From internal practices to global impact, our events span a variety of topics that all share a focus on catalyzing action in the engineering community. If you’ve attended a virtual summit or in-person institute in the past, these are great resources to reference as you lead change. If you’ve never participated in ECL, we invite you to freely explore this information and hope you will join us at an upcoming event.
2023 Engineering Ideas Institute
The 2023 ECL-USA Engineering Ideas Institute examined how the engineering community can use scenario thinking to become more agile, flexible, and resilient in the face of an uncertain, complex, and rapidly changing world. Preliminary research, provocateurs, group exercises, nature walks, and personal reflection were all used to collectively create three scenarios of the future and then to explore implications of these scenarios for the future of engineering.
Provocateur Presentation Recordings
Engineering & Public Policy Leadership
The public policy arena is where priorities are established, and policies and standards are developed to address the greatest challenges facing our communities and society. To unlock its full potential, the engineering community must step boldly into this arena as advisors, advocates, collaborators, and leaders and learn how to get things done through active engagement in public policy. The summit provided important learning regarding the need for the engineering community to increase its engagement in public policy, the skills needed for engagement, the wide variety of options for engagement, and the satisfaction and sense of purpose that can come with contributing to society and the future of engineering in this manner.
Exploring Engineering Education, Sponsored by NCEES and Presented in Collaboration with ABET, Engineering for One Planet, and Olin College of Engineering
Why is sustainability important to the transformation of engineering education? ECL-USA’s virtual summit, Scanning the Horizon of Engineering Education: The Sustainability Imperative, explored this question. The multi-faceted answers to this question lie in the engineering community’s responsibility in protecting our planet, the massive impact of the work of engineering, engineering student values, employer needs and responsibilities, and the academic community’s role in preparing the next generation.
View Exploring Engineering Education Summit Report
2022 Engineering Ideas Institute
September 26-28, 2022
Sustainability is not enough. Escalating climate, infrastructure and social crises are outpacing efforts to address them with sustainable practices. The engineering community has the tools and strategies to take us beyond sustainability — both to address dire challenges and to restore living systems. Circular economy and regenerative approaches are principal means for achieving these ends.
Engineers and their allied fields must have the commitment and courage to step up and engage in the hard work of leading change to benefit society.
These propositions were at the heart of the 2022 Engineering Ideas Institute. This summit drew on provocations, exercises, nature walks and dialogues to shift minds and prompt participants to think differently about the future of engineering. This year’s Institute focused on circular economy and regenerative strategies to push society toward a healthy, resilient future. An overview of the Institute is available here.
View Leading Change Report View Circular Economy Report
Technological Stewardship, Presented in Collaboration with ECL-Canada
Summit 15 | June 14, 2022
Since the dawn of humanity, our technologies have transformed the world around us, adapting our environment to meet our needs and wants. Over the last 150 years, the Engineering Community has played a primary role in the creation and application of physical, digital, and biological technologies. This summit introduced Tech Stewardship as a professional identity, orientation, and practice that can support us in navigating the complex tensions inherent in our work, broadening our perspective about potential impacts of our efforts, and bending the arc of technology towards greater good.
View Tech Stewardship Summit Report
Augmenting the Engineering Workforce Through Technological Innovation
Summit 14 | March 15, 2022
The Engineering Community is facing an unprecedented talent crisis. Unemployment rates for the industry are less than three percent. The retirement of baby boomers continues. The number of new graduates is increasing at low rates. Meanwhile, the demand for new talent continues to increase dramatically, driven by a growing economy and increasing investments in infrastructure. These stresses on our workforce come at a time when the Engineering Community is challenged by the need to contribute at higher levels in addressing the challenges of the 21st Century. Summit 14 explored how technology may be viewed as a significant strategy for closing this unfolding supply and demand gap – augmenting the engineering workforce using emerging technologies to increase productivity, enhance creativity, and work more efficiently and safely. Key takeaways and important strategies as well as a map of the summit outcomes are available at the links below.
View Augmenting the Engineering Workforce Summit Report View Augmenting the Engineering Workforce Map of the Future
The Engineering Ideas Institute II
Summit 13 | October 11-13, 2021
The second edition of The Engineering Ideas Institute (first in-person) was held at The Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder, a historic venue located at the foot of the mountains. The program for the summit focused on two major themes.
- Engineering in an Age of Acceleration – How are the forces of acceleration in technology, the natural environment, and society impacting engineering?
- Engineering and Justice – What can we learn about engineering’s roles in contributing to racial inequality? What can we do, through our work, to help create a more just, equal, diverse, and inclusive society?
View Acceleration Report View Racial Justice Report
The Engineering Firm of the Future
Summit 12 | June 16, 2021
How will the engineering firm of the future be transformed in the coming decade? Summit 12 explored a set of driving forces that will reshape the environment within which firms operate, their internal business models, and models of practice. Themes explored included the following.
- How will the external landscape within which engineering firms operate be reshaped by global risks and technology accelerators?
- What aspirations, values, and needs will new generations of engineering talent manifest as they join and build careers within firms?
