Doing things differently – Civilution Congress 2014

15 January 2014

CIVILUTION. A concept of doing things differently and backed by so many positive people who are determined to contribute towards things being done differently and better for the collective good, as well as for their own organisations.

“Arising from South Africa’s history, the evolution of civil engineering, the possible need for far-reaching changes in the way things are done, and the recent moves to greater unity of engineering in Africa SAICE have coined the term CIVILUTION. Many of the issues facing civil engineering, including those raised in this address, are contentious and there will be very divergent views and disparate aspirations. Also, much that is required will take us out of our comfort zones and could be perceived as being against our own self-interest, thereby requiring a CIVILUTION.”

“The term CIVILUTION aptly illustrates what we need to do to redress the parlous state of our industry, namely to raise and address controversial issues that will enable our members to fulfil their rightful roles, and for the industry to provide an improved service to the various constituencies that benefit from civil engineering.”

Shortly after the above words were written, it became apparent that engineering bodies across all disciplines, as well as non-engineering organisations have the same concerns and challenges as SAICE. Consequently, the CIVILUTION movement has grown beyond merely one discipline of engineering.

Several organisations from the various engineering disciplines, registering bodies, industry representatives and commerce have agreed to work together.

CIVILUTION is now a movement for civil society
This broadening of the movement is welcomed, as collectively we can achieve much more than we would be able to attain as individual organisations.
The participating organisations meet regularly under the umbrella of the ‘Civilution Forum’. The Forum has identified seven cross-cutting challenges that are receiving attention.

The cross- cutting challenges can be summarised as follows, in no order of priority:

• technical capacity and the retention of professionals in the public sector;
• engineering education and enhancing the suitability of graduates; N dealing swiftly with irregularities in the engineering and allied industries;
• participation in the National Development Plan and other public sector initiatives aimed at economic/social development and the enhancement of infrastructure as well as of service delivery; N technical leadership and learned society functions;
• public and government awareness of the importance of engineering professionals as well as of the engineering industry; and
• career guidance in schools.
These organisations are participating in the upcoming Civilution Congress to be held at Emperors Palace, Gauteng, from 6 to 8 April 2014. The congress is aimed at mustering the collective wisdom of stakeholders to propose workable and tested improvements which we must make, or which we can confidently advocate that others can make, to do things differently and better with a view to improving the state of our nation, and indeed of our sub-region of Africa.

Engineering Professionals are encourage to attend the congress and to participate actively in the deliberations so that we can advocate positive, workable and value-adding interventions that are born from the collective wisdom of experienced, knowledgeable and unbiased professionals.

CIVILUTION is in its infancy and requires all the support and assistance that the participating organisations can muster.

Let us all embrace our own CIVILUTION and be prepared to move out of our comfort zones, even into the realm of actions that might be perceived to be against our own self-interest, in order to play our own parts in doing things differently and better, thereby contributing to the sustainability of our profession and the planet.

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