Dr. Calestous Juma
A Few Thoughts on Engineering Peaceful and Inclusive Societies
By Dr. Calestous Juma
“The first step in pursuing peace is to enhance human capabilities by expanding engineering education.”
Much of the conflict around the world is a result of social inequities that undermine societies’ ability to pursue sustainable development. The focus on expanding human capabilities helps society to look to an open, positive, and prosperous future. This is in contrast with a world in which the future appears closed with little opportunity for growth. Such a worldview is a major source of conflict, and individuals and communities resort to competing for seemingly limited resources instead of deploying their creativity to expand opportunities. Such inequities make it difficult for communities to leverage the world’s scientific and technological knowledge and use it to advance development.
It is widely acknowledged that science and technology has an important role to play in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To appreciate the importance of science and technology we have to focus on the view that implementing the SDGs is a practical matter involving the application of useful knowledge encoded in engineering practices.
Such useful knowledge needs to meet two key criteria. It needs to be accessible and be based on inspirational lessons. The field of engineering offers the best possibility for combining these criteria into practical programmes that can show results within a generation.READ MORE