Think global act local: The diversity and multiculturalism that drive engineering

As a New Canadian, I can affirm that Canada is more than a land of hockey and snow.  It values intellectual freedom, diversity and multiculturalism, and is driven by forward-thinking citizens who value humility and social responsibility. The values of Canada are the values of McMaster Engineering.

In 1971, the Pierre Trudeau government declared that Canada would henceforth celebrate the varied racial, religious and cultural backgrounds of its citizen equally. By so affirming the value and dignity of all its citizens, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as a national policy.

Multiculturalism as a right also places responsibilities upon Canadians to build an equitable, just and better society. Through reconciliation, Canada has begun to acknowledge and make right its deplorable historical treatment of indigenous peoples.

Diversity is great if we can begin to live with each other in equality, in understanding … but we also understand our collective obligations to building a better society.” – Ujjal Dosanjh, former Premier, British Columbia

In this open season on globalization, trade and mobility, it is unsurprising that Canada has resisted such tirades. Fewer Canadians feel hopeless about their future under globalization or support nativism.

Hence, Canada admits more than 300,000 immigrants a year, nearly 1% of its population, a higher proportion than any other big, rich country. Successive Canadian governments have viewed trade and mobility as means of economic growth, acknowledging the important global role of technical innovation, and engineering products and services.

Tolerance and openness are wellsprings of security and prosperity, not threats to them. It is only natural then that the next gathering of the diverse and multicultural Global Engineering Deans Council will take place in Niagara Falls, Canada in October, 2017.

McMaster Engineering is extremely  pleased that the world is coming to Canada. We will host a sensational event with first class venues, breath taking scenery,  memorable experiences, and – of note – important discussions about engineering education, research and outreach.

The Global Engineering Deans Council network leverages relationships between engineering schools worldwide so that deans are better able to to transform their schools to build better local societies and a more robust and equal global economy.

GEDC 2017 will bring these engineering deans from around the world together to address the grand challenges and wicked problems facing our world. Our discussions will consider the health of our entire planet as we discuss appropriate solutions for our own communities.

As one of the world’s Top 100 universities, McMaster University takes pride in bringing together the foremost engineering minds from around our world to discuss issues of importance: from smart systems to biomedical engineering and innovation to engaging local communities and nurturing entrepreneurship.

We look forward to welcoming the world to Canada and McMaster University.




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