A novel partnership
Some needs arising from global climate change:
Fresh approaches are needed to marshal the skills, experience, and energy required to address a broad range of technical and social challenges related to avoiding or managing local and regional effects of global climate change:
● More responsible management of resources -- e.g., water for household and agricultural uses, and forest biomass for carbon capture -- that will become increasingly scarce and strategic as global warming proceeds;
● Increased reliance on low-carbon and/or renewable energy sources that avoid adding greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide and methane) and soot to the atmosphere;
● Provision of medical and veterinary care, sanitation facilities, and other infrastructure to assist people in adapting to shifts in local weather patterns and regional ecosystems brought on by global climate change; and
● Help in building the human capital (e.g., appropriately educated and aware engineering graduates) and securing the financial capital (largely from the developed world) required for developing nations to respond effectively and responsibly to climate change in a timely manner.
The opportunity and response:
ConTechs seeks to build and support intergenerational and international project teams comprised of several often-underutilized or independent resources that have not previously been brought together to address these climate-related issues. More specifically, ConTechs assembles and supports working partnerships between the following groups:
● A generation of aware and energetic university students in developing countries;
● Their professors at university, seeking to enrich their students’ education and prepare them to tackle climate-related problems on local, regional, national and global scales;
● Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local communities, and governmental entities in developing countries with first-hand knowledge of real needs and practical solutions; and
● Socially conscious first-world engineers and professional organizations with not only the skills and experience but also a strong desire to contribute personally and professionally to addressing the challenge of climate change mitigation.
Potential benefits for participants:
● University professors engaged in the teaching of engineering and related subjects in developing countries will access additional educational resources, technical contacts and expertise, and assistance with project advising that will enhance their effectiveness and satisfaction as educators.
● University students in those countries will benefit from unique educational and cross-cultural experiences and opportunities in cutting-edge technical areas related to climate change that will supplement and enrich programs provided by their home universities.
● Working engineers from developed countries will enjoy compelling volunteer experiences that apply their knowledge to socially meaningful projects while developing relationships with professional colleagues, students, and community members from different cultures.
● Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with complementary societal objectives will be able to leverage their efforts by exploiting the additional human, technical, and financial resources that partnership with ConTechs may bring.
● Communities in less-developed countries adversely impacted by global climate change will benefit from projects designed to mitigate and/or permit adaptation to these effects -- outcomes enabled by graduating students trained in climate change management and by the pursuing, with ConTechs, additional funding to help them adapt to climate change.
This page was last updated on March 14, 2011.