Thursday, February 24, 2011

Engineers Without Borders Student Conference!

There is something that I've been keeping a secret from the Engineer-Chic space for some time now, but now that things are actually in motion, I'm so excited to blog about it!

So a quick recap about EWB (Engineers Without Borders) in South Africa. UCT is the only university that has been engaging in projects so far, with a few of the other campuses having just pulled together a committee. The group at UCT took about 3-4 years of planning, getting people involved and figuring how to do things before they were able to secure some funding, start engaging in projects and have the university take them seriously. The other university groups are going through much of the same right now, and I just think that it would be ridiculous to leave them to figure out things for themselves! There is much to say about institutional learning, and so much that we can share with others to help them get off the ground much faster than we did!

But for this to happen, we need to get all the students together from the various Universities in SA who have already been showing initiative in EWB.

So here's the plan:

To host EWB SA's first ever national event: a Leadership Training Conference!
The conference will fly 4-5 students from 5 SA Universities (other unis/ techs will follow in time), who have already shown interest in EWB and leadership initiative to a central location. On this conference, delegates will be introduced to EWB and will attend workshops that will teach them everything they need to know about starting and running a student chapter! Skills such as how to write a funding proposal, how to select the right kind of project and how to ensure the projects you complete are sustainable, and aligned with the interests and needs of the community you're serving are just some of the exciting things we're thinking about!

The LTC will also get EWB-enthusiastic engineers together as guest speakers, mentors and stakeholders. Apart from being an awesome networking opportunity, the conference might also serve to get a whole lot of the brightest minds in engineering together, to think about EWB and to help mold and shape our organisation into the future! 

I'm so excited about this, and just know it will be an awesome success. But I want to know what you think.  Do you think this is a great idea and if you do, can you think of ideas for speakers/ themes and key skills we should include in our program?

Email Engineer-Chic with your suggestions!  

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!


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Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this post. I love getting feedback from readers!