2018 | IEEE Vision, Impact & Challenges Summit

Social Impact and the Role of Engineers in Today’s Society

2018 | IEEE Vision, Innovation & Challenges Summit

by Denajah Tarver

The IEEE VIC Summit (IEEE VICS) brings together leading innovators, visionaries, and disruptors in technology to discuss, explore, and uncover what is imminent, what is possible – and what these emerging technologies mean for our future. On 11 May 2018, the VIC Summit held a panel entitled “Social Impact and the Role of Engineers in Today’s Society”.

The panel speakers consisted of experts from engineering, young professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs. (From left to right)  IEEE Entrepreneurship provided speakers Matthew Fielder, co-founder and CTO of re:3D, Ryan Cousins, co-founder of krtkl inc; Veronica Osinski, founding managing partner of Trifecta Capital; and Kevin Noertker, co-founder of Ampaire. The panelists gave insight on the impact that engineering has on society and which engineering ventures are perceived as risky by investors. Throughout the discussion, the panelists also aimed to provide an introspective look at the fast growing business of startups, their technology and their social impact. Society would be unrecognizable without its engineers and the investors that give their ideas a chance.

IEEE VICS 2018 - PanelAnother topic of conversation was the relationship between gender and technology. The panelists noted that the field of technology is genderless but, one panelist, Veronica Osinski, noted that the same cannot be said for gender and the business world. “There’s been so few women that are CEOs of public companies, so few role models”, said Osinski. In response to this, Ryan Cousins spoke about how companies that are diverse have proven to be more successful. “Everyone wants to diversify their portfolio, so diversifying the background of the people you’re investing in would seem to go along the same line,” he noted.

The panelists also each spoke specifically about what role they hope to play in the future of engineering and the challenges that they have faced as entrepreneurs, investors and engineers. Each panelist urged future entrepreneurs to be passionate about their ideas instead of seeking freedom from a day job. Kevin Noertker discussed the difficulty of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business. “If you are doing something that’s incredibly easy it’s probably not going to be a good startup,” he said.

View the entire session via the IEEEtv Entrepreneurship Video Channel.