Photo: Annual General Meeting panel from left to right: Rod MacLeod, Bob van den Berg, Greg Miller, David Saunders, Stephen Morley, David Thomson, Hillary Tedoldi
Innovation Realities was the theme of this year’s successful Annual General Meeting and Conference held in Ottawa from June 7 – 9.
It’s always good to see representatives from our Chapters and to reconnect with academics and industry delegates. Among the attendees were OACETT’s strategic partners and representatives from our sister associations in Alberta and British Columbia; the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers; the Ontario Association of Architects; the Consulting Engineers of Ontario; Professional Engineers of Ontario; Skills Canada, Ontario; the Canadian Standards Association; and Algonquin College.
Status Quo not an Option
You may recall that last year I said that the status quo was not an option. This year’s Executive Council discussion reinforced that position as we highlighted the many innovative initiatives underway. Initiatives such as the provisional committee that will establish Technology Accreditations Canada to review college engineering technology and applied science courses; enhanced government relations outreach; the task of succession planning; and our Fletcher Foundation’s aggressive fund-raising campaign to establish everlasting bursaries at each of Ontario’s colleges. We also focused on our new use of technologies. For the first time, we live-streamed our AGM, live-blogged on Twitter, and video-taped all sessions for use with our social media sites.
We innovated at the conference as well. In addition to our panel session, we introduced a technology workshop that highlighted the work of several of our members. Presenters shared information on: Resurrecting the Diefenbunker, research on the non-linear behaviour of railway vehicles on straight tracks, and lessons learned from a starting a business during tough economic times. Other members presented their work in large-scale displays. Articles on each of the presenters’ work will be in the July/August issue of The Ontario Technologist.
Drivers of Change
Futurist and author, Richard Worzell talked to us about the drivers of change and how these factors will impact our professions. Not too surprisingly, drivers include evolving technology and changing demographics. Getting a glimpse into how these things will change our work was very interesting. For example: What aspects of our jobs might be replaced by technology? What pressures to infrastructure will be placed on our aging cities as new Canadians flock to urban centres?
At the President’s Dinner, Robert Gillett, president of Algonquin College, spoke about the strength and importance of Algonquin’s relationship with OACETT and the Fletcher Foundation bursary. He also talked about the demand to deliver more education online and the pressure on college budgets to meet this demand. He said that education has moved from bricks to bricks and clicks but that “anywhere/anytime education” is still two to three years away.
For More Information
I hope this whets your appetite for more information. I encourage you to read about our new approaches in the next issue of The Ontario Technologist. We’ll post photos and information on our website (www.oacett.org and click on News & Publications – Council Updates) as well as on our social media sites. If you’re on Twitter, you can find a stream of events at @OACETT using #OACETT2012.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Rod MacLeod, C.E.T.