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, from infrastructure and energy systems to digital twins and artificial intelligence to gene splicing and bio-printing.
In today’s world, the power and reach of new technologies is ever-expanding, and the pace of technological change is accelerating. Now more than ever, it is imperative that those of us involved in the creation and application of all types of technology consider the social, environmental, and ethical impacts of our work. Engineering Change Lab – USA’s (ECL) latest summit introduced the work of Engineering Change Lab – Canada in Technological Stewardship (TS) 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.
Mark Abbott, Director of ECL-Canada and Director of Tech Stewardship at MaRS Discovery District, kicked off the summit by recapping their eight-year journey that has resulted in their current focus on catalyzing and supporting a TS movement. The main purpose of ECL-Canada’s TS Practice Program is to ensure that technology is beneficial for all by impacting the creators and implementors of technology, such as the Engineering Community. The TS Practice Program is founded on three core commitments.
- Advance Understanding
- Deliberate Values
- Practice Behaviors