2020 was a significant year for Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB UK) as it marked the 10-year countdown to meet UN Global Sustainable Development Goals. These targets are crucial because they focus not just on climate change, but on the need to deliver a sustainable quality of life for everyone on the planet. This approach is vital to EWB UK, who view engineering through a holistic lens – with technology implicitly linked to the communities and ecosystems where it will be present.
As an agency focused on marketing for technical businesses Publitek provides pro-bono support to EWB UK. In the recent past this has encompassed live events, but in 2020 this was naturally not possible, so we spent the year working to broaden EWB UK’s field of influence through producing engaging content and amplifying it through their own platforms and the media.
With the 10 year UN deadline looming, EWB UK has been reinforcing the message that they are not solely a student-focused organisation. Simply put, the climate emergency can’t be put on hold for graduation and there is a cohort of engineers already in place that have the power to influence change across all industries and disciplines.
In November 2020, working with Engineers Without Borders organisations from around the world, EWB UK released an Open Letter calling for an update of engineering ethics teaching to include critical thinking, comprehension of ethical issues and broader appreciation of the importance of social sciences within an engineering context.
Publitek supported this activity by extending the existing ‘Changemaker’ content on the EWB UK website. Using its PR skills Publitek began interviewing a wider pool of people, all who have been involved with the organisation as students and practising engineers, and have progressed to produce tangible examples of how it is possible to take a sustainable approach to engineering projects – regardless of sector or industry.
Our multilingual PR team have been lucky to talk both to individual engineers and those working within corporate partner organisations – all operating in incredibly diverse fields from building flood defences, to energy generation in Kenya, from mining in South Africa and America to developing green power for National Trust properties and those promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry.
At a corporate level, we’ve been supporting the growth of partnerships that can help advance EWB UK’s mission. Last month saw the start of an exciting collaboration with Electrocomponents, who will be sponsoring the annual Engineering For People Design Challenge. We’ve even teamed up with the IET’s much-respected E&T Magazine for a quarterly column – to regularly cover ethical engineering topics for its readership and inspire a shift in perceptions around sustainability within their organisations.
Engineering is an inherently collaborative discipline and this is at the heart of our work for Engineers Without Borders UK – uniting engineers, students and businesses to create a more equitable future for our planet.