Moving into the cosmos…

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 feedba

ck 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 woill I be picked how will it be.

Lizzie: Kate got more confortanle in how shw engafged.

Kate: 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 bei

ng 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 a

bout 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.

Approaches to an engineering practice which is socially just

EAP’s panel within the panel on water and sanitation

1. Jonathan Parkinson, International Water Association, spoke of how sewerage are conceptualised in cities and how engineers interest in this appear to diminish the closer one gets to the households. A second issue is that waste water is rarely treated before discharge. Conclusion, one needs to focus on the sanitation around houses. On a positive note, there are some examples of initiatives which try to address this (Orangi Pilot Project in Pakistan), but they are limited.

2. Meena Varma, Dalit Solidarity Network, spoke of the horrendous situation of the dalits situation especially in the South East Asia. Eg. Forced to manually scavenge human excrement from public and private dry latrines despite legislation outlawing the practice, but even were this is enforced dalit men are still lowered into open drains to unblock blocks without any protective gear. Worst job in the world – cleaning up other people’s shit!

3. David Satterthwaite, International Institute for Environment and Development, spoke of the problems of help organisations reluctance to help (in a good way) in urban areas lacking sewers. There are examples of local initiatives such as the Organgi project which have been successful both in terms of implementation, results, and cost effectiveness (e.g. no or little need for external funding). Conclusions, talk to the people living without sanitation, draw on local knowledge and expertise and then integrate these local systems into the bigger urban systems.

4. Emanuele Lobina, PSIRU, spoke of an alternative scheme of addressing sanitation issues in developing countries. Historically public funding and services have provided sanitation in developed countries, e.g. no cost recovery. In contrast this is currently not done very much when doing project in developing countries which often rely on private actors and cost recovery. Also, important to focus efforts in the Sub-Saharan region as areas as India have more recourses to solve the problem by themselves.

5. John Kandulu, WaterAid, spoke of the organisation Wateraid’s efforts to improve access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. Get communities and households to get to the first step of improving their sanitation, i.e. no faeces on the surface. WaterAid works with locals to find solutions that are suitable for the locals. Are solutions like these replicable elsewhere etc.

The rest of the panel

Jaime Arturo Bastidas Legarda spoke of the situation of displaced victims due to the armed conflict (between armed groups outside the law) in Colombia and his research is relation to this.

Andrew Fox spoke of a proposed project (Promoting social equity for disabled people in Gambia) he, Ebou Faye Njie others would like to carry out in Gambia addressing equity for the disabled and how the engineering community has and can interact/promote this issue and what role engineers can play in this project. The project is being developed by people in Gambia and was initiated by Ebou Faye Njie. At this time the project team is being put together.

Darko Matovic spoke of his role in the Waste for Life project coordinated by Caroline Baillie and Eric Feinblatt. Especially he expanded on some of the technical aspects of the hot press at the centre of the project and sent around some of valets made out of which have been made as prototype products.

Some comments from the Reconceptualising engineers and engineering practice panel

Eric: Guilds and apprenticeships are not unproblematic.

Andres: Usman is engineering inherently militarist, white supremacist, patriarchal etc.?

Usman: I think we can say there is a mindset of listening to authority, but was makin

g generalisations. I think we…

Andres: So you say YES. Usman: … YES. Dean: If it really is so, why are we here?

Others: Yeah.

Doug: Referring back to the relevance of Heidegger’s question of “What is the essence of technology?”

Chris Rose: Nothing can be inherently anything. In ancient times eng was as much about complex magical devises as problem solving.

Andres: Discourse analysis of engineering… If we want to do something we need to change what engineering means…

Session Panel session service learning – in the service of social justice

Thursday, August 5, 2010 ESJP Conference, London Typed by Lisa McLoughlin Panel session service learning: in the service of social justice

Dean Nieusma: Public participation in engineering design practice

We are all going together where my abstract points.

I am inviting you all to participate in the participatory action research project which was framed at this conference last year: the questions, approaches, and answers all evolve together and change together—the idea is to frame a bigger ambitios project and anyone who wants to participate can take ownership and contribute.

The abstract is a piece of the project I have taken ownership for and I am ask you to participate.’’