View Engineering Firm of the Future Summit Report
The Imperative of Climate Change and the Future of Engineering
Summit 11 | March 22, 2021
How will engineering and the engineering community be transformed by the way it responds to the emerging dynamics of climate change and the threat it poses to our world? How might its stewardship of technology and nature on behalf of society be manifest in helping society confront this climate imperative? Summit 11 explored the roles the engineering community can play within and across the private sector, public sector, and the non-profit sector to answer these questions.
View Engineering and the Grand Challenge of Climate Change Map of the Future View Engineering and the Grand Challenge of Climate Change Summit Report
Licensure Models for the 4th Industrial Revolution
Summit 10 | December 16, 2020
Summit 10 was presented in partnership with the National Society of Professional Engineers and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. The participants in the summit explored the future of licensure for engineering and the role licensure and regulatory bodies can play in ensuring that engineers and organizations engaged in the development of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution act in the public interest.
View Future of Licensure Summit Report
The Engineering Ideas Institute
Summit 9 | July 29-30 & August 4-5, 2020.
Summit 9 featured deep dives into four of the strategic issues of the future.
Technological Driving Forces – Social Impacts of Technology / Building Capacities for Stewardship of Technology
View Technological Driving Forces Session Report
Environmentally Responsible Engineering Leadership Challenges – Building Capacities for Leading ERE Work / Leading the Change
View Environmentally Responsible Engineering Leadership Session Report
Diversity Challenges – Exploring Barriers and Enablers for Women and Under-Represented Minorities in Engineering
View Diversity Challenges in Engineering Session Report
Public Policy – Enabling Engineering Leadership in the Public Policy Arena
View Engineering Leadership in the Public Policy Arena Session Report
Exploring Bio-Medical Engineering / Climate & Extreme Weather Challenges
Summit 8 | March 10 & 11, 2020
Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute, Houston, TX. The themes of Summit 8 included exploration of the future of engineering through the lens of biomedical engineering and the stewardship role of engineers with respect to climate and extreme weather challenges, both of which are major issues for Houston and the Gulf Coast.
View Biomedical Engineering Summit Report View Environmental Leadership Summit Report
Engineering Challenges for the 21st Century
Summit 7 | October 21 & 22, 2019 | Boston, Massachusetts
Summit 7 continued the work of ECL-USA on technological driving forces that are transforming the way engineers do their work and also included a deep dive into the future of consulting engineering.
View Engineering Challenges of the 21st Century Summit Report
Engineering Ethics in a World of Rapid Technological Change / Entrepreneurship & Engineering
Summit 6 | July 15 & 16, 2019 | Berkeley, California
Summit 6 was a joint effort of ECL-USA and ECL-Canada focusing on engineering ethics in a world of rapid technological change and engineering entrepreneurship. Summit 6 was held at the historic Berkeley City Club.View Engineering Ethics Summit Report View Entrepreneurship Summit Report
K-12 Education and Engineering / Engineering and Public Policy
Summit 5 | March 5 – 6, 2019, Kansas City, Kansas
This Summit focused on K-12 Education and Engineering, and Engineers and Public Policy. Thank you Blue Valley CAPS for a great meeting facility and for introducing us to an innovative program.View Summit 5 Report
Key Concepts for the Future – Technological Change, Engineering Education, & the Intersection of Technology and Nature
Summit 4 | October 25 – 26, 2018, Denver, Colorado
The primary goals of Summit 4 were to hear from provocateurs, to explore key concepts for the lab (Technological Change, Change in the Academy, and the Intersection of Technology and Nature); and to advance the work of our focused initiative. View the Summit 4 Report.View Summit 4 Report
Vision for ECL-USA
Summit 3 | June 12 – 13, 2018, Omaha, Nebraska
At Summit 3, the attendees explored the Vision Statement’s imperative for the engineering community to serve as stewards of technology, the built and natural environments, and public health, safety and welfare, and worked on a definition of stewardship. Additionally, time was spent on expanding our understanding of and commitment to the role that the ECL-USA can play, and how we could continue to evolve the ECL-USA as a social change lab.View Summit 3 Report
Exploring the Potential of ECL-USA
Summit 2 | February 5 – 6, 2018, Omaha, Nebraska
The objectives of Summit 2 were to explore the prospect of, and process for, moving the engineering profession toward fulfilling its highest potential in the emerging future; crystallize the intent of the ECL – USA and commit to using a social laboratory approach in taking on this work; recognize and make progress on focused initiatives begun at the first summit; organize ECL – USA, including structure, participation, communication protocols, and plans for future summits.View Summit 2 Report
Evaluating the Need for ECL – USA
Summit 1 | July 31 – August 1, 2017, Omaha, Nebraska
This first Summit was convened to evaluate whether there was a need for the ECL-USA, and to gauge overall interest in the effort. The Summit heard from Engineering Change Lab – Canada, conducted scenario planning exercises, discussed other efforts ongoing in the United States, identified several initiatives, and identified next steps.View Summit 1 Report