Engineers: we need to talk.

Something happened today which made me think about how we deal with ‘respect’, and the ‘old guard’ and ‘engineers’. I’m still processing what happened and many of the people I am discussing this with requests confidentiality, so maybe I’ll update this later once we agree on it all and have their permission. It did remind me of a few things, most notably a workshop on complexity we had in March 2018.

Sometimes when people ask me why Future Water exists, before I go into the transdisciplinary blah blah company line, I say that we’re trying to teach engineers to talk to other people. It started as a joke, because it was launched by a team who consisted mostly of engineers, and is currently hosted in the Engineering Faculty, but I am more and more convinced that is what our true purpose is.

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Inverse Infrastructures

Update: The original post was from August 2017. Since then my colleagues and I have concluded that the term ‘inverse’ is perhaps problematic. Despite emphasising that it is not simply the opposite of conventional infrastructure, the confusion is expected to remain. Inverse also seems to imply sub-optimal or inferior. I recently came across another EDx course on Responsive Cities – so I prefer the term responsive infrastructure. I am drafting a post just for these terms…

I found out about the term “Inverse infrastructures” via an online course hosted by Edx:

NGIxThe Next Generation of Infrastructure 
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Peopling rather than experting

I’ve just given another paid workshop, to an audience I at first felt like I have no rapport with – they’re public administrators. My slides were technical, an attempt from my side to show that this is serious, that I did my homework – a common academic / engineer fault, I suppose. But I spoke personally. I’ve slowly decided personal and authentic is my brand, and to hell with it. Shit’s my thing, deal with it. And they loved it. I don’t know if they’re convinced, and frankly, I don’t care. They listened and that is the first step. More on this a bit later.  Continue reading “Peopling rather than experting”

The toilet fights continue *

* totes clickbait title. No fights were had.

I had the privilege of presenting my dry toilet love at UnSchool. Bravely, I allowed half the session for the participants to debate dry vs flush (aka trash my ideas). I expected them to struggle with the dry toilet thing (aka totally trash my idea irretrievably) but it was about a 50/50 split for or against without any what I would consider fatal flaws. Win!

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Moola for Amanzi

Please note: I’m busy moving blogs, and copied this content over. The image links are going to break, if they haven’t already. It is what it is.

The report below is adapted from the WaterNetwork website. Merah Mas founder, Bernelle Verster was the main organiser of this initiative. The competition, which was part of a bigger initiative – the Dutch-SA water partnership – aimed to generate high quality investment proposals addressing water and sanitation issues and build awareness in the public eye, the water sector and sectors outside conventional water-related industries, so that business can go hand in hand with access to clean and affordable water.

World Water Week 20-23 March 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa

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