The 3 facets of organization: Research, taking care of the group, practice <<<<<(?) 4 areas from last year 1)skills inventory 2) past-current research of yours central to SJP work 3) questions you would like answered about ESJP work 4) main approaches to ESJP you employ----how and where you do ESJP work- compiling these gets an interesting concept In conversations yesterday a 5th item came up: in the spirit of the bibliography, a clearinghouse list of people who are doing work in this area already. For me this would be bounded by people who are explicitly attending to social power. Feel free to email me about any of the above. I agree to coordinate the ongoing research project which will change from year to year. Neiusma at rpi.edu My research (see the abstract) I am interested in expertise as a concept mostly because when we use expertise we have in our mind a muddled mix of specialized knowledge and institutional authority. Lots of people have specialized knowledge that we do not automatically assume as expert---people who are not recognized as experts legitimately are not entitled to speak. Decisions that impact your life should have your input, but often these people are not allowed to speak (e.g. a village in Shri

Jen, Jon, and Juan’s workshop

Some additional notes:

Six mindsets in engineering Positivism and the myth of objectivity Commitment to problem solving Desire to help and Persistence Centrality of Military/Corporate Organizations Narrow technical focus and lack of other skills U

ncritical Acceptance of Authority

Our group focused on Mindset 5 and 6. Some comments:

Caroline: I’m uncomfortable with the assumption with engineers only having a narrow technical

Jen: How can we help engineering faculty understand the own privilege (if they are stuck in a narrow mindset)?

Darko: My wife’s social group organises a role play/work shop called “Poverty challenge” with local … where they have to deal with social security etc.

Caroline: EWB Oz also use role-plays and we tried one in my class and I was grateful to regain my power as teacher. [So very powerful]

Ellie: Making the connections visible important. Adapt role-plays etc to persons and context. Exploring one’s own privilege is uncomfortable. Take a role easier.

Usman: If not “real”/personal then likely not really change how people think. For example, make people realise that they might be rich due to the existence of poor people.

Katy: Use a light point questionnaire (multiple choice) to let people score themselves to potentially make them see their own blind spots.

Darko and Ellie expanded on this.

More on Donna and Katy’s workshop

Donna Riley and Katy Haralampides, drawing on Ursula Franklin’s ideas of scrupling encouraged, us to think of our own experiences of situations when we ourselves have been acting for (promoting) social justice and then in small group share and try to

come up with examples/ways of how we can use/transfer/draw on these strategies/experiences in our ESJP work.

Juan’s group drawing on Lizzie’s experience from EWB Oz suggested that maybe trying to formulate/frame ESJP issues through formulas and models might be a way to get acceptance from other engineering faculty etc. However, if this was done then the essential human relationships fundamental for these issues would be lost, so it would be a bit pointless.

Lastly, we, in small groups, brainstormed about actions that the ESJP network can take collectively. Some suggestions were:

• Bring community members from different parts of the world together.
• Training courses in the south.
• Encourage student participation in the ESJP network.
• To share outcomes of this ESJP meeting in relevant contexts in our home countries.
• Institute ESJP awards…
• Initiate scrupling events in our own local (engineering) communities for example during wine and cheese.
• A global exercise done simultaneously in different classes and contexts.
• What does informed citizenry look like and how can engineering contribute?
• Activism at main conferences – provocative posters on SJ themes.
• ESJP ambassadors – students? – to go into classes etc.
• Pro-bono engineering, with out profit societies.
• Rip down unethical job postings?
• Database of ESJP case studies.
• Pointing to existing ESJP curricula around the globe for the benefit for educators and students at other institutions.

The basics and the beginnings

The conference opened with a short welcome and introduction of the RSA by Matthew Taylor (RSA’s chief executive).

Caroline Baillie, the conference organizer, then dedicated the conference to the memory of Maren Somers.

Then all conference parti

cipants in attendance introduced themselves, Caroline gave a short introduction and overview of the history of the ESJP network, and some of the “old timers” shared their stories of how they come to be interested in engineering in relation to social justice and peace issues and came in contact with the ESJP network and how their experience and the network has evolved over the years.

Then we did a short exercise using postcards of William Blake paintings to find our critical friend for the conference, with whom attendees throughout the conference can discuss and reflect on their experience.