Get Shouty

Challenges for the 21st Century
February 19, 2008, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy

With input from people around the world an international group of leading technological thinkers were asked to identify the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. Now their conclusions are revealed on this Web site.

I particularly love the list of remarkable technology challenges for the 21st century, imagined to be presented to the National Academy of Engineering in 2101, by the first person (a Purdue graduate, of course) to step onto the surface of Mars.

Ages ago I was having an enjoyable shouting match with Rob Campbell in part about the nature of innovation- but mostly about how to inspire young people.

What I’ve learned from the recent groups we’ve done with University students is that they are (in the main) exited about the dramatically changing world they live in- they talk about technology as a connecting and equalising force, that social entrepreneurship will save the world where governments can’t and that they are confident that they have the skills to navigate a world that doesn’t exist now but that they will create. They’re not waiting for anyone to facilitate their future.

Rob has just told me he was involved in the creation with the Engineering site- nice one Cobber!

And I’ve been working on a project, to create a compelling challenge to match energy and enthusiasm with experience and opportunity, a challenge for economic activists. Pre-launch info here:


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

What an amazing thing. Interesting to see that making solar power economical was top of the voting when I went there.

Comment by neilperkin

It wasn’t a shouting match – it was pure love 🙂

I should clarify our involvement was more because we are incharge of developing the core strat/ideas that will more encourage people to take up engineering rather than being deeply involved in this specific project. Brilliant though isn’t it – and there’s much more to come.

And I LOVE your figureditoutyet? stuff.

To make accountancy seem interesting has to be the hardest brief in the World. Top work!

Comment by Rob

Sure, this list is interesting, and as a summary of teh problems we face it is quite accurate. But most of these items are either so vaguely defined as to be useless (‘engineer better medicine’ for example) or are not strictly engineering problems at all (for example “prevent nuclear terror).

I have written more about this here –

Comment by TomScrace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: