Our world is changing… and changing fast! The exponential growth of technology in areas like big data and artificial intelligence threaten to cause major disruptions to the way we work. Old economic models are failing, urbanisation is accelerating, the global population is growing exponentially, and the planet is under pressure. Engineers have a critical role to play in meeting these challenges, but only if we can ride the wave of innovation and be ready to adapt.

For our branch meeting on Wednesday 20 February 2019, we decided to shake things up a bit by hosting SAICE Western Cape’s own version of PechaKucha focused on the theme of ‘A Brave New World’.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, PechaKucha (Japanese for ‘chit chat’) is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds total). PechaKucha Night was devised in February 2003 by a Tokyo architecture firm and are now held in over 900 cities worldwide.

SAICE Western Cape’s PechaKucha gave us food for thought on:
-Creative technologies and visualisation (Murray Walker, Aurecon)
-Transition pathways for sustainability (Sean Cooke, UCT / City of Cape Town)
-Future of waste management (Richard Emery, JG Afrika)
-Building capacity for innovation (Catherine Blersch, Splice Consulting)

It turned out that the topic of the evening was so thought provoking that the 100 or so people in attendance stayed on to participate in a lively discussion which lasted longer than the presentations themselves!