The IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) was held in Seattle from the 21st – 24th of October in Washington USA. The Conference aimed to bring together members of the engineering community, technology leaders from industry, government agencies, NGOs, charities and others interested in how technology can be used to advance humanity.
The conference had quite a few interesting plenary and panel discussions on topics of using science and technology innovations with the main aim of achieving a direct positive impact on different communities worldwide. There were also some exhibitions on display showcasing real life implementations of such solutions. Many breakout sessions, including the dedicated student tracks, focused on issues such as: disaster relief; energy; health; education; humanitarian application, challenges and opportunities; and connectivity and communication.
Engineering & Community: EPICS (view original article)
There was a special panel discussion dedicated to the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program. EPICS provides service learning for high school learners, as they tackle to solve a direct community problem with the use of technology and engineering principles. EPICS in IEEE Projects in South Africa was reported by Joyce Mwangama. She also highlighted other EPICS in IEEE initiatives that are occurring or planned within IEEE Region 8 of Africa, Europe and Middle East. Joyce observed the biggest benefit is more people participating in projects and how this can serve as a catalyst of inspiring others to do similar projects within their own communities.
Other panelists were Prof Leah Jameson giving an introduction to EPICS and service learning experience from Purdue University and Mike Boyer, high school teacher at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA, giving background and experiences in driving EPICS Projects as part of the School Curriculum. The panel was very well received by the audience with lots of interesting questions at the end of the 3 sessions that lead to fruitful discussions.