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A strategic foresight event was held November 24-26 in Toronto. The session engaged a wide range of voices in a collaborative session to look holistically at the engineering profession, anticipate emerging shifts and identify the implications for the accreditation system and the academic requirement for engineering licensure. Given everything changing in the world around us and within our own systems, we aimed to tackle a big question: what will the engineer of the future need to do? As a result of the gathering, we achieved greater shared understanding of the skills and competencies required of engineers as well as the shifting environment around engineering practice and engineering education. Learn more about the findings from the event.

Over the summer, the foresight event design team met regularly to formulate the strategic foresight exercises. We collected and analyzed a wide set of “signals of change” and used them to build plausible future scenarios in which engineers may need to operate. Based on the design team’s input, we developed three scenarios which describe continuation, collapse, and discipline futures which participants got to experience through various activities and exercises at the session.

A strategic foresight approach invites us to design for a future we cannot predict or control by investigating our assumptions and uncertainties about the future. By suspending our disbelief, we can reach new insights and ideas while better preparing ourselves to respond to emergent conditions.

Outputs from the 2-day session will be used to design desktop simulation exercises. These simulations will ask participants to design and simulate potential purposes of accreditation and academic requirements that will respond to the challenges and futures identified at the 2-day event.