Message from OSPE President & Chair
Now that I’ve had some time to settle into my role as President, I’d like to share the three main goals from OSPE’s Strategic Plan Engineering the Future Together that I am focused on implementing throughout my tenure.
Goal 1 – Solidify OSPE’s position as a place where engineers gather, share experience and provide recommendations on issues facing society and the profession
OSPE currently has six active advocacy Committees and Task Forces – Energy, Environment, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), Infrastructure, Research & Innovation and the Women in Engineering Advocacy Champions Task Force (WE ACT) – that are committed to conducting research, creating policy recommendations for government, and engaging all OSPE members and other stakeholders in advocacy work to ensure our voice as a profession is heard. As President, I am helping to streamline their work so that OSPE is presenting solid solutions to government leading up to and at our annual Lobby Day and MPP Reception in April 2020.
Throughout the summer, OSPE’s Task Forces have been collaborating to develop a National Strategy document, which will be presented at our Federal Election Roundtable on October 9 in Toronto. This event will involve a discussion with the engineering community and local politicians running for office federally, giving them the opportunity to respond and speak to how their party platforms address issues that impact our profession.
Goal 2 – Delivering high-caliber events that position OSPE as the convener of collaboration and knowledge-sharing between industry, government and academic institutions
In June 2019, OSPE hosted its Women in Engineering Forum It’s Time We Build in Kitchener, where 300 attendees discussed the benefits and differences between mentorship and sponsorship, and worked together to come up with actionable solutions to help women succeed in engineering. On November 6, 2019, OSPE will be hosting The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Imperative in Ottawa, where we’re expecting more than 1,000 people to come together to examine the current reality of inclusion in the workplace and collaborate in a session to tackle key issues that are impeding progress. In February 2020, OSPE will be hosting How to Change the World, an experiential education program that provides an intense and enriching educational experience where participants meet and collaborate with a highly diverse network of colleagues motivated to bring their skills to bear on complex societal challenges.
These are just a few examples of how OSPE is leading the industry to come together to have critical conversations that will impact Ontario and Canada’s future.
Goal 3 – Extend OSPE’s reach in communities across the province by launching six OSPE Exchange Hubs
Last but not least, OSPE has launched six Exchange Hubs across the province. OSPE Exchange Hubs are community gathering points for our members to share, discuss and contribute to OSPE initiatives and priorities where they live and work. The goal of OSPE’s Exchange Hubs is to ensure we are engaging as many OSPE members as possible in advocacy work, so we can all get involved in leading critical conversations and shaping public policy on complex issues related to engineering. For more information on how to get involved, click here.
I look forward to reporting OSPE’s progress on these important goals in upcoming issues of The Voice, and I hope you will share your voice and get involved in these activities.
Message from OSPE CEO
Engineers have always been the designers and creative thinkers behind the greatest contributions to society. However, the world is changing rapidly and the major shifts in the environment, economy and technology sectors have been the call to action to engineers. Engineers need to be at the forefront of the decision-making process for new government policies in this changing and complex society. OSPE exists to advocate for engineers and we are dedicated to supporting their leadership. In May, we released Engineering the Future Together as an actionable plan to support engineers in their role in shaping public policy. The foundation of the plan is built on three pillars: Engineers Lead, Engineers Care, and Engineers Unite. The world is shifting, and the impact that engineers will make is more crucial now than it has been before.
With the globalization of economics and trade, accelerating technology, and changes in the environment, engineers need to lead the development of new technology. However, engineers must also become responsible leaders in the conversation regarding the implications of new innovations. At OSPE, we form our recommendations using an evidence-based approach and build our profile as the go-to source for engineering insight and expertise. Whether it is security issues, climate change, migration, or equality, engineers need to be involved in developing solutions that benefits all of society.
Engineers must always act in the best interest of the public. They have a duty to work towards enhancing the quality of life for everyone. While many of these inventions have their benefits, it is not enough for engineers to design products without considering their societal impacts. As such, empathy is a crucial component of the designing phase of a product. However, this skill is often traded with feasibility. Engineers must create through the lens of benefiting society to remain a relevant profession in the future. The solution begins with a more diverse and inclusive workforce to challenge the current practices in developing innovations that make the world a better place for everyone.
The success of society depends on an engineer’s ability to connect, collaborate, and contribute with others. OSPE understands the importance of engineers engaging in conversations on public policies and collaborating with people outside the engineering community to develop solutions. OSPE is excited to launch six Exchange Hubs at various university campuses across Ontario this fall as platforms where students, engineers and other professionals can gather to discuss current challenges and create solutions. OSPE Exchange Hubs will provide members with an opportunity to provide greater input on OSPE’s policy positions, which will assist OSPE’s policy team in advocating for the engineering profession to governments, media, and the public. Together, we can strengthen and amplify the voice of engineers through OSPE.
The future for engineers is promising and OSPE is dedicated to supporting these leaders throughout the challenging journey. Together, we are committed to changing how the world views engineers. Currently, engineers are responsible for serving their communities, but it is now time for them to lead. OSPE stands behind engineers and through Engineering the Future Together, we will move engineers forward into a new direction.