How young people can be empowered to help engineer positive change

 
Green Dreamer - Podcast on Environmental Sustainability and Regeneration
 

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne, a show exploring environmental and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app and let’s learn what it takes to thrive in every sense of the word!

 

Given that many young people today are already so passionate about sustainability, how can we better engage them in this movement and empower them to contribute their unique perspectives and talents? How does engineering tie into this picture of sustainability, and how can engineers best apply their backgrounds and skillset to help us further advance our progress towards a healthier future? 

Sharing her wisdom here is Brittany Bennett, Executive Director of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW). You'll hear about the role of engineers in solving climate change, the importance of having young people in leadership positions, the need for policy change and collective action, and more. Let's dive in!

Highlights

[2:14] What first inspired Brittany's passion for the environment. 

[4:28] How engineers are uniquely positioned to solve sustainability problems. 

[5:03] What Engineers for a Sustainable World does. 

[5:45] Brittany shares two of the most impactful projects ESW has done so far. 

[6:36] Kaméa: "How have the problems engineers focus on changed over the last years?" 

[11:06] Kaméa: "Are we more held back from solving environmental problems because of limitations on the back end—including research, data, and technology—or are we more held back by limitations on the front end—commercial viability of these solutions?" 

[13:40] Brittany: "One of the greatest things we can do is to combine our power together to create collective action.

[14:27] Kaméa: "What's been one of your greatest personal struggles as a millennial activist in a world run by more senior people and as a minority in a male-dominated space?" 

[17:00] Kaméa: "What is the importance of having ideas in leadership from young people and minorities in today's world?" 

[19:04] Brittany: "I wish we were more open about our failures as a society."

[20:52] How we can continue to encourage and motivate young people toward action. 

[24:23] Kaméa: "What do you think we need most today to accelerate toward a thriving planet?"   

References

About our Guest

Brittany Bennett is the Executive Director of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), a not-for-profit organization with chapters established at 50 colleges and universities across the United States. A recipient of Sustainable Leadership Award, Nancy Hellman Prize and Ford Motor Company Prize, Brittany is a firm believer that people can engineer change. 

Keep in touch:

Engineers for a Sustainable World:

Tips

Inspiration: Dr. Dennis Tirch

Note to self: "I remind myself of how many other young people there are out there who also care about building a better world just like I do." 

Health practice: "I take care of my mental health. I meditate, practice self-compassion, [and work on balance]." 

Sustainability practice: Brittany is working on flying less. 

Element of hope: What makes Brittany most hopeful is the really vocal commitment Millennials and Gen Z-ers have made in tackling some of these big sustainability challenges. Closing words: "We are strongest as a community."   

Two Takeaways


This is a conversation on Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne, a show exploring environmental and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app and let’s learn what it takes to thrive in every sense of the word!