EWB-Asia recently conducted two Learn and Share sessions, at DSO National Laboratories and Rockwell Automation. DSO National Laboratories is Singapore’s national defence, research and development organisation, while Rockwell Automation is the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information. Both events were well attended, with 30 staff from DSO and 70 staff from Rockwell, most of whom were engineers.
We kicked off the session with a short introduction of the organisation, which included snippets of our local and international volunteer programs as well as our talks and events. We also touched on the approach we take in our work, combining three key elements of appropriate technology, design thinking and sustainability.
Participants were then tasked to put their humanitarian engineering thinking caps on, to come up with solutions to a real-life case study to help alleviate poverty in a developing country. Breaking up into small groups to discuss ideas, many simple, scalable and sustainable engineering solutions were generated. However, in a twist of the case study, these solutions were ultimately found to be unnecessary!
The interactive session aimed to show participants what it really means to be a humanitarian engineer. We sometimes need to step out of our “technological way of solving problems”, and see that technology alone may not always be the solution. The larger context needs to be considered, and at the end of the day, it is about the people we are serving and working alongside to make change happen.
If you are keen to have us speak at your company, or partner us to support our work, do get in touch with us at partnerships@EngineeringGood.org