The world is experiencing an unprecedented and growing wave of change. Accelerating technological progress, rapidly evolving societal needs and expectations, and growing environmental imperatives, including climate change, all present significant, fundamental challenges and opportunities.
Maintaining the status quo of the engineering community and profession is no longer an option for delivering a resilient, thriving world. By engaging our robust technical knowledge and innate problem-solving skills with committed leadership, the engineering community can serve as stewards of technology, the natural and built environments, and the public health, safety, and welfare as an uncertain future unfolds. The time is now to drive the system-wide changes that will support the engineering community in execution of this vital role.
Who We Are
The Engineering Change Lab-USA (ECL-USA) is a social change lab founded in 2017 that seeks to connect, share information, and collaborate with individuals and stakeholder groups within the engineering community. We are explorers and change leaders from across the engineering community, committed to unlocking the full potential of engineering for the benefit of society.
ECL-USA convenes two or three times a year to share perspectives, deepen our understanding of engineering’s emerging future, and to launch experiments and focused initiatives designed both to foster change in the entire engineering system. Learn more about our focused initiatives here.
Our approach is to network with established organizations that serve the engineering community without duplicating change efforts that may be already underway within those groups. We also have a close alliance with the Engineering Change Lab – Canada, which led the way with a similar initiative in Canada beginning in 2014.
The idea to form ECL-USA originated in 2016 from a small group of engineering firm leaders. In 2017, as our first step, the group of founders created a Call to Action to their closest associates in the engineering community to take part in an initial summit. The Call to Action was centered around this question:
How can we develop a new vision to realize the engineering community’s full potential as stewards of technology on behalf of society?
Our intent was to:
- Collectively explore the current state of engineering and confront adaptive challenges facing the engineering community;
- Develop an action plan for chartering a long-term transformational change initiative within the engineering community.
Each subsequent summit has confirmed the desire of our stakeholders to continue the discussion and exploration of the future of the engineering community.
Our list of interested stakeholders continues to grow in number and diversity. Our stakeholders’ perspectives express both hope and concern. Hopeful perspectives are…
- A groundswell of interest in positively impacting the future.
- The promise of technological advances.
Perspectives of concern include…
- Lack of diversity in engineering.
- Commoditization of our work.
- Threats to licensure.
- Fragmentation of the industry.
- Trend toward short-term, project-focused thinking.
- Loss of recognition as leaders in public policy.
- Concern regarding the ability to attract the best and brightest young people to engineering.
- Potential for unintended, harmful impacts from technological advances.