The ISF International Days started after the Training of Engineers in April 2017. It consisted of the participants from ISF-Argentina, Rede de Engenharia Popular Osvaldo Sevá (REPOS), EWB-SA , ISF-Italia and hosted by ISF-France, namely Jérémy Billon. David Ming and Michelle Low represented EWB-SA.
WORKSHOP 1 : KNOWLEDGE OF EACH OTHER, SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
We heard an introduction to each organization and what main activities each were involved in. For example ISF-France is more focused on its volunteers and their training understanding global and national issues, raising awareness, tools for actions. ISF-Argentina is influencing the content of engineer training by, amongst others, creating courses, influencing teachers and mobilizing students. There was a common thread of main difficulties discussed as well as ambitions. An example of a difficulty is to give continuity to volunteer commitment throughout the different stages of life. The ambitions list included the need to strengthen the support and training to our members as well as develop solid partnerships and networks in order to strengthen our impact and ideas.
WORKSHOP 2 : COLLABORATION AND CAPACITY TO COLLABORATE
The day started off with two presentations by ISF-France local groups and closed off with session on how each member country to collaborate closer in the future.
ISF SystExt (Engineers Without Borders – Extractive Industries) presented at the opening of the workshop. They are a French NGO that unites geology, mining and environmental engineers working at the national and international scale. We found it amazing that this NGO influences mining policy in France and their opinions carry a lot of weight in French government around mining. You can read more about them via: http://www.isf-systext.fr/. We hope that EWB-SA’s own mining interest group, Mining for Shared Value (MSV), will be able to be just as impactful in the future.
A local student chapter ISF Paris Sud, namely Centrale Supélec (French Engineering School) presented on what they do on campus. What we liked about their chapter are the student activities on campus. Such as: raising awareness on energy (a spinning activity which involved converting exercise to energy), movie week and how to cook meatless meals. Read more about them via http://isfparissud.free.fr/
Before we worked out ways in which to collaborate we had delicious French café lunch. Jérémy used interesting tools to facilitate discussion and collaborations in order to find common ground, mostly was document sharing.
Thanks to everyone from ISF-France and the other organizations for making the week a thought provoking time. We hope to continue the momentum and use the ideas and collaboration to improve.
Written by David Ming and Michelle Low