The number of countries represented here is impressive. They include:
USA Canada Mexico Colombia Chile Virgin Islands Ghana South Africa Malaysia China Australia UNEP Spain Sweden Belgium Denmark Austria Netherlands Lithuania Italy Ireland Finland Germany UK
In addition to what look like half-decent keynotes, there are three parallel sessions focusing on:
[A] Teaching & learning, [B] Curriculum development, and [C]. Alternative pedagogies.
I'm drawn to the presentations in B, though I'd really like to dip in and out (how many time do we say that? ...) which looks impossible. Anyway, the point is that there's something to look forward to.
The first keynote was by Paul Jowitt, of Heriot Watt. It was entertaining enough, and certainly broad-ranging, but it hinted a matter's inwardness rather too often, only to leave the poor listener wanting more. I thought it rather underdone as a talk.
A key theme was the need to integrate course programmes from the outset, rather than differentiate them. This "upside-down approach" (neatly illustrated by a picture of a cake) was a useful metaphor throughout the address. He also told us of his, as yet, futile attempts to update Tredgold's 1828 definition of civil engineering in its Royal charter, making it into something that takes society seriously – or perhaps notices that it is there at all.
He had a nice line about 'the engineer of responsibility' which seemed to work at several levels, and his plea was for an engineering education that explored how, in the real world out there, consequences were felt across systems, and not just in the vicinity of a project.
The following was not his final point, but it will do for mine:
"The search for a rationale for government decision-making on sustainability goes on."