ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS SOUTH AFRICA
Unleashing creativity through Design Thinking.
EWB-SA's programmes are the engine room of our organisation. Through our programmes we empower our community members to better activate, generate, use and transfer engineering knowledge that benefits society. We provide volunteers with tools, guidance and frameworks that allow them to have a greater impact at work and in the communities they serve. The focus areas we have selected - knowledge transfer and design thinking incubation - represent key challenges that the South African engineering sector is facing and which are currently not addressed with sufficient urgency.
We kick off the beginning of every year's project life cycle with an Ideas to Action (I2A) workshop hosted for student chapters in our major geographic centres.
The I2A workshops train project teams in design thinking and empower them to tackle the year's projects with confidence.
With startup funding provided by the Alcoa Foundation, we are creating an online knowledge depository for our projects, including:
Design should be a process that adds value to society. Don't write a thesis to gather dust, do research that matters.
We assist student members to select and scope thesis projects that enable them to meet their curricular objectives while benefiting society.
We've learnt from the tech sector and do our project ideation process hackathon style.
The resources of the open-source Human Centred Design Course developed by +Acumen and IDEO are the first contact most our members have with design thinking.
We encourage our chapters to host this course. Over time we will extend the resources to better suit our approach and needs.
Outdated engineering curricula must transition into future relevant education that incorporates grassroots perspectives of young engineers. Our initiatives focus on mainstreaming community development, design thinking, work-learning and global engineering thinking in university programmes.
To further our reach we have partnered with the South African Society for Engineering Education.