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Overview

The full conference schedule is now available:

unitetounlock2015.sched.org

Speakers, sessions and descriptions are being updated and added daily. Please check back regularly for more info.

If you have already registered for the event, you will soon receive your log in information for sched.org so you can begin to choose your sessions!

5 Global Systems

At EWB, we work in both Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa to maximize our impact in five systems of global importance.

Throughout the conference we will look at examples of injustice and innovation in each of these areas and dive into discussion around our role as individuals and as a community to change those systems that we live and work in.

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Engineering Leaders for the 21st Century

Canada is the world’s largest exporter of engineering services. Thus, Canadian engineers are uniquely positioned to influence the entire global sector.

Influenced by sustainability and social justice lenses, we work to transform the engineer’s identity and practice, putting paramount importance on global public welfare. Read More


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Small and Growing Businesses that Deliver Social Value

Job creation and economic activity from small and growing businesses is crucial to country-level development results. As entrepreneurs and embedded intrapreneurs, we are uniquely positioned to contribute to unlocking the growth and impact of social businesses. Read more


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Triple Bottom Line for Canadian Mining Companies

With Canada’s substantial investment in African mining ($31.6 billion in 2011), Canadians have a responsibility to lead. We work to ensure that all people benefit from resource extraction in their country, and that Canadian mining companies are the best in the world at creating positive social outcomes. Read More


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Adaptive Public Services

For government spending to yield effective service delivery, public institutions need to adapt in response to new social needs in a low resource context. We work with government institutions in Canada and Africa to build their evolutionary capacity. Read More


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Inclusive Food Systems

The 2008 global food crisis is a compelling reminder that resilient food systems are vital to sustainable development. In a field that has competing ideologies, we apply our systems thinking approach to foster behaviour change toward accessible procurement, sustainable production, and responsible consumption.Read more

 

The Engineering Change Lab

We will be launching the 1st ever change lab focused on the future of the engineering profession at Unite to Unlock 2015!

Engineers Without Borders and Engineers Canada are convening a group of leading organizations that represent a microcosm of the engineering profession in Canada to launch a Change Lab at the conference that will be focused on unlocking the higher potential of the engineering profession in Canada.

We have engaged the support of world renowned Adam Kahane and Monica Pohlmann from Reos Partners to guide this process.

What is a Change Lab?

Change Labs (or Social Labs) are an approach to tackling big, complex societal problems or opportunities that are too big for any one organization to tackle, but rather require distributed leadership across organizations.  LabHere are some examples of other labs from the Reos website.

It’s similar to a science lab in that you build a lab in order to run multiple experiments over time in order to achieve a bigger goal.  In the case of a Change Lab, you “build it” by bringing together leaders from organizations representing a microcosm of the system you are trying to change.  Lab participants work together to define the scope of the lab and determine the experiments they want to run or support that will fundamentally challenge the status quo.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Lab approach, check out the Social Labs Revolution by Zaid Hassan of Reos Partners.

How will it work at conference?

We have carefully selected and engaged 30 plus senior leaders to participate in the launch of the Lab at conference, each representing a different organization (university, regulator, association, civil society group, or company).

The Lab Participants will both spend time integrated with the overall conference and behind closed doors working to launch the Lab.  There will be a dedicated war-room within the conference space for the closed door sessions.

The Lab and its participants will be introduced early in the conference to help encourage interaction between conference delegates and the Lab Participants – both within sessions and during the break times.  In this way, the broad conference conversations will help shape the formation of the Lab.

In addition to launching the Lab, Adam will be one of the conference keynotes and Adam will run an open conference session so that all conference delegates will have a chance to learn about the Lab process and consider how it might be applied in various settings.

What might it look like post conference?

Each Lab looks different depending on the scope of the problem and how the lab participants decide to structure themselves, but to give you a sense here’s what a potentially similar lab looks like: it has been running for 2+ years, requires between 1 to 2 full time equivalents of staff time, was initially limited to no more than 30 participants each dedicating around 15 days of their time per year, physically convenes 3 or 4 times per year, either directly or indirectly supports multiple experiments, and maintains a strong emphasis on measuring tangible progress.

The idea is that the Lab will provide a platform that will allow EWB and other organizations to generate and highlight potentially transformative efforts within the engineering system in Canada and strengthen relationships that will allow for more deeply collaborative efforts.