Diversity is key to increasing engineering capacity, say UNESCO

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New report highlights equal opportunities as key driver to increase engineering capacity.

Engineering needs to transform itself to become more innovative, inclusive, cooperative and responsible, according to a major new report issued by UNESCO.

Engineering for Sustainable Development: Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals, published earlier this month, highlights the critical role engineers play in achieving the 17 UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and says that equal opportunities for all is key to addressing the current skills shortage in the engineering sector.

The report also notes that “the unprecedented situation presented by the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the interconnected nature of societies and how scientific innovations, through the effective implementation of engineering, can increase resilience.”

UNESCO’s report presents an essential snapshot of engineering innovations and actions contributing to meeting the SDGs, with authors’ contributions from every region of the world. It highlights the crucial role of engineering in achieving each of the SDGs and explains why it is vital to engage the engineering profession and enable engineering to address many complex issues such as climate change.

Highlighting the global effort needed to address the specific regional disparities, the report summarises engineering trends across the world’s different regions. It describes how engineering innovations and new technologies, especially those using communication and information technologies, including data, are transforming the world for the better. Crucially, it demonstrates how bridging traditional divisions between disciplines and adopting an inter- and multidisciplinary approach in engineering is vital to solving today’s global issues, including climate change.

By showcasing case studies, approaches, and possible solutions, the report highlights how and why engineering is key to addressing basic human needs, including alleviating poverty, ensuring clean water supply and energy, responding to and preparing for natural disasters, constructing resilient infrastructure and assisting in bridging the development divide.

UNESCO expects that the report will serve as a key reference for governments, engineering organisations, academia and industry to forge global partnerships and advocate for collaboration in engineering to ensure the timely delivery of the SDGs and a resilient future.

Click here to Download UNESCO’s Engineering for Sustainable Development report.

The report was prepared in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the International Centre for Engineering Education, based at Tsinghua University, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations and other international engineering organisations.