If not now, when?

Together with our international movement of Engineers Without Borders organizations, we’re applauding the proposed updates to the international framework on graduate attributes and professional competencies for engineers, and the recognition that engineers need to evolve in order to tackle 21st century challenges. But a key component is missing -- to address this century’s complex problems, engineers must also be able to reflect on and think critically about the role of engineering itself.

At Engineers Without Borders Philippines we have been using our influence to support the development of engineering competencies, with a particular interest in those that define how engineers are educated at university. We have always recognised that for engineers to fulfill their higher potential and contribute to addressing the urgent social and environmental challenges we face, the current proposed 'engineering fundamentals' and competencies are missing vital elements, namely, competencies encouraging an engineer's ability to reflect on and think critically about the role of engineering itself.

Time is of the essence.

Scientific and political communities from around the world have agreed and demonstrated through international targets such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, that we have ten years to make a difference to the future of our planet. Not least to stop irreversible climate change and biodiversity loss, but to ensure we live on a planet where all people have access to necessities that engineering is fundamental in enabling.

But the engineering community is not doing enough.

To influence systemic change across the sector, we have utilised the diversity of our global movement and the unique perspective that brings, by collaborating with cousin Engineers Without Borders organisations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines and USA. This collective of organizations is working on a national scale to actively advance these vital skills by empowering students and professionals to develop the ability to reflect on and think critically about engineering. This is complemented by garnering expertise of social scientists, Indigenous leaders, and other groups with crucial insights on the impacts of engineering on society.

To further this effort we would welcome the opportunity to work closely with the International Engineering Alliance and other groups to support this crucial shift to the engineering mindset.

We have no planet B and time is running out.

Read our full open letter calling for competency amendments by clicking HERE.