals.

GEC: what next?

Following the excitement and enthusiasm generated at the event, we have been busy analysing all the knowledge, best practice and challenges that were shared at the GEC. The aim is to use this research to establish interdisciplinary working groups starting early this year, that can deliver the step change that is required.

Emerging themes we have already identified are grouped into these six key areas:

1. Measure, monitor and report on SDGs

What is our baseline? How do we report in a standardised way? How do we consistently measure our impact against SDGs on project delivery? How does my company impact the Global Goals and what are the business potentials going forward?

2. Diversity and collaboration

Breaking out of our silos by learning from other industries and professions to enable cross-fertilisation of ideas.

3. Global knowledge sharing

Reinforce the role professional engineering institutions have to play by raising standards of professionalism and ethics; capitalising on success stories and learning from failures.

4. Project life-cycle and systems thinking

How do we enable infrastructure to be viewed as a system of systems? How can we shift to a whole life approach?

5. Education and capacity building

Raising awareness of SDGs and their importance throughout education - how can education bodies quickly react? Can we describe and then build the capacity required locally?

6. Industry 4.0

What can we learn about our infrastructure through big data and AI? How do we enable a transition from manual to autonomous technology?

These emerging themes will be narrowed down to focus on the key issues that could have the most influence in each area through the activities carried out by the working groups throughout 2019.

  • Rob Curd, sustainability knowledge manager at ICE