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How Young Engineers Will Mold the Future by Calestous Juma

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“Give me a young person who is excellent in anything and I can turn him or her into an excellent engineer. It is about discipline. Those who have it in any field, including athletics, can excel in any other field.”

In a provocative article, the Economist recently asked whether new technology had stopped driving the world economy. The article challenged innovation pessimists by providing several examples of technologies that mold future economies.

The most urgent question, however, is how to train a new generation of young engineers who will be capable of combining technical excellence with a deeper appreciation of societal needs and values.

This was the theme of a recent meeting that brought together educators interested in engineering at the Harvard Kennedy School. The focus of the meeting was to identify ways in which universities and high schools can work together to train the next generation of engineers who can help solve the world’s most pressing economic and environmental chall…