ESJP 2013 conference: Call for Participation

The ninth annual international Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace (ESJP) conference will be held in Troy, New York, 14-16 August 2013. We invite your participation to discuss topics related to the intersection of engineering, social justice, and peace.

The program will include presentations by international experts in the field, workshops, panel discussions, and a performance. Attendees will include scholars, practitioners, engineering-for-development student groups, and representatives of funding agencies. There will also be plenty of time for structured and unstructured conversation.

Please see for additional information.

ESJP 2013 conference

The Ninth Annual International Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace Conference will take place August 14 – 16, 2013 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, USA. Host for the conference is Dean Nieusma.

IJESJP welcomes and encourages new submissions

With two issues published and the third (May 2013) taking shape, the International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace (IJEJSP) is now well on its way to become firmly established.

In order to ensure an ongoing discussion of various important topics at the intersection between engineering, social justice and peace from a broad range of perspectives, the editorial team welcomes and encourages new submissions to the journal.

If you are working on something that you think would be a good match for the journal and are interested in publishing with us you can start a submission process by following this link.

We look forward to receive your contributions and to work with you towards publication.


The IJESJP editorial team


New book: Heterotopia: Alternative pathways to social justice

We are happy to announce the availability of a new book co-authored by Caroline Baillie, John Reader, and Jens Kabo. The book is entitled Heterotopia: Alternative pathways to social justice. From the authors:

“Many of us are concerned with the structures, systems and values that we meet on a day-to-day basis. We seem to be rushing headlong to a destination not of our choosing. How did we get here and what can we do about it? This book is the result of an exploration into the ideas of transformation. What does it mean to transform the way we live, to something that we value? In this book we take on the challenge of exploring a potential transformation in one professional field, that of engineering, as an example of how we might break free of common dysfunctional discourses and enter what we call a counter hegemonic Heterotopia; – a space or place where we might dream alternative futures. The text is a unique collaboration spanning the disciplines of engineering education, philosophy and social theory.”

Please follow the link given above for more information including the book's reviews and endorsements as well as how to purchase a copy.

Moving into the cosmos… more perspectives

According to Caroline we are all in the messiness and confusion of a liminal space but certainty at different “places”.

Kaite got to direct an exercise sculpturing  a human sculpture of liminality using conference delegates.

Some feedback on exp:

Lizzie: Connected in diff ways

Jen: See people hurting and wanted to help.

Donna: stretched outside my comfort zone.

Dani: People started to lean on each other.

Dean: Not used to be in this closeness space with strangers.

Juan: Strangers?

Darlko: A crowded city bus…

Heather: When on outside would I be picked, how will it be?

Lizzie: Katie got more confortanle in how she engaged.

Katie: I knew immediately that I wanted everyone. …. You can think of it in terms of your learning (e.g. PhD), connections

Caroline: a technique which gives a way of embodiment. Drawing on Boal’s Theatre of the oppressed.

Then we watched a TED talk about hoe to build a movement in 3 minutes. The first follower is the one who transforms a lone nut to a leader. The second follower makes a crowd. Three more now we have a movement. As the group grows the others will join to not be left out. Leadership is over glorified. Really the first follower that changed the lone nut in to a leader and then the movement. So dare to be a follower and change/build a movement.

Reflections form the critical friend’s talks.

Kaite and Juan: Exclusion of business….

Carolien we will come back to that.

Doug and Darko: actually we didn’t talk about goals. … Part of what we (education) is preparing the future business leaders. …

Lilly and Astrid: We have different perspectives on “working with communities” for example ownership of projects.

Jen and Dani: Been given a lot of think about and where I (Dani) will fit into the ESJP space.

Deborah and Dean: (On Dean) Collaboration on research collaboration as part of working as a community.

Kaite and Usamn …

Heather and Andrew: Learning experience…

Jen: The balance of risk and joy. For me this meeting have been about risk of “….” and joy of community.

Lizzie:  The critical friends helped me reflect. Did not anticipate this.

Caroline: Donna had a good summary of the problematic with business.

Donna: Actually Dean.. The importance of understanding oppression.

Dean: The difference between people situated in industry and representing industry

Caroline: No one has said that certain people are not welcome, people choose this themselves. … But there need to be a space to have a discussion about ESJP without being told to shut up. ….

Eric: referring to groups in the 60s who got together around certain issues. And ESJP as a group needed a space to formulate what we are about as we are quite defined by academic and business and we need a bit more time to find this. Also important to keep some homogeneousness in terms of the questions we work with.

Dean: It’s about being critical about the institutions, the structures which lead to outcomes we don’t want, business, academic are parts of this.

Andres: reflecting on the diversity of the group of people attending this conference…

Caroline: … Everyone is welcome who is interested in doing engineering which is social just, but not people who support structures which have been proven to cause injustice. … The kind of critical reflection involved is difficult and uncomfortable.

On to ongoing activities and where we (as a community) are going.

Caroline: … It’s OK to be anti-everything except anti-capitalist…


Exercise: What are the ideal final results for our community?

Usman’s exercise about unpacking privilege

Some examples of privileges enjoined by the group:

Jen referring how she as a white person has the privilege to not to have to think about double-consciousness (in terms of race, but maybe not in terms of gender).

Dani talked about being born in Australia and thus is a native English which makes (academic) life easier.

Juan reflected on how we didn’t start with the “classical” sociological categories race, class, gender etc. but then how quickly one arrives as these when one starts to deconstruct. And then he gave an example of a society where privilege was understood in terms of where on lived as the village was situated on a hill and human waste would find its way down the hill, so the higher up the better.

Andres spoke of being born in Colombia and having access to the Anglo-Saxon world.

Heather spoke of the privilege o being able to go to university.

Jon spoke how being able to speak English give us the privilege to be at this conference. Him and I (Jens) also spoke o the privilege of comfortably belonging to shared norms in for example mass media.

Usman also challenged the myth of I’ve worked hard and thus I deserve what I got (my privileges).

Usamn then shoved a video clip from a talk with Tim Wise.

Peter shared his story how he could be here at the conf here today. Two working parents which allowed for university studies … met Caroline … dad works in Africa so frequent flyer miles to spare ad thus Peter could come here to London…

Usamn then rounded off the session with some perspectives on racism (from zine Fire it up, light a match) and the role of being an ally.

Some reflections from the check-in on Friday morning

I could not capture what everyone said…

Andres: I love this community. So much energy.

Dani: Get so much more out of this conf than others.

Lizzie: Want to work with Oz faculty about incorporating SJ themes.

Juan: I have invited Lizzie to come Colorado and talk to us. Also exited about this exercise about privilege.

Jen: Exited about all the interesting people.

Jon: Grateful, I’ve learned so much in these days. Sad when it will be over.

Mathew: Feeling practical. Wondering how themes from conversations here can be integrated to the wider engineering stream.

Dean: Not looking forward to going back and plug in the normal academic routine. This is the best conference.

Caroline: Sad to see all my friends going. Hopeful to see what we can do at a distance. Exited about that we are doing this exercise.