Feb 21, 2022
RE22-011 - Earth Source: A Communication and Mentoring Platform for Sustainable Choices, Practices and Solutions
In Final Submissions
The engineering sector has a duty to be more globally responsible. There are many initiatives designed to inspire young people, and whilst informing our future generations is one of the most important things we can do, we believe that current professionals also need to make a change now. Our solution is to do just that through a collaborative platform called Earth Source: “A communication and mentoring platform that allows professionals to make sustainable choices, practices, and solutions.” The concept came about due to a recognised gap in the industry in the networking potential between professionals, particularly related to sustainability. Information that is passed along is typically only from your immediate network. This reduces the potential for knowledge sharing for junior or newer professionals, or those within smaller companies, something that we cannot afford on the sustainability front. Earth Source aims to bridge the knowledge gap, bringing together specialists and innovators from across disciplines, to discuss relevant sustainable solutions. Ultimately, Earth Source shall be a platform that hosts people from a wide, diverse range of disciplines, backgrounds, and cultures to ensure inclusivity. Diversity of opinion is known to be good when designing solutions, and Earth Source will optimise this through provision of rich sources of sustainable design products, that are freely available for all to view. Posts themselves are to be verified by individuals who have both created a viewable profile on the site, and signed both the site’s Code of Conduct, as well as the EWB-UK "Globally Responsible Engineer" Commitments, to reduce the risk of trolling on the site. Users and collaborators can interact and engage with posts, tagging them with Sustainable Development Goal references, sector-relevant hashtags, and up-voting innovative and effective solutions. Users are anticipated to be members of the public and professionals from a multitude of disciplines, including government, contractors, industry and those in educational and research institutions. Inclusion enables collaborative discussions to further the understanding and implementation of sustainable processes across the globe. All users’ profiles are to include information on interests and expertise, for ease of other users identifying relevant people to assist with sustainability enquiries. There will also be the functionality for person-to-person mentoring. This is with the aim of widening the networks of all professionals. Best practice will be promoted across the site. This is to be achieved by users working their way through levels of the site, accruing “Champion” status in the following categories through active and beneficial engagement: Learner Collaborator Creator Mentor Editor/Reviewer Earth Source is to be funded through an inclusively-designed membership structure, with fee banding based on individual affordability matrix. It is anticipated that funding will also be gained through advertisements of sustainable products and services. To promote Earth Source’s standing and credibility, we will partner with other institutions, organisations, community groups and notable individuals. We believe that Earth Source provides a unique solution to the current gap of sustainability-knowledge sharing and will make engineering more globally responsible, by opening the conversation to diverse voices.
Feb 11, 2022
In Concept Notes Workspace
Climate change and biodiversity loss are the greatest challenges of our time. For our generations to have any hope of contributing to the fight against these challenges, we must adopt sustainability as the key objective in all of our work moving forward. We believe that global cooperation and inclusivity are key requirements to achieving modern, sustainable solutions. Current practice needs to evolve to encompass all these factors now. Our team has held meetings to discuss each individual’s background, experience, and what they wish to see for the future. One item that popped up several times was the sharing of knowledge between people, and how status, hierarchy, perceptions, and limited networks impeded the sharing of knowledge on a significant scale. Our proposal is to create a global, multidisciplinary, collaborative platform, where people can share their sustainable solutions stories. These people could be anyone from industry experts to recent graduates who have identified a more sustainable way of working. We would hope to include anecdotes from people of all backgrounds, identifying precedents that can be used to push forward sustainable design practices that might otherwise not have been known about, to every country in the world. The title of “Champion” could be allocated to contributors, to incentivise knowledge sharing in a world where companies tend to hold onto their secrets in order to maximise their own gains. This “Champion” concept has been adapted from the Institute of Civil Engineers Carbon Champion initiative, and we would hope to work collaboratively with such prestigious institutions such as the ICE, Royal Academy of Engineering, and Engineers Without Borders, in order to lend credibility and legitimacy to the content. We, as the Engineering community, have a responsibility to affect change, and it is key that we share knowledge as widely as possible to achieve this change.