that employ engineers, professional engineering societies, engineering schools, and others. Because each component has different capabilities and strengths, it makes sense that each should contribute in different ways. The most important thing is that the diverse members of the engineering community begin to speak with one voice, using the general approach outlined in Changing the Conversation, when talking about engineering and what it means to the people of this country and the world. We believe outreach by the engineering community will be most effective when it leverages the full range of outreach opportunities and communications media available.
The committee members carefully considered the proposed action items, agreeing that they had to be (1) doable without a major infusion of new financial or human resources and (2) likely to result in measurable improvement in public understanding of engineering. Most of the actions arose from discussions during the project’s December 2010 stakeholder workshop, which was specifically designed to elicit suggestions for moving the CTC initiative forward (see agenda in Appendix B); workshop attendees comprised about 40 high-level representatives from across the engineering community (see list of participants in Appendix C).
The committee recognizes that for many organizations there will be tension between maintaining their own brand and implementing broader CTC-based messaging about engineering. This tension is real, but we believe the unique missions of each segment of engineering will more often be enhanced than diminished by steps to improve the public’s general understanding of engineering. Industry’s bottom line, for example, may be aided by consumers who are more aware of the positive societal impacts of engineering. Engineering schools may find they have a more diverse pool of well-informed applicants to their educational offerings. Engineering professional societies may see an uptick in membership, particularly among younger engineers who want to be associated with an organization that promotes itself as “making a world of difference.” And museums and science centers could anticipate larger crowds for their exhibits that highlight the creative problem solving practiced by engineers